Theatre of Delphi – Delphi, Ancient Greece
Climb up the hill from the Temple of Apollo and you’ll enjoy the magnificent view of the Theatre of Delphi. Built in the 4th century B.C. from local Parnassus limestone, the Delphi amphitheatre comprises 35 rows of seats, accommodating some 5,000 spectators. The lower tiers of seats were built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
From the hillside, the audience is presented with a spectacular view of the entire sanctuary below and the valley beyond. Plays, poetry readings, and musical events during the various festivals took place here. It must have been an amazing sight to see area filled with people and their colorful attire.
Ancient Greek theatres were usually very large, open-air structures that took advantage of sloping hillsides for their terraced seating. I was curious as to how sound was amplified and what the acoustics was like in the amphitheatre during those days where sound systems did not exist. A quick search on Google reveals that researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology had done some work on this. It appears that the rows of limestone seats act as an acoustic filter and cuts out low frequency background noise from the crowd and at the same time helps reflect the high pitched voices of the performers to the back rows of the theatre. Fascinating huh!
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