Excavations began at the end of last century under the guidance of
American and Greek archaeologists while since 1905 digging has been carried out
by the British Archaeological School at Athens. New excavations have begun five
years ago, mainly at the area of the theatre and the shops.
In the period 1960-1965 Prof. Chr. Christou was in charge of the investigations
with the financial support of the Greek Archaeological Society. Finally in the
period 1992-1995 excavations are being carried out by the British School at Athens.
History of restoration:
The various monuments on
the site have not been restore yet but there is a plan for the drawing and
conservation of the ancient theatre with the financial support of the European
The most important monuments of the site are:
The temple of Athena Chalkioikos on the top of the Acropolis is defined
more by some indications from the excavation rather than by the architectural
ruins themselves. The temple, which was constructed on the plans of the architect
Vathykles from Magnesia, had its interior decorated with bronze sheets.
The ancient theatre of Sparta at the south side of the acropolis, is dated
to the Early Imperial period. It preserves the orchestra, the retaining walls
of the cavea with inscriptions of the rulers of Sparta during Roman times and
part of the cavea of the large theatre. The scene was used to be wheeled in metal
bars fixed to the ground.
The so-called circular building of unknown use was built with carefully
worked blocks and smaller stones. In Roman time it was repaired and took the form
that preserves until today. The ancient building probably played an important
role in the city's life (Skias ?).
Remains of shops just by the ancient theatre were revealed in old and recent
excavations conducted by the British Archaeological School at Athens. They were
constructed in the Roman Imperial period, using mainly tiles while plaster decorated
their interior. They served people attending performances and other kind of shows
in the ancient theatre.
Remains of a large Basilica of the Middle Byzantine period, that has been
identified with the Basilica of St. Nikon. It is dated to the 10th century A.D.