Stadium Seating

Theatron 

Stadium Seating

 The seating for spectators at the Nemean games was of a very simple and informal nature. At the south end of the stadium, rough ledges were carved into the soft bedrock of the hillside to afford a slightly more comfortable vantage point for spectators. Being as that the bedrock in this area is so soft, such ledges had to be recut from time to time as heavy rains could destroy such tenuous features. The only true stone seats were located on the west side of the stadium, and stretched between the tunnel, or Krypte Esodos (Stadium Tunnel), and the Balbis, or starting line. These seats were only two to three rows deep and were constructed of reused material.

 

          

Above: Balbis, or Starting Line                     Foundations for Hellenodikaion from the South        A Reconstruction of Hellenodikaion

 

The judges, called Hellenodikai, had a special platform on the east side of the stadium at the hundred foot marker in the track. From this vantage point, called the Hellenodikaion, they could oversee the games and correct any possible infractions in the various competitions. It is interesting to note the numismatic evidence regarding the presence of cheering sections in the stadium.

 

 

Left, a map of the locations of coins found at the Stadium site.

 

 

 

By examining the assemblages of coins recovered during excavations, it is clear that the Argives congregated behind the Hellenodikion, where as the Corinthians viewed the games from the opposite side of the track. This would be in keeping with the rivalry between the two city states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This information originated on Professor Emeritus S.G. Miller's archived Nemea.org website.