An ancient theatre in what was formerly the Hellenic city of Smyrna (Turkish İzmir), built during the Hellenistic period, is currently being excavated by a team from Dokuz Eylül University (DEU).

The excavations have reportedly unearthed sections of the cavea (ie. the semi-circular bank of seating) resting on the slopes of Mount Pagos (Kadifekale today).

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the head of the excavations, Akın Ersoy, who is also an associate professor of archaeology, said Smyrna had a history of 8,000 years and the latest chain of the history was on the slopes between the Agora and Mount Pagos.

He said the construction of the theatre, perched on a rocky hill with a magnificent view of the city, had started in 3rd century BC and was used for some 700 years, when it was abandoned in the 4th century.

"We started excavations in 2012. Theatre excavations are troublesome because both filling levels are too high and a significant amount of blocks were used in the construction of this monumental structure. We have reached the rows of seats during excavations after 1,500 years. Some of the walls had already been reached during the clearing of houses. Next year we hope that we will reach the orchestra pit, which is one of the most important parts of theatre structures."