The Antiquarium is a small archeological museum on show in two rooms of the Antique Theatre guardian's house, once called the House of the Englishmen because it was supposedly inhabited by English families during the first days of tourism in Taormina.Few archeological specimens remain in this house-museum since most of them are now in Naples, Messina and Siracusa.There are no doubts as to the origins of the Odeon, or "small theatre".It was built directly by the Romans when Taormina became a military colony in the year 21 B. under Caesar Augustus Octavian, the first Roman emperor.The sarcophagus was discovered in 1839 in the gardens of what was then a Franciscan Friary, now a nursing home run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.Some stone biocks can also be seen, the top surfaces of which are lapped and engraved with financial statements of the Polis.Nowadays the ancient Theatre is still one of Taormina's main attractions.
All the Romans did later, in accordance with their well-known ostentatious nature, was enlarge the theatre as it was very small. It is fifty metres wide, one hundred and twenty metres long and twenty metres high, which means that about 100,000 cubic metres of stone had to be removed.
Those who believe it was built by the Greeks say it must have been around the middle of the third century B. But due to the theatre's structural characteristics, some say it was erected by Roman engineers to be used exclusively by the Greeks.
This wouid explain all the Greek inscriptions inside the theatre.
This statue base was found in 1770 while extension work was being carried out in the "S.
Maria del Valverde" monastery, which is now a Carabineri post.
One of the most interesting things is a large square block of Taormina marble, formerly the base of a statue.