Archive for August 15th, 2018

New findings confirm temple of Artemis site

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

The long-lost sanctuary of Artemis Amarynthia was discovered in 2017 after more than a century of searching and ten consecutive years of excavations by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece. This season’s findings confirm that the archaeological remains discovered last year are indeed part of the important ancient temple complex located about six miles from the prosperous town of Eretria on the island of Euboea in central Greece.

The previously excavated buildings are two galleries that define the temple from the east and north, as well as a sacred fountain. […]

The research was focused on the central site of the sanctuary to reveal the ancient temple and the altar. Significant finds in 2018, such as a copper quartz figurine, part of a statue of Artemis and a new sculpture base bearing the names of Artemis, Apollo and Leto, as well as another base, strengthen the view that the temple is in this area and is expected to be identified in the coming years.

The Swiss and Greek archaeologists also investigated the remains of earlier building phases dating from the 10th to the 7th century BC, such as an elongated building over 20 meters in length, dating back to the Early Archaic period, and resting on an arched building.

The monumental Archaic building with its powerful pilasters built over the Geometric-era arched structure would have dominated the landscape of Amarynthos at that time. It’s not certain what this building was used for, if it was an early religious site dedicated to the worship of Artemis or had a different purpose altogether. It has some architectural features in common with the temple of Apollo Daphnephoros of Eretria, but the temple to Apollo in use from the late Archaic through the Hellenistic period at Amarynthos and believed to have been connected to the famed temple of Apollo at Delphi has been found in another location well to the west.

The sanctuary of Artemis was all but destroyed in the 1st century B.C., its religious significance diminished to nothingness. Recent discoveries suggest there may have been a renewal of religious worship at the site in the 2nd century A.D. but if so, it was of short duration. By the 3rd century, the temple of Artemis Amarynthia was permanently defunct.

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