Sunday, November 04, 2007

Search continues for temple of Artemis Amarysia


"Near Amarynthos (Euboea, Greece), a joint excavation by the Swiss School and the 11th Greek Ephorate brought to light the foundations of a large building, possibly belonging to the renowned sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia.

In September, a team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists led by Denis Knoepfler and Amalia Karapaschalidou discovered the massive foundation of an edifice that could belong to the most renowned -yet still unlocated- sanctuary on the island of Euboea, dedicated to Artemis Amarysia.

Deep trenches opened at the foot of the Paleoekklisies hill, near modern Amarynthos (10 kilometres east of Eretria), unearthed a foundation composed of two courses of large tuff blocks. Excavated on a length of 6 meters, the line of the wall extends in the neighbouring fields, making impossible at this stage to ascertain the exact shape and function of the building to which it belonged. Hundreds of crushed fragments of marble were also recovered; they once belonged to the elevation of the buidling, whose marble parts were later used for lime production. This is confirmed by the discovery of an old limekiln just a few meters from the foundation. The preliminary study of the stratigraphy and the pottery suggests that the first course of blocks was laid in the second half of the fourth century BC; the second course belongs to a later phase, dated to the second century BC.

The foundation cuts a large wall from the Late Geometric period (around 700 BC), excavated at a depth of 3 meters from the surface."

"ARTEMIS was the goddess of hunting, wild animals and wilderness, and the protectress of girls and women.

She was widely worshipped in ancient Greece, with numerous shrines and temples throughout the countryside. This page describes her cult in the southern and eastern regions of the Peloponnese. Here her most celebrated shrines were that of the bear-goddess of Brauron in Attika, and the Lakedaimonian shrine of Artemis Karyai (of the Walnut-Trees).

Artemis was portrayed in classical Greek sculpture as a young woman or girl, with her hair tied back, and usually armed with bow and arrows. Sometimes she was attended by a hunting dog or stag, the so-called Artemis Agrotera (Huntress) type...Artemis Cult