23 February 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

A Glorious Temple, inside which Sacrifices Were Performed, was Found in the Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia on Greek Island of Euboea

Archaeologists excavating at the Artemis Amarysia sanctuary in Amarynthos on the Greek island of Euboea have revealed new insight into the temple configuration.

Constructed circa 700 BC, the temple’s length—more than 100 feet in Greek metric units—was larger than anticipated. According to archaeologists, this “perfect” measurement is encountered on other monuments of the same period.

Archaeologists were surprised when they discovered that the temple’s floorplan was apsidal (with a semicircle apse at one end), which was unusual for the time period.

During antiquity, the sanctuary was the center of worship in dedication to Artemis (the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and nature). Archaeologists found hearths or altars where animals were sacrificed to honor Artemis, in addition to layers of ash and calcined animal bones.

Apsidal wall of the archaic temple (7th-6th c. B.C.) Photo: Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece

Temple inside, stone platforms discovered were likely where animals were sacrificed by burning parts of them as offerings to Artemis. Holes in the roof allowed smoke from the fires to escape.

Archaeologists have discovered numerous ancient artifacts, including jewelry, tools, and pots, which were once offerings left by previous visitors, while excavating in the soil close to the temple. An ivory sculpture of an Egyptian person, illustrating how people from distant lands brought exotic gifts, was one particularly unusual discovery.

The sacrificial altar at the Artemis Amarynthos temple, Euboea. Photo: Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
The sacrificial altar at the Artemis Amarynthos temple, Euboea. Photo: Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece

Evidence suggests the first temple was later partly burned down, then rebuilt smaller using mud bricks before an even bigger replacement was constructed around 500 BC.

The temple sits at the bottom of a hill occupied since Bronze Age times over 3,000 years ago. Deep holes dug by the archaeologists found older remains from 900-800 BC and even Bronze Age items like a terra cotta bull head dated to around 1200 BC, proving people had honored Artemis on this spot for thousands of years.

An ivory head recently found at the Artemis Amarynthos temple has Egyptian features. Photo: Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece
An ivory head recently found at the Artemis Amarynthos temple has Egyptian features. Photo: Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece

Documents retrieved from an old palace attest to the existence of a town named Amarynthos in the vicinity of the temple between 1500 and 1100 BC (Mycenaean period). Seeing landmarks from long ago probably increased the area’s religious significance.

After lots of digging and discoveries, archaeologists are now poring over their findings in labs.

Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece

Related Articles

With the withdrawal of Lake Van, the Urartian road to Çarpanak Island emerged

18 May 2022

18 May 2022

In Lake Van in eastern Turkey, the water level fell due to global warming, and a one-kilometer Urartian road connecting...

Ancient Egyptian Kohl recipes more diversified than previously thought

28 April 2022

28 April 2022

Researchers analyzed the contents of 11 kohl containers from the Petrie Museum collection in London and have revealed that the...

Archaeologists discover 7,000-year-old tiger shark-tooth knives in Indonesia

29 October 2023

29 October 2023

Excavations on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi have yielded an incredible find: two tiger shark teeth that were fashioned into...

Nearly 1,000-year-old Native American canoe recovered from Lake Waccamaw

18 April 2023

18 April 2023

A 1,000-year-old Waccamaw Indian dug canoe was retrieved from Lake Waccamaw near Wilmington, North Carolina after it was discovered by...

Artvin Demirkapı/Arılı rock paintings give information about Anatolian Bronze Age Nomadic

14 December 2021

14 December 2021

Rock paintings are material cultural assets that provide us with unique information about the socio-cultural structure, religious beliefs, and rituals,...

Archaeologists have unearthed an incredible hoard of over 300 Iron Age ‘potins’ in West London

17 July 2021

17 July 2021

Archaeologists at an HS2 construction site in Hillingdon, West London discovered an astonishing treasure of over 300 Iron Age ‘potins”....

Rare waka unearthed from New Zealand River, after being hidden for 153 years

16 June 2023

16 June 2023

A waka -the traditional canoe of the Maori people- believed to be over 150 years old has been salvaged from...

Archaeologists discovered medieval Bury St Edmunds Abbey ‘Bishop Boy’ token in Norfolk

19 December 2023

19 December 2023

Archaeologists have discovered token in Norfolk in the East of England, dating from between 1470 and 1560, given to the...

3500-year-old ceramic oven discovered in Turkey’s Tepecik Mound

24 August 2021

24 August 2021

A 3,500-year-old ceramic oven was unearthed in Tepecik Mound in the Çine district of Aydın, in western Turkey. Tepecik Höyük,...

Ancient tomb chamber discovered in north China

3 January 2022

3 January 2022

Archaeologists have unearthed a tomb with a stone outer coffin dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) in north...

Ancient Mesopotamians bred horse-like hybrids

17 January 2022

17 January 2022

New research finds that Mesopotamians were utilizing hybrids of domesticated donkeys and wild asses to drive their war wagons 4,300...

Hiker found a place of holy worship at an altitude of 2,590 meters in the Swiss Alps

15 March 2023

15 March 2023

A trekking enthusiast stumbled upon an ancient Roman coin buried in rubble in a remote area high in the Alps...

Battle of the Egadi Islands: Rome’s deadly weapons discovered off Sicily

3 September 2021

3 September 2021

Underwater archaeologists from the Soprintendenza del Mare Regione Siciliana, RPM Nautical Foundation, and the Society for the Documentation of Submerged...

The inhabitants of Pınarbaşı Höyük in central Turkey may be the ancestors of the Boncuklu Höyük and Çatalhöyük neolithic human communities

27 July 2022

27 July 2022

The Department of Excavations and Researchs, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey, attracted...

1,400-year-old temple from the time of the East Anglian Kings discovered at Suffolk royal settlement

21 November 2023

21 November 2023

Archaeologists have uncovered a possibly pre-Christian temple from the time of the East Anglian Kings at Rendlesham, near Sutton Hoo...