Ancient Greek temple discovered in Messinia

Ancient Greek temple discovered in Messinia

An archaeological investigation has revealed an ancient temple in the mountains between Ilia and Messenia, in front of the well-known temple of Apollo Epicurus.

The area around the newly discovered temple was full of architecture tools which were used to build a small temple, while the former head of the 38th Ephorate of Antiquities, the archaeologist Xeni Arapogianni, explains that when the small temple was demolished to build a new one, masts, triglyphs and other parts of an ancient temple were found.

Temple structure

Excavation began in 2010, revealing the temple as well as bronze objects and a large number of iron weapons and particularly sharp spears, probably dedicated to the temple god, according to the Greek newspaper To Vima. A bronze figure of a naked man, probably a warrior carrying a spear in his arm, was also found by archaeologists.

This allows us to conclude that the temple was dedicated to a war deity.”, Notes Dr. Araponianni, highlighting that direct visual contact with the temple of Apollo Epicurus combined with the similarity of the votives, especially the spears, could mean that the temple it was also dedicated to Apollo. This does not exclude the possibility that it was also dedicated to the goddesses Artemis or Athena.

Spear tips found

In my opinion, it was the first temple (compared to the other of Apollo Epicurus), it dates from the archaic period, approximately in the 6th century BC. It was probably built by Spartans who conquered Messinia, and when the Messenians were liberated later, they must have built a larger temple in the same place.”, Says the archaeologist.

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Video: Ancient Messene