Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary

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Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuaryAerial view of the excavation site in Paleochoria Amarinthos Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

A partially preserved inscription linking Artemis with the ancient town of Amarynthos was unearthed in Paleochoria, Evia, 2 km east of the modern-day town with the same name, the Ministry of Culture said on Monday, according to ANA.

Underground fountain of Roman times, consisting of material from earlier monuments, such as inscribed Hellenistic statue bases. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities


The fragmentary inscription, "... of Artemis in Amarynthos", was reused in a Roman-era fountain, confirming that the foundations of the building in Paleochoria were related to the sanctuary of the goddess Artemis, first mentioned in Linear B tablets found in the Mycenaean palace of Thebes as "a-ma-ru-to".

Statue-based inscription to the goddess Artemis, her brother Apollo and their mother Leto. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

The discovery was made during this season's excavations of the sanctuary by the Swiss Archaeological School in Greece (director Karl Reber) and the Antiquities Ephorate of Evia (Amalia Karapaschalidou, honorary ephor).

Recording the excavation with the iDig app on iPad. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

Excavations to locate the sanctuary began in 2006. This year's dig focused on the Paleochora area where a modern house was razed in 2018 after a University of Thessaloniki geological survey located remains of ancient buildings next to it.

The foundation of the southern wing of the Hellenistic Stoa. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

In an announcement, the Ministry of Culture noted the find was "particularly significant, as the remains of the prehistoric settlement excavated in the '70s and '80s in the same area by the Greek Archaeological Service was one of the most important sanctuaries of ancient Euboea (Evia)."

Visit of the Swiss ambassador to the excavation of Amarinthos, in the presence of the director and the scientific secretary of the Swiss Archeological School in Greece. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

It added that in recent years excavations have revealed two stoas dating to Hellenistic times, which serve to delineate the sanctuary east and north.

Lycithus at the time of its discovery inside the building which may be identified with the temple. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

"With the discovery of the south wing of the eastern stoa," the Ministry said, "the sanctuary's limits on three sides are now known."

The monumental foundation that can most probably be identified with the altar of the sanctuary. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

The site lies near a natural harbor. It was inhabited in the prehistoric and Classical periods, until Roman times (3000 B.C.-1st century AD), while during the Byzantine period two churches were built on top of the hill.

Excavation of a test section in geometric layers in front of a Hellenistic retaining wall. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

 

Geophysical survey of the site during the winter before excavation. Photo Source: Greek Minister of Culture and Antiquities

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