Temple-burial mystery at Despotiko revealed
|Excavations revealed an archaic sanctuary dedicated to Apollo|
and Artemis [Credit: To Vima]
The deceased had been placed in a foetal position, its left leg bent to the south and its hands folded on his chest. According to Mr. Kouragios, a first thought is to identify him with a workman who died during the sanctuary’s construction and was buried straight afterwards. However, nobody can verify this opinion since the skeletal material cannot be moved due to its sensitivity and it is impossible to perform any tests.
Another of Mr. Kouragios surprise finds is that the Despotikon temple seems to have been built on another building. “Although the sanctuary flourished during the Archaic era, actually on the 6th century BC, the 2011 and 2012 excavations demonstrated its use since the Geometric period, as in front of the temple’s platform and under its foundation as well as under the South Complex bath, 8th century buildings have been revealed”, alongside a large number of pottery sherds.
The statements above present several reasons that led the Central Archaeological Council to allow the Despotikon excavation to continue for five more years. Still, apart from the sanctuary itself, there is a great interest concerning the numerous marble statues used as votive offerings during the Antiquity and of which more than 40 fragments (especially legs, thighs, arms, hands and torso parts belonging to “Kouroi”) have been revealed.
“Despotikon has a unique pro, not met in most of island archaeological sites: it is not situated in close proximity to a modern settlement. Nature and history are making a harmonic ensemble which has survived across the centuries”, says Mr. Kouragios.
Source: To Vima via Archaiologia [April 05, 2013]