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Archaic Greek temple unearhed in Phanagoria, Russia

In 2013 a classical Greek temple dating to the first half of the fifth century BC was discovered by Russian archaeologists excavating the 'Upper city' or Acropolis of Phanagoria, the largest ancient Greek city on the Taman peninsula, on the eastern shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus.

Archaic Greek temple unearhed in Phanagoria, Russia
The remains of the archaic temple [Credit: Earth Chronicles]
This season's excavations, however, revealed the remains of an even older temple dating to the first half of the 5th century BC, lying immediately beneath the foundations of its successor.

Archaic Greek temple unearhed in Phanagoria, Russia
Altar-hearth inside the temple [Credit: Earth Chronicles]
Like its later counterpart, the newly discovered temple consisted of a small two-columned portico leading to the inner shrine area.

Archaic Greek temple unearhed in Phanagoria, Russia
Reconstruction of the Archaic temple at Phanagoria [Credit: Earth Chronicles]
The entire structure covers an area of about 14.5 square metres.

It was made of raw brick laid directly on the ground with no foundations, as were many other buildings in Phanagoria at this early date.

An interesting feature of the archaic temple is the location of a built-up hearth in its interior that probably served as an altar for bloodless sacrifices and other religious ceremonies.

Source: Skai [July 07, 2016]

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1 comment :

  1. I have to wonder why the builders of the later temple decided to locate it on top of the earlier. I suspect that the earlier temple was destroyed and the latter temple then was rebuilt on the existing site. Likely causes of the destruction of the earlier temple might be earthquake or war. War seems a good possibility being that this temple appears to be near the edge of the Greek commercial world, and thus subject to attack from people outside that world (Persians or their proxies? Cimmerians?). I hope the researchers excavating the area may be able to tell us more about what led to the destruction of the first temple.


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