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Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings


Interesting discoveries have made during the course of the 2018 excavation campaign carried out by the University of Bern in the ancient Greek colony of Himera in Sicily, destroyed in 409 BC by the Carthaginians.

Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings
Credit: University of Bern
This 7th campaign, now in its final phase, is concentrated on an area known as the 'Piano del Tamburino' where several 'sacred areas' have been identified.

Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings
Credit: University of Bern


One of these areas under excavation is characterized by a vast open space of over 100 square metres with three altars and numerous depositions, and which is thought to have been the heart of the sanctuary where the various rites and sacred activities took place.

Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings
Credit: University of Bern
This open space was surrounded by two buildings, both of which were investigated. These seem to be related to sacred functions and to the storage and preparation of food. Indeed, the discovery of several domed ovens and the abundant remains of plates and cups suggests that the sanctuary supplied food and bread to visiting supplicants.

Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings
Credit: University of Bern


A large number of water pitcher (hydria) sherds were also found, and a possible aquifer was located nearby, highlighting the importance of water not only as a source of life, but above all as an essential purifying element for entering the sanctuary.

Excavations at Himera in Sicily uncover Sanctuary buildings
Credit: University of Bern
The excavation is supervised by Prof. Elena Mango of the University of Bern, Dr. Francesca Spatafora, Director of the Archaeological Centre of Palermo, and the Head of Himera Park, Dr. Maria Rosa Panzica.

Source: BlogSicilia [July 23, 2018]

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