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Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary


A partially preserved inscription linking Artemis with the ancient town of Amarynthos was found in Paleochoria, Evia (Euboea), 2 km east of the modern-day town with the same name, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture said in a press release.

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Statue-based votive inscription to the goddess Artemis, her brother Apollo and their mother Leto
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]


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".

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Aerial view of the excavation site in Paleochoria Amarynthos
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Underground fountain of Roman times, consisting of material from earlier monuments,
such as inscribed Hellenistic statue bases [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]


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 (Amarlia Karapaschalidou, honorary ephor).

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Recording the excavation with the iDig app on iPad
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
The foundations of the southern wing of the Hellenistic Stoa
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]


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 showed remains of ancient buildings next to it.

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Visit of the Ambassador of Switzerland to the excavation of Amarynthos, in the presence of the Director
and the Scientific Secretary of the Swiss Archaeological School in Greece
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Lekythos vase at the time of its discovery inside the building which may
be identified with the temple [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]


In an announcement, the Ministry of Culture said the find was "particularly significant, as the remains of the prehistoric settlement excaved 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)."

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
The monumental foundation that can most probably be identified with the altar of the sanctuary
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Excavation of a test section in geometric layers in front of a Hellenistic retaining wall
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
It added that in recent years excavations have revealed two stoas dating to Hellenistic times, which serve to delineate the sanctuary east and north. "With the discovery of the south wing of the eastern stoa," the Ministry said, "the sanctuary's limits on three sides are now known."

Inscription found in Paleochoria links goddess Artemis to Amarynthos sanctuary
Geophysical survey of the site during the winter before excavation
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
The site lies near a natural harbour. 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.

Source: ANA-MPA [August 13, 2019]

TANN

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