Skip to comments.Ancient Temple Discovered in Messinia
Posted on 04/28/2012 4:54:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Archaeological research reveals an ancient temple in the mountains between Ilia and Messinia, opposite the well-known imposing temple of Epicurean Apollo.
The area around the newly discovered temple was full of architectural tools that were used to build a small temple, while former head of the 38th Ephorate of Antiquities, archaeologist Dr. Xeni Arapogianni explains that when the small temple was demolished in order to build a new one, topmasts, triglyphs and other parts of the ancient temple were found.
The excavation started back in 2010, revealing the temple as well as bronze items and a great number of iron weapons and particularly sharp spears probably dedicated to the temple's god, according to the Greek newspaper To Vima. A bronze figurine of a naked man, presumably a warrior as he's holding a spear in its arm, was also found by the archaeologists.
"That enables us to conclude that the temple was dedicated to a divine entity of war," points out Dr. Arapogianni, underlying that the direct visual contact with the temple of Epicurean Apollo combined with the similarities of the votives, especially the spears, could mean that the temple was also dedicated to Apollo. That, however, does not exclude the possibility that goddesses Artemis or Athena were also worshipped there.
"In my opinion, that was the first temple [in comparison with the one of the Epicurean Apollo], dated in the Archaic period, approximately at the 6th century B.C. It was probably built by Spartans, who conquered Messinia, and when Messinians were later liberated, they must have built a bigger temple in the same spot," stresses the archaeologist.
(Excerpt) Read more at greece.greekreporter.com ...
A Case of Liberation...Not only does it appear that they preserved a sense of their common history and destiny, revolting against Spartan control on more than one occasion, but they did eventually recover their freedom (if with help from other Greek states). In July 371 B.C. a battle was fought which irrevocably altered the relationship of Sparta and Messenia. In Boeotia, on the plain of Leuktra, troops led by the Theban general Epaminondas soundly defeated the Spartan forces -- their first major defeat in open combat for some three centuries. In the following year, Epaminondas invaded Sparta's home territory, at which point many Messenians rose up in revolt against their overlords. Their rejection of Spartan domination was sealed by Epaminondas' liberation of the Messenians and his foundation of the polis (city-state) of Messene on the slopes of a prominent local landmark, Mount Ithome.
University of Cincinnati
...There are four divisions with the prefecture of Messenia: Kalamata, Messene, Pylia and Trifylia, and each receive their fair share of attention within the museum. The layout of the building is designed to remind the visitor of the Pamisos River, which meets the sea at Bouka, a popular swimming spot near the market town of Messini. At 43km, the Pamissos is one of the longest in the Peloponnese, and was navigable for at least a certain distance by ships in ancient times. It also had great power: Pausanias wrote that children were healed in its springs, and a Doric temple dedicated to the river-god was situated very close to the village of Aghios Floros, which is 20km north of Kalamata, on the Athens Road. The god himself is depicted as a bull, the standard rendition for river deities, on the well-preserved stele that is on display in the museum; there are many exquisite votive offerings also exhibited.
Delicate grave steles and relief plaques showing funerary feasts are a feature from sites such Malthi and ancient Koroni. Greeks always honored their dead, so that no grave was left unmarked. Statue bases and inscriptions are also on display, along with a fine Roman mosaic floor, with its design of Dionysos, satyrs, and a panther in colors of warm brown, beige and lemon.
The finds from tholos tombs, in particular the hoards of bronze shields and weapons from the graves of warriors, are another fascinating feature of the collection. Ancient but everyday life also receives its due here: the metallurgy, the pottery, the weaving. But then there are the extras that made and still make life worth living. Exquisite jewelry, found in chamber-tombs, and made from gold, rock-crystal, carnelian and amethyst glimmer and glow from their cases and from thousands of years ago. An important place is given to a Neolithic female figurine, no more than two inches high. Nude and seated, this remarkable piece was made from a sandy-colored marble, and was probably worn as a pendant.
In this charming building with its meticulous planning and care, the visitor is able to imagine long-ago life and the shared pattern of settlement, which emphasized agriculture, trade, stock-breeding and cottage industries, and will also understand once more the way in which succeeding generations seek and preserve memory. Aphorisms placed at intervals along the walls are also to be pondered: The adventure of excavation does not end in the soil. Investigation is ownership and each excavation, introspection.
The visitor can own a little of Messenian life after even a short time in the museum, and can also practice the noble art of introspection for a long time afterwards. [Elizabeth Boleman-Herring's Greece: The Thinking Travelerg's Guide to Hellas -- Messenian Life: Recent and Distant]
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To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Hey, this showed up in the Google search already, under Latest articles.
It may have been built for the Spartans, but the work was done by the helots (Messinians).