Dig at Ancient Greek Temple Reveals Animal Sacrifices and More

Amarynthos, Greece

Amarynthos, Greece - Archaeologists digging up an ancient temple on the Greek island of Euboea have struck gold, uncovering evidence of animal sacrifices and shedding light on the history of the Artemis Amarynthos sanctuary.

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Dig at Ancient Greek Temple Reveals Animal Sacrifices and More 1

The temple, dating back to the 7th century BC, was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and nature. It was apparently a bustling place of worship, with archaeologists finding hearths and altars where animals were sacrificed in her honour. Layers of ash and burnt animal bones tell a clear story of these ancient rituals.

But offerings weren't limited to animals. Archaeologists also found a treasure trove of vases, weapons, jewellery, and even a finely carved ivory head with Egyptian features. These objects offer a glimpse into the beliefs and practices of the people who worshipped here, showing how they communicated with the goddess.

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Dig at Ancient Greek Temple Reveals Animal Sacrifices and More 2

The temple's history wasn't all peaceful, though. Evidence suggests it was partially destroyed by fire in the 6th century BC but later rebuilt with mudbrick walls. Then, by the end of the century, it was completely demolished to make way for a new building, hinting at a changing religious landscape.

And the dig's reach goes beyond the temple itself. Deep trenches revealed an even older building dating back to the 9th or 8th century BC, suggesting a long tradition of worship at the site. Further proof of this ancient reverence came in the form of bronze animal figurines and a terracotta bull's head from the late Bronze Age, pushing the site's importance even further back in time.

The excavation of the Artemis Amarynthos sanctuary isn't just about finding old stuff; it's about understanding ancient Greek religion and how people practised it. From the fiery animal sacrifices to the delicate offerings, each discovery adds another piece to the past puzzle. As the digging continues, who knows what other secrets might be unearthed, offering us a window into the lives and rituals of those who worshipped the wild goddess Artemis centuries ago.

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