Gold and silver jewelry found in ancient Greek temples

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Gold and silver jewelry was unearthed.Credit: Swiss School of Archeology in Greece

Gold and silver jewelry was discovered during excavations of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis in Evia, Greece.

Greek and Swiss archaeologists also announced that they had discovered a significant number of structures, including a “monumental building in the center of the sanctuary” first discovered in 2017, plus another temple.

The excavations will be carried out jointly by local teams. Swiss School of Archeology and the Greek Antiquities Authority.

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Ruins of the Temple of Artemis.Credit: Swiss School of Archeology in Greece

The temple, discovered during excavations in 2023, dates back to the 7th century BC. The temple was approximately 100 feet long, a size found in other temples built during this period.

Inside the temple were multiple structures, including a hearth that was used as an altar, and a horseshoe-shaped altar covered in ash that was found to be rich in charred bones. The ministry said parts of the altar may be older than the temple, noting that the horseshoe-shaped altar had pottery dating back to the 8th century BC.

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Credit: Ministry of Culture

Inside the temple, archaeologists discovered vases, jewelry made of gold, silver, coral and amber, amulets brought from Asia and other parts of the East, and bronze and iron accessories.

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Credit: Ministry of Culture

Under the temple, archaeologists discovered a dry stone wall belonging to a building that was built, as well as the temple itself. Here, researchers discovered bronze figurines from the Geometric period, which lasted from 900 BC to 700 BC, and clay bullheads from the Mycenaean period, which lasted from 1,750 to 1,050 BC.

According to the Greek Ministry of Culture, the temple was likely partially destroyed by fire in the 6th century BC. Another temple was built in the area at the end of that century.

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The statuette was discovered after lying underground for thousands of years.Credit: Swiss School of Archeology

Ancient Temple of Artemis was discovered in Evia, Greece in 2017

The long-lost temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, one of the most widely worshiped gods in ancient Greece, was discovered in 2017 after 100 years of archaeological research.

Several ancient sources mention the Sanctuary of Artemis Amalisia. There, major official documents (laws and treaties) engraved on stone monuments were displayed. The Artemisia Festival was held where today there is a small fishing village called Amarinthos.

It was celebrated every spring to honor the goddess. A large procession of 3,000 armed warriors, 600 horsemen, and 60 chariots accompanied him on his 12-kilometer journey to the sanctuary. The festival attracted not only residents of the city of Evia, but also representatives of other Greek cities.

Since 2017, archaeologists have discovered buildings dating from the 6th to 2nd centuries BC, including underground fountains, and, more importantly, inscriptions and coins inscribed with the name of Artemis, the patron goddess of Amarinth.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Artemis is the goddess of hunting, wilderness, wildlife, nature, plants, childbirth, caring for children, and chastity.

In later times, she was identified with Selene, the personification of the moon. She is said to often roam the forests and mountains with an entourage of nymphs.

Artemis was also the patron of healing and illness, especially among women and children, and was believed to bring both health and disease to women and children.

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