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The Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in Amarynthos

English title The Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in Amarynthos
Applicant Reber Karl
Number 172830
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Ecole Suisse d'archéologie en Grèce IASA / Anthropole 4011 Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Archaeology
Start/End 01.04.2017 - 30.06.2021
Approved amount 1'225'036.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Archaeology
Ancient history and Classical studies
Religious studies, Theology

Keywords (10)

Religious practices; Amarynthos; Euboea; Greece; Archaeology; Artemis; Excavation; Architecture; Sanctuary; Ceramic-Studies

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Des archéologues suisses fouillent depuis plus de 50 ans l’antique cité d’Erétrie sur l’île d’Eubée en Grèce. De toutes les divinités vénérées par les Erétriens, Artémis était la première. Son principal lieu de culte, où se rassemblaient tous les habitants de l’île lors des fêtes en l’honneur de la déesse, était le Sanctuaire d’Artémis Amarysia à Amarynthos, tout proche d’Erétrie. Il s’agit d’un des derniers grands sanctuaires de Grèce qui soit connu par les textes épigraphiques et littéraires, mais non fouillés. L’Ecole suisse d’archéologie en Grèce pense avoir découvert son emplacement et ambitionne de le mettre au jour.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Les explorations récentes dans la région d’Amarynthos, à une dizaine de kilomètres à l’est d’Erétrie, ont révélé un site d’exception, occupé depuis l’époque préhistorique. Les fouilles y ont exhumé un portique monumental de la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C. qui circonscrit très vraisemblablement l’espace sacré de l’Artémision.

L’objectif principal de ce projet consiste à mettre au jour le cœur du Sanctuaire d’Artémis Amarysia, afin de comprendre les pratiques religieuses qui se sont déroulées dans ce lieu de mémoire, où l’identité collective des Erétriens s’est forgée au cours des siècles. Une attention particulière sera portée sur la transformation de l’habitat préhistorique en un lieu de culte, le plus important de l’île.

 

Contexte scientifique du projet de recherche

Cette recherche se situe au carrefour de plusieurs disciplines, telle l’archéologie (prospections, fouilles, études de mobilier), l’architecture, l’analyse des textes (histoire, épigraphie, sciences des religions) et les sciences dures (sondages géophysiques, carottages géologiques, analyses botaniques). Les découvertes attendues renouvelleront notre connaissance de la cité érétrienne, de son histoire et de ses cultes. Elles mettront en lumière les processus de formation et de développement d’un lieu de culte en Grèce antique.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Les activités de l'Ecole suisse d'archéologie en Grèce. L'artémision d'Amarynthos (Campagne 2018)
ReberKarl, KnoepflerDenis, KarapaschalidouAmalia, KrapfTobias, TheurillatThierry (2019), Les activités de l'Ecole suisse d'archéologie en Grèce. L'artémision d'Amarynthos (Campagne 2018), in Antike Kunst, 62, 145-152.
Hérode Atticus propriétaire et évergète en Eubée: une nouvelle inscription du Musée d'Erétrie
KnoepflerDenis (2018), Hérode Atticus propriétaire et évergète en Eubée: une nouvelle inscription du Musée d'Erétrie, in Revue des Etudes Grecques, 131(2), 317-370.
Les activités de l'Ecole suisse d'archéologie en Grèce en 2017. L'Artémision d'Amarynthos (Campagne 2017)
ReberKarl, KnoepflerDenis, KarapaschalidouAmalia, KrapfTobias, TheurillatThierry (2018), Les activités de l'Ecole suisse d'archéologie en Grèce en 2017. L'Artémision d'Amarynthos (Campagne 2017), in Antike Kunst, 61, 129-137.
Medieval Ship Graffiti from Amarynthos, Euboea, Greece
NakasYannis, KrapfTobias (2017), Medieval Ship Graffiti from Amarynthos, Euboea, Greece, in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 46(2), 433-437.
Recent research at the Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in Amarynthos (Euboea)
Fachard Sylvian, Knoepfler Denis, Reber Karl, Karapaschalidou Amalia, Krapf Tobias, Theurillat Thierry, Kalamara Pari (2017), Recent research at the Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in Amarynthos (Euboea), in Archaeological Reports, (63), 167-180.

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Des archéologues suisses résolvent une énigme grecque Swissinfo.ch Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Le temple d'Artémis a enfin été découvert Tribune de Genève Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Το ιερό της Αμαρυσίας Αρτέμιδος στην Εύβοια Themes in Archaeology International 2019
Media relations: print media, online media A la poursuite d'Artémis Allez Savoir Western Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Auf der Suche nach Artemis. Die Entdeckung des Heiligtums der Artemis Amarysia Antrike Welt International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Cinquante ans pour retrouver Artémis Marianne International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Ancient Greece: Secrets of Long-Lost Temple of Artemis Revealed after 100-Year Search Newsweek International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Basler entdecken Artemis-Heiligtum BAZ German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Das Geheimnis der Jagdgöttin ist gelüftet Griechenland Zeitung International 2017
Media relations: radio, television L'Ecole suisse d'archéologie en Grèce découvre un temple sur l'île d'Eubée RTS Western Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Ochio alla lettera! La scoperta del Santuario dedicato ad Artemide Amarysia, in Eubea Archeo. Attualità del Passato International 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
201068 Amarynthos and the Making of Eretria’s Sacred Landscape 01.07.2021 Project funding (Div. I-III)
153478 Schweizerische Ausgrabungen in Eretria, Euböa, Griechenland 01.04.2014 Project funding (special)
184297 A la recherche du temple perdu 01.02.2020 Agora

Abstract

From 1964 to the present, Swiss archaeologists and historians have been exploring and studying the ancient Greek city of Eretria on the island of Euboea. As a result of some fifty years of research, the city’s monuments, history, and material culture have been unravelled. These were the subject of 22 volumes in the Eretria series, hundreds of scientific articles, several exhibitions as well as many masters theses and doctoral dissertations by scholars from Swiss universities. For many years research was primarily focused on the intra-muros settlement. More recently, a growing interest in the wider setting of the ancient city has yielded significant results. The polis of Eretria extended far beyond its fortification walls, with a territory estimated as one of the largest during Classical Antiquity. The civic organization of this territory and the exploitation of its resources have been the subject of in-depth historical and archaeological studies (Knoepfler 1997, Fachard 2012). The territory comprised hundreds of demes, farms, fortified sites and places of worship. Among the latter, the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia situated at Amarynthos, at a short distance east of Eretria, housed the most revered goddess of the Euboean people. Some of the city’s most important decrees engraved on stone were exhibited at the sanctuary, where the state treasury was also kept. Last but not least, the most prestigious festival of the Eretrians, the Artemisia, took place there and was attended by citizens from the four poleis of Euboea and beyond. Although the sites of most Greek sanctuaries of regional importance have been located and excavated from the 19th c. onwards, the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia at Amarynthos is a remarkable exception. Thanks to the enduring research of Denis Knoepfler, Professor at the Collège de France, a project directed by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (ESAG) has been underway since 2004 to locate the sanctuary. Field surveys, geophysical prospection, geological boreholes and archaeological excavations have already brought to light a complex of several monumental buildings pointing towards the precise location of the Artemision at the foot of the Palaeoekklisies Hill. The present project aims at excavating the sanctuary of Artemis in order to study and understand the ritual practices carried out in this “lieu de mémoire” where the collective identity of the Eretrian people was shaped and reaffirmed over several centuries. The research will involve fieldwork consisting of archaeological survey and excavation, geophysical prospection, and geological coring. Post-excavation analysis will be conducted in museum and laboratory. We intend to establish a plan of the sanctuary showing its limits and interior layout. In addition, we will explore the chronological development of the site, in particular the period of time extending from the Helladic settlement to the Hellenistic period when the Artemision functioned as the most important religious centre of the island. The importance of the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia for the history of Eretria and Euboea cannot be overemphasised. Although the Artemision was located outside the town walls, it was at the core of the polis. As such, it must be studied in relation to the city’s most prominent places, such as the Sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros for the early phases and with the Gymnasium for the latest. A comparative analysis of the material culture/artefacts retrieved from both sites should prove most useful for archaeologists and historians of religion. The present project will thus bring together specialists and collaborators of the Swiss School in an extensive cross-fertilization of research between both sites.
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