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The development of the Artemision

The Artemision of Amarynthos exploration project is since the outset the result of a close collaboration between the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (ESAG) and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea (EAE). The research project, supported by the Swiss National Science Fondation, is placed under the co-responsability of Karl Reber, director of ESAG, and Amalia Karapaschalidou, former director of EAE. Fieldwork is directed by Tobias Krapf, Scientific secretary of ESAG. The scientific direction also associates Denis Knoepfler, former professor at Collège de France and Neuchatel University and instigator of the research project, Thierry Theurillat, Scientific secretary of ESAG, and Sylvian Fachard, former Scientific secretary of ESAG and currently Mellon Professor at ASCSA.

The excavation site at Amarynthos-Palaeoekklisies (2019)

Environment

The Paleoekklisies hill is a coastal eminence that occupies the eastern edge of the Sarandapotamos river drainage basin, probably called the Erasinos in Antiquity.

Thanks to a geoarchaeological project in collaboration with the French CNRS-CEREGE directed by Matthieu Ghilardi, the paleoenvironment of the Artemision can be reconstructed and shows significant change since Antiquity. From the Early Holocene to c. 2,600−2,400 BCE, the area was characterized by a fully marine environment. The latter then developed into a brackish/closed lagoon from the Early Helladic to the Late Geometric period (c. 750 BCE), mostly due to the deltaic progradation of the Sarandapotamos river. From the end of the eighth century BCE onwards, the lagoon was progressively replaced by swamps. The Sanctuary then developed in a constraint environment, in between coastal marshes to the west, a rugged promontory to the east, and the sea shore to the south. Such a landscape is typical of the setting of other sanctuaries of Artemis lying along the Euripus Strait and further south at Brauron, Halai, Aulis and Istiaia.

Amarynthos, reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment

Amarynthos, situation of the sanctuary

 

Further reading

Matthieu Ghilardi et al., Reconstructing mid-to-recent Holocene paleoenvironments in the vicinity of ancient Amarynthos (Euboea, Greece). Geodinamica Acta 25.1-2, 2012, 38-51.

Archaeological plan (2019)

Amarynthos, archaeological plan (2019)