A Swiss-led team of archaeologists in Greece has made a spectacular find: the temple of Artemis, a famous open-air sanctuary of antiquity.
Researchers have been looking for the sanctuary for more than a century. The site was found at the foot of the Paleoekklisies hill near the small fishing town of Amarynthos on the Greek island of Euboea. It’s about 10km from the place where the temple was wrongly thought to be located.
Since 2007, the search for the sanctuary has been led by Karl Reber, a professor at the Universty of Lausanne and director of the Swiss School of Archaeology in Athens. Researchers found parts of a massive wall dating back to the classical era, which they believe belongs to the stoa or portico built near the temple. Exploratory trenches were opened in Amarynthos in 2012, and the Swiss team brought to light a bigger part of the building.
Now, after also finding artefacts with inscriptions, they are sure that they have located the site of the Artemis Amarynthia, which was the end point of the annual procession of people from the once prosperous trading city of Eretrea, 10km away. They held a festival in honour of Artemis, the untameable goddess of hunting in Greek mythology. She was worshipped as the patron goddess of Amarynthos, which takes its name from an Eretrean man who was besotted by Artemis.