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Journal of archaeology and ancient architecture

Tag Archives: santuario

Una testina fittile di Io dal santuario della Madonna dell’Alemanna a Gela

Autore: G. Spagnolo

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Oggetto del contributo è una singolare testina fittile femminile con corna ed orecchie bovine, rinvenuta nel 1951 sulla collinetta della Madonna dell’Alemanna, a Nord della città di Gela. Qui, a seguito della scoperta casuale di una fossa votiva di VII-VI sec. a.C., gli studiosi localizzarono un importante santuario extraurbano della polis greca e lo attribuirono a Demetra soprattutto in virtù della suddetta testina, recuperata al di fuori della fossa, perché ritennero che essa fosse allusiva al legame tra la dea, i bovini e l’agricoltura. In assenza di dati specifici sulla giacitura originaria del pezzo, il presente studio ne fissa la datazione intorno alla metà del V sec. a.C. su base tipologica e stilistica e lo assegna a fabbrica locale. Attraverso poi la disamina di numerose fonti letterarie e iconografiche, la ricerca perviene all’ipotesi che il frammento possa essere pertinente ad una statuetta di aspetto ibrido, insieme umano e animale, che rappresentava Io, la famosa sacerdotessa del santuario di Hera ad Argo, amata da Zeus, trasformata in candida vacca e poi assurta al rango di eroina capostipite della regale stirpe degli Achei. Alla luce di tale identificazione, lo studio affronta il complesso problema del rapporto tra la figura di Io e quella di Hera, divinità di riferimento della sacerdotessa nella sfera del mito, specificamente nell’ambito argivo; ed inoltre, prendendo in esame altri esempi di manufatti di varie provenienze raffiguranti l’eroina, indaga sulla possibilità di eventuali riflessi di tale rapporto nelle attività rituali connesse con il culto della dea. In conclusione, viene dunque avanzata l’ipotesi che sulla collinetta dell’Alemanna esistesse un edificio o uno spazio dedicato a Hera Argiva.

The topic of this paper is a singular female clay head with bovine horns and ears, found in 1951 on the hill of “Madonna dell’Alemanna”, northwards the city of Gela. After the accidental discovery of a votive pit dating back to the 7th-6th cent. BC, scholars located here an important extra-urban sanctuary of the Greek polis and attributed it to Demeter on the basis of the female clay head, found outside the pit, because they considered it allusive to the relationship between the goddess, cattle and agriculture. Without specific data on the stratigraphic context of the artefact, the present study fixes its dating around the middle of the 5th cent. B.C. on a typological and stylistic basis and attributes it to a local workshop. Then, through the examination of numerous literary and iconographic sources, the investigation comes to the hypothesis that the artefact may be pertinent to a hybrid figurine, both human and animal, which represented Io, the famous priestess of the sanctuary of Hera in Argos, loved by Zeus, transformed into a white cow and then arisen to the rank of heroine progenitor of the royal lineage of the Achaeans. Beginning with this identification, the research deals with the problem of the relationship between the character of Io and Hera, the reference deity of the priestess in the sphere of myth, specifically in the Argive context. Furthermore, considering other items from various provenances depicting the heroine, the study investigates the possibility of any influences of this relationship in the ritual activities connected with the worship of the goddess. As a final point, the search formulates the hypothesis that on the Alemanna hill there was a building or a space dedicated to Hera Argiva.

Lo hestiatorion dell’Asklepieion di Kos

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Livadiotti hestiatorion

This paper resumes the text of the IV mimiamb of Herodas, which, set at the Asklepieion of Kos, tells of the visit at the sanctuary of two women and their sacrifice of a cock to the god. In his tale the poet describes the monuments and works of art encountered and admired by the characters, description that has been widely studied and analyzed especially with regard to the altar, with the statues made by the sons of Praxiteles, and the famous paintings on the walls of the pronaos of the temple. So far, however, no scholar has focused on the last verses of the poem, in which, after the sacrifice of the cock, the two women purposed to go and eat their meal in the nearby oikoi. Taking inspiration from the text of Herodas, the article will confirm the destination as a ritual banquet hall of the building immediately to the south of the temple, the so-called “building D”, generally known as abaton; towards it, in fact, the two women may have gone after sacrifice to eat their meal.

Culti primari e secondari nel santuario urbano di Metaponto

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In case of several major temples located inside the same sanctuary, difficulty arises with regard to the identification of the deity each of them was dedicated to. Although archaeological researches traditionally attempt to refer each temple to a different divinity, many examples of sacred buildings dedicated to the same god or goddess and situated in the same sanctuary can be found throughout the Greek world.

Notwithstanding the widespread presence of Hera cult in Achaean colonies, the analysis of the archaeological, epigraphic and philological documentation concerning Metaponto urban sanctuary seems to indicate that, probably, both temple A and B were consecrated to Apollo, as no conclusive element actually proves the presence of the goddess. In this perspective, the sacred area can be regarded as the place where Apollo – whose cult is testified since the beginning by argoi lithoi distributed in the whole temenos – was worshipped as the principal god and the owner of both the two major temples, while different secondary cults were hosted in other edifices of the sanctuary.

Edifici pubblici e pasto rituale in Attica

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This paper was presented at the International Conference Cibo per gli uomini, cibo per gli dei. Archeologia del pasto rituale, Piazza Armerina, 5-8 of May, 2005. This is now an updated version. The article concerns the issues related to ritual meal in Attica, especially by analyzing the function of several buildings showing an array of cases that has not been properly assessed yet. Each case’s specific features lead to the hypothesis that banquet building rooms’ plan and furniture, as well as the overall number of available seats, point to the existence of different usage methods reflecting coherent social and religious structures. Athens, Eleusis and Brauron are taken into account as examples of a functional system that autonomously organizes its own spaces on the basis of social and institutional needs.

The Acropolis of Lindos: the work of redesigning and enhancing the archaeological site

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The project of redesigning and enhancing the archaeological site of the Lindos Acropolis began in 2001, within the context of the restoration works of the monuments carried out by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The most important problems that had to be confronted concerned the visitors pathways through the monument (up to 2500 visitors daily), and the existing difficulty in identifying smaller monuments, like anathimata (offerings to the gods) and inscriptions found scattered all around the place since the time of the excavations.

What became a necessity in order to implement the study was the composition of an accurate designing site plan and the recording of every scattered stone findings (about 2000). This recording enabled the identification of 421 inscribed stones with the list produced by the archaeologists who had excavated the site and also the location and association of more than 113 unpublished sections with architectural and votive monuments of the site.

The goals of the redesigning and enhancing project were the following:

– To optimize the routes the visitors followed and help them recognize the monuments of the site by following specific pathways.

– T o protect and promote the smaller monuments of the archaeological site.

– To protect and highlight the scattered material by classifying it.

The study has been approved by the Hellenic Central Archeological Council (KAS) in 2006 and realized during the period of 2006-2009.

Hestiatoria nella tradizione rituale delle colonie d’Occidente

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This paper was presented at the International Conference Cibo per gli uomini, cibo per gli dei. Archeologia del pasto rituale, Piazza Armerina, 5-8 of May, 2005. This is an updated version.

The ritual collective meal is a widespread practiced aspect in the Greek background and its study concerns not just the exam of ritual practices, in the strict sense of the word, but also architectural structures, intended for the consumption, which were situated within the sanctuaries. In Magna Graecia this tradition finds significant examples, although in different chronological periods, in the extra-urban sanctuary of Aphrodite in Locri, (the so-called “U-shaped Stoà”, in the area of Centocamere, datable around the 6th century) as well as in the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia in Capo Colonna of Crotone (the so-called “H-building”, which dates back to the Hellenistic age). Starting from the examination of these two contexts, the study presents an outline of the documentation pertinent to the ritual meal tradition in Magno-Greek ambits, in order to propose a summing up of the data we have been gathering so far, which might sketch out evidences, reception modalities and possible developments of such a worship-practice in the Greek west.