• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Discovery of the temple of Poseidon located at the Kleidi site near Samikon in Greece


Jan 27, 2023

Some 2,000 years in the past, the traditional Greek historian Strabo talked about the presence of an vital shrine on the west coast of the Peloponnese. Archaic temple ruins have lately been found close to Samikon on the Kleidi website, which was apparently as soon as a part of Poseidon’s shrine.

The excavations undertaken within the autumn of 2022 revealed elements of the foundations of a construction that was 9.4 meters extensive and had rigorously positioned partitions with a thickness of 0.8 meters. © Dr. Birgitta Eder/Athens Department of the Austrian Archaeological Institute

The Austrian Archaeological Institute, in collaboration with colleagues from Johannes Gutenberg College Mainz (JGU), Kiel College, and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Elis, found the stays of an early temple-like construction inside the Poseidon sanctuary website, which was presumably devoted to the deity himself. With its drilling and direct push methods, the Mainz-based staff from the JGU Institute of Geography led by Professor Andreas Vött contributed to the investigation.

Distinctive coastal configuration of the Kleidi/Samikon area

The type of the western coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, the area by which the location is situated, may be very distinctive. Alongside the prolonged curve of the Gulf of Kyparissa is a gaggle of three hills of stable rock surrounded by coastal alluvial sediments in an space in any other case dominated by lagoons and coastal swamps.

As a result of this location was simply accessed and safe, a settlement was established right here through the Mycenaean period that continued to flourish for a number of centuries and was in a position to keep contacts to the north and south alongside the coast.

Professor Andreas Vött of Mainz College has been enterprise geoarchaeological surveys of this space since 2018 desiring to make clear how this distinctive scenario developed and the way the coast within the Kleidi/Samikon area has modified over time.

Discovery of the temple of Poseidon located at the Kleidi site near Samikon in Greece 3
The well-known historical sanctuary has lengthy been suspected within the plain beneath the traditional fortress of Samikon, which dominates the panorama from afar on a hilltop north of the lagoon of Kaiafa on the west coast of the Peloponnese. © Dr. Birgitta Eder/Athens Department of the Austrian Archaeological Institute

For this function, he has collaborated in a number of campaigns with Dr. Birgitta Eder, Director of the Athens Department of the Austrian Archaeological Institute, and Dr. Erofili-Iris Kolia of the native monuments safety authority, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Elis.

“The outcomes of our investigations thus far point out that the waves of the open Ionian Sea truly washed up immediately towards the group of hills till the fifth millennium BCE. Thereafter, on the facet dealing with the ocean, an in depth seashore barrier system developed by which a number of lagoons have been remoted from the ocean,” mentioned Vött, who’s a Professor of Geomorphology at JGU.

Nevertheless, proof has been discovered that the area was repeatedly bothered by tsunami occasions in each the prehistoric and historic durations, most lately within the sixth and 14th centuries CE. This tallies with surviving experiences of identified tsunamis that occurred within the years 551 and 1303 CE. “The elevated scenario offered by the hills would have been of elementary significance in antiquity as it will have made it doable to maneuver on dry land alongside the coast to the north and to the south,” Vött identified.

In autumn 2021, geophysicist Dr. Dennis Wilken of Kiel College discovered traces of buildings at a website on the japanese foot of the hill group in an space that had already been recognized as of curiosity following earlier exploration.

After preliminary excavation work beneath the supervision of Dr. Birgitta Eder in autumn 2022, these buildings proved to be the foundations of an historical temple that might effectively be these of the long-sought temple to Poseidon.

“The placement of this uncovered sacred website matches the main points offered by Strabo in his writings,” emphasised Eder, who’s working for the Austrian Archaeological Institute.

An in depth archaeological, geoarchaeological, and geophysical evaluation of the construction is to be performed over the following few years. The researchers hope to determine whether or not it has a particular relationship with a coastal panorama that’s topic to in depth transformation.

Therefore, based mostly on the geomorphological and sedimentary proof of the recurrent tsunami occasions right here, the geomythological facet can also be to be investigated.

It appears doable that this location might have truly been explicitly chosen for the location of the Poseidon temple due to these excessive occurrences. In spite of everything, Poseidon, together with his cult title of Earthshaker, was thought-about by the ancients to be answerable for earthquakes and tsunamis.

Pure Hazard Analysis and Geoarchaeology staff at JGU research the processes of coastal change and excessive wave occasions

For the previous 20 years, the Pure Hazard Analysis and Geoarchaeology group at Mainz College, headed by Professor Andreas Vött, has been inspecting the event of the coast of Greece over the past 11,600 years. They significantly concentrate on the western facet of Greece from the coast of Albania reverse Corfu, the opposite Ionian Islands of the Ambrakian Gulf, the western coast of the Greek mainland right down to the Peloponnese and Crete.

Discovery of the temple of Poseidon located at the Kleidi site near Samikon in Greece 4
In reference to the uncovered fragments of a Laconic roof, the invention of the a part of a marble perirrhanterion, i.e., a ritual water basin, supplies proof for relationship the big constructing to the Greek Archaic interval. © Dr. Birgitta Ede /Athens Department of the Austrian Archaeological Institute

Their work includes figuring out relative sea degree modifications and the corresponding coastal modifications. One other core characteristic of their investigations is the detection of maximum wave occasions of the previous, which within the Mediterranean primarily take the type of tsunamis and the evaluation of their impression on coasts and the communities residing there.

Revolutionary direct push sensing—a brand new approach in geoarchaeology

The JGU staff might posit hypotheses of what modifications occurred alongside the coastlines and all through the terrain based mostly on sediment cores that reveal vertical and horizontal aberrations in depositional layers. The group at the moment has a set of over 2,000 core samples gathered primarily all through Europe.

Moreover, they’ve been investigating the subterranean since 2016 using a singular direct push method. Using hydraulic strain to pressure totally different sensors and gear into the bottom to gather sedimentological, geochemical, and hydraulic data on the subsurface is called direct push sensing. The Institute of Geography at Johannes Gutenberg College Mainz is the one college in Germany with the requisite gear.

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