2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon

Important progress has been made within the restoration of the Archaic temple and the refectory of the Apollo Sanctuary on Despotikon, that are nearing their completion, with the monument having now regained a big a part of its unique peak and dominating the world. As early as November 2019, the scaffolding had been faraway from the refectory’s colonnade after being utterly restored. This yr, work was finished on the temple’s north and west partitions, with an addition of recent and historical buildings, on the wall of the doorways of the temple chambers and the thresholds, on the temple and refectory pilasters and the temple and refectory column drums. Lastly, an vital step was achieved by inserting and adapting to the temple cornice 5 historical triglyphs, two historical and two new metopes.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Aerial {photograph} of the sanctuary’s south facet. Beneath proper the newly found Constructing Ψ
could be seen which can probably be a cistern [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Regardless of the tough situations, owing to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,the systematic excavation of  the Apollo sanctuary on Despotikon and Tsimintiri was performed once more this yr by the Cyclades Ephorate below Dr Yiannos Kouragios (Cyclades Ephorates), in collaboration with archaeologists Ilias Daifas and Alexandra Alexandridou (assistant professor on the College of Ioannina), and the participation of a small variety of college students from Ioannina College. The work lasted 4 weeks (June 22-July 17, 2020), whereas for one month (June 5-July 4, 2020) restoration works had been additionally performed within the temple and refectory of the Apollo Sanctuary.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Aerial {photograph} of the southeastern a part of Tsimintiri, with the buildings discovered to this point
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

A big rectangular constructing (8.65 x 8.50 m) was positioned on Despotikon, a brief distance west of a sheepfold, within the southernmost a part of the location explored up to now. It had been severely broken and the  partitions on its inside had collapsed.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Excavation of Constructing Ατ on Tsimintiri, seen from the North West
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Nonetheless, primarily based on the surviving architectural stays, no less than two architectural phases could be distinguished. Within the earlier section it had an nearly sq. plan and was fashioned by 4 partitions based on pure rock. Within the second section, a Π formed addition in portico type was constructed on the north facet.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
xcavation of Buildings Βτ και Γτ on Tsimintiri, seen from the North
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

The robust development of its partitions with foundations as deep as 1.85 m, the invention of mortar and a small quantity of finds inside it are robust indications of this constructing being a cistern , which when deserted was step by step “stuffed up” with stones, soil and different transportable supplies.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Excavation of Constructing Γτ on Tsimintiri, seen from the North East
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Though the development of the partitions proves that the constructing was erected in Archaic occasions, the invention of ceramics from completely different eras factors to its use over a protracted time period , maybe way back to Late Antiquity. Lastly, a robust wall was positioned within the japanese a part of the location,11 m lengthy, 0.60 m vast and 0.65 m excessive, which was not excavated because of lack of time. At a distance of two.5 m, the marble base of a votive column was unearthed.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Aerial {photograph} of Constructing Ετ and the round construction on Tsimintiri
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

A lot of the 2020 excavation interval was centered on researching the islet of Tsimintiri, which in antiquity was joined to Despotikon by an isthmus and was a part of the  in depth satellite tv for pc set up for the cult of the Apollo Sanctuary. On the finish of this yr’s 2 weeks analysis, eight buildings had been positioned that take up the island’s south and east facet and face the sheltered harbour and the sanctuary reverse.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
Aerial {photograph} of Buildings Ετ, Γτ and Δτ [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

The Constructing Ατ is the westernmost of all these positioned. It’s elongated, constructed on a steep slope with a North-South orientation and includes three areas. A brief distance from it, two extra buildings had been positioned however not excavated; Ht which includes no less than two areas and Constructing Θτ.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
The Archaic temple and the sanctuary refectory after completion of restoration works
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Constructing Βτ is the biggest ever to have been discovered and the primary to be encountered when approaching the island from the south. It consists of no less than 5 areas, in one among which a lot of ceramic utensils and fragments of jars with aid ornament had been found. The findings from the constructing, amongst which many fragments of archaic jars with engraved and embossed ornament, give a time horizon of its use from the seventh to the early fifth century.

2020 excavation findings at Apollo’s island sanctuary on Despotikon
The archaic temple and the sanctuary refectory after completion of restoration works
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Additional north is the elongated Constructing Γτ divided into no less than 4 areas. A brief distance to the west is the just about sq. Constructing Δτ. Subsequent to that is the Constructing Ετ with an oblong flooring plan divided into three areas.Analysis is being continued West of the Constructing Ετ in addition to the cleansing of the Constructing Ζτ which has a round flooring plan with a 16.90 m diameter.

All of the buildings on Tsimintiri have very giant dimensions and are strongly constructed, whereas all of them appear to be structurally associated to one another, making a excessive density of  buildings on the south facet of the islet that in historical occasions would have been the northeastern facet of the sheltered harbour. These had been most likely public buildings associated to the harbour’s operation.Furthermore, Tsimintiri was primarily the isthmus that joined Antiparos with Despotikon, thus making entry to the Sanctuary additionally potential through Antiparos.

Supply: Greek Ministry of Tradition [trsl. Archaeology & Arts, September 05, 2020]

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