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Sanctuary of Artemis Prosioas

 

One of the important shrines of Evia, which linked the story with the battle of Artemisium, is that of Artemis Prosioas. Located on the low hill of St. George in Pefki, immediately south of the road leading from the villages of Velar Artemisium and Chalcis. According to ancient sources the temple was near the beach, where were the Greek ships (Herodotus, Histories, G 176 / Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Themistocles, VIII / Plutarch, On the tumor Herodotus, 34). According to Plutarch's description of the sanctuary had a small temple in a grove, and several votive columns were staged outdoors. One of those columns and the trophy was dedicated to the goddess of the Athenians after the war.   From the descriptions of ancient sources suggest that the temple existed at the time of the battle of Artemisium in 480 BC When was the temple is unknown, as is also unknown and the course of time. From two inscriptions draw inferences about the history and the cult of the goddess. The first store in the Epigraphical Museum, dates from the second half of the second century. or early first century. BC and the names of those who helped rebuild the temple and the dedication of a statue. It is known however, if the statue was replaced by someone older. The money collected at the time was 8125 drachmas, very large amount for the size of the sanctuary, although it is an indication of the wide extent and richness of the work. A copy of this inscription is kept in the Archaeological Collection Oreos are likely to have been erected in the Civic Center area, the Oreos. The second inscription found in the temple and dates back to 4th or 3rd century. BC refers to the pyrrhic dance. The goddess Artemis is named in honor of agroterakai was a pyrrhic dance. It is possible to dance performed by young people in the region to commemorate the battle and thus is the worship of this goddess. Finally when considering the inscription of a herm, located in the Archaeological Collection Oreos and dating to the mid 5th century. BC, argued that the column was devoted to the sanctuary of the goddess from Kefalos, son of the ruler, and was placed at the entrance of the sanctuary. The Temple of Artemis to be destroyed by fire shortly after AD 569, as shown by finding a tessarakontanoummiou, the currency of the emperor Justin B.   The brief excavations revealed a large building of Roman or early Byzantine times. Its dimensions are 30 x 13 meters and occupies the entire top of the hill. From the ancient temple were found a few architectural and part of the fragment. The excavator assumed, taking into account the description of Plutarch, that the temple of Artemis must have been Doric measuring approximately 6,50 x 13 m should be considered that had two columns on the facade between the extensions of the long walls. From the temple were still parts of clay sima with painted decoration and antefixes classical and Hellenistic period. Inside the temple was the cult of the goddess Aglaia. The excavator also mentions the discovery of white marble sculpture, part of 0.45 m from the trunk clothed female statue, part of a column depicting gorgoneia, and part column depicting two female figures (an enthroned and an Suppliants). Apart from the inscription of Artemisium all other findings are now no longer lost.   The discovery in the late 19th century. the sign of Artemisium on the hill of St. George in Pefki led the German archaeologist G. Lolling to start excavation in the area to reveal the sacred. The excavation began in 1883 and lasted only 7 days. The results were particularly significant, however, and led to the discovery of the temple of Artemis Prosioas. In 1910 he built the chapel of St. George and later settled in the cemetery of the modern village of pine, indicating that the excavation of Lolling had forgotten.
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