Excavation of a temple at 'Soros'

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Excavation period 2004

During the autumn of 2004 (from 13/9 until 2/10) the University of Thessaly carried out a series of excavations at the suburban sanctuary of Apollo (?) (ΑΑΑ 7, 1974, 62, fig. 24. AR for 1973/74, 22, fig. 38. BCH 98, 1974, 664, fig. 197-8 ), which is located outside the southern fortification walls of the ancient settlement. In particular, the following work was conducted:


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View of the temple after its cleansing.

Initially the interior of the building was cleaned from the vegetation and all stones that had fallen or been removed were placed back to their original position. The earth fill which covered the stone bench that runs along the three sides of the building was removed. A great accumulation of animal bones were found on to the bench, suggesting the practice of regular feasting in connection with the bench.


The stepped entrance as well as the pronaos were investigated, the latter down to the bed rock. Underneath the floor of the pronaos a few cavities in the rock were identified, some of which may be interpreted as post-holes. A big cavity partly extended underneath the temple's threshold. It contained marine shells which could represent an offering associated with the temple's construction. From the fill underneath the temple's floor a few bronze jewels and a classical clay lamp were collected.

Adjacent areas

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Excavation of Room D.

Excavation was extended to the two rectangular rooms adjacent to the southern long side of the temple. The eastern room (Room C) was fully excavated. An extensive destruction layer consisting of stones and Lakonian roof- tiles was recovered. The NW part of the room had been disturbed at a subsequent period. Nevertheless, a few finds, among which some bronze jewels, were collected. The western room (Room D) was bigger and only half of it was partly excavated. As in Area C, we traced a destruction layer that was extensive. In between the fallen stones four silver coins of the Thessalian League were found (2nd-1st century B.C.); these were probably hidden there by their owner after the abandonment of the sanctuary. Underneath this destructed layer a large amount of finds came to light: among them we may note numerous fragmentary vases and sherds (several belong to storage vessels or household wares), miniature vases, including lamps, fragments of female clay figurines, a few bronze and glass jewels and small artefacts. Front tiles of Laconian type which relief decoration probably derive from the roof of the temple, since they were found along its long side (one type is decorated with a palmette, the other with a horse rider). The material dates for the most part in the Late Archaic to the Late Classical period.

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The team of the 1st 2004 period.

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The team of the 2nd 2004 period.

The excavation will continue in the summer of 2005.

A. Mazarakis Ainian
Professor of Classical Archaeology
Director of the Soros excavation

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