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It was located 6km southwest of Samos in a marshy, low river basin next to the sea. The Late ancient Heraion of Samos was the earliest huge freestanding Ionic temples. Its predecessors were found even in the Geometric period of eight century BC. The sanctuary belonged wholly to Samos. The development of the sanctuary was inseparably connected to the political history of Samos. The ceramic existence in the sanctuary points to its existence in the Bronze Age of Mycenaean culture. However, nothing much is known about the sanctuary’s early period except a small fieldstone altar. Lygons tree served as the memorial of the cult. The Samians kept the wooden image of Hera in an open shrine with a protective roof.
After Ionian Greeks had migrated to the region in second Millenium, they did not change much for two centuries. In 8th century BC, noteworthy growth in the architecture of the sanctuary took place. The altar obtained a rectangular shape with a southeastern direction. The floor of the sanctuary was paved. To the west, Hekatompedos, the first Hera temple was constructed.
In the 7th Century BC, Samos experienced robust development. It had far-reaching trade relationships that extended to the western Mediterranean in the Near East. The Hekatompedos was rebuilt with large-scale and costly plinths. The Samians renovated and enlarged the altar. They also build the South Wall as a border of temenos. Samians consecrated the foremost extensive sculptures in the sanctuary. In the 6th century, high population of the city and concentration of wealth led to sweeping political change in the city. Tyrannies like Demoteles(600 BC) and Polycrates (538-522 BC) took power. The changes in economic and political powers led to huge architectural remodeling as people tried to represent some of the tyrants (Pomeroy, 2009). Costly metal implements like a splendid ivory youth in a dancing posture, Etruscan Bucchero ceramic vessels, Kouros, ...
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The Greek sanctuaries were not like current churches, synagogues, and mosques, where a small group of people, in most societies goes to worship. Every citizen in Greece visited the Sanctuary. The best Greek architectures and arts were…
Author : schinnerrachell

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