posted on Apr, 28 2003 @ 07:35 PM
On one of the least developed Cycladic islands, archaeologists have hit on one of the most coveted prizes of Greek archaeology — the unplundered inner
sanctum of an ancient temple replete with offerings in precious metals and luxurious pottery items.
The sanctum, called adyton by the ancient Greeks, was forbidden to all but the priests of the temple and contained sacred statues of the divinity as
well as offerings brought by worshippers. These could include precious jewels, gifts donated by dignitaries to enhance their own prestige and spoils
A team led by University of Thessaly Associate Professor of archaeology Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian discovered the treasure chamber in a ruined temple
of a female divinity at Vriokastro on Kythnos, on the western fringe of the archipelago.
The opulence is impressive: finds which, dated mostly from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC — thus defining the life span of the temple —
included 70 golden artifacts, 150 in silver, 450 in bronze, 70 terracotta figurines, 50 intact and many smashed vases. The majority of the pottery was
painted, and some pieces have been linked to master painters.