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The sanctuary of Kavirio was discovered by L. Bernarbo Brea at the
cape Chloe in the distinct of Ifestia and was excavated by the Italian Archaeological
School of Athens between 1937-39. From 1982 onwards the excavations and research
are continued. The sanctuary was protected from land by a long wall at the top
of the hill which protected it from the sight of the uninitiated. The main buildings
of the sanctuary were large halls where the initiations took place in which the
"holy" appeared to the initiators. Their ruins are rescued in two floors, supported
to the steep slope toward the sea by embarkments. In the northern floor the ruins
of a large Hellenistic initiation hall is rescued. The hall of the initiations
with the "shrine" at the far end was divided into three aisles, by two rows of
four ionic columns. In the southern floor the ruins of a smaller hall of initiations
of the 3rd BC century is rescued, built after the distraction of the Hellenistic
hall of initiation. At the far end of the nave are the ruins of a small "chapel"
intended for the "holy". The nave was divided into three aisles by two rows of
five columns and by one portico supported from the sea by a powerful stereobate.
Under the foundations of the next Roman hall of initiations ruins of previous
periods have been discovered until the time of the establishment of the sanctuary
between the 8th and 7th century BC. In this premature phase belongs a substantial
deposit of donations.
To the classical and Hellenistic phase belongs a rich deposit of donations,
small lamps for the night ceremonies, beetles, compasses, ceramics for the holy
symposiums. In the sanctuary pieces of sculptures were found, clay and copper
statues, glass and many offerings, honorary, liberty inscriptions.
The archaic hall of the initiations are in the southern floor and are of
dimensions 6.40 x 13.5 m with desks of semi-roasted bricks along the length of
the wall where those initiated sat. At the far end the most holy site, the shrine,
where the priests entered and the statues of the gods stood. It is the most ancients
known hall of initiations in Greece, older than the Solonian hall of initiations
of Elefsis. It was destroyed probably during the Persian invasion in 512 BC.
The Hellenistic hall of initiations was built at the Northern floor and
it is the first that the visitor sees coning into the archaeological site. Rectangular
with dimensions 33 x 46.1 m are double in relation to the sanctuary of Samothrace
and in the front it had an area with 12 columns. It was divided into three aisles
with two rows and four ionic columns.
This text is cited Jan 2004 from the Limnos Medical Association URL below, which contains image.
- Limnos Medical Association WebPage
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