site of Amyklaion
flourished in almost all the periods of the prehistoric
era. From the Archaic until the Roman period it was the second in importance political
and religious centre of Sparta. The most important Spartan festival, the Hyakinthia,
which took place at Amyklaion, symbolises the political reconciliation of Doric
Sparta (Apollo) with the Achaian population of Amyklai (Hyakinthos).
The sanctuary was excavated in 1890 by the Greek archaeologist Chr.
Tsountas. Later, excavations were carried out by A. Furtwaengler and the architect
E. Fiechter (1904), by A. Skias and E. Fiechter (1907), and by E. Buschor with
W. von Massov (1925). Many architectural parts from the "Throne" of Bathykles
were recognised and published by Prof. A. Delivorrias, in 1968.
The most important monuments on the hill of Hagia Kyriake at Amyklai
The Acropolis of Amyklai and the Temenos of the Sanctuary of Apollo and
Hyakinthos. Preserved at the site are the retaining wall, circuit walls and traces
of foundations dating to various periods, and a circular altar.
The Throne of Apollo Amyklaios. Stoa-like building or altar, which surrounded
on three sides the colossal column-shaped statue of the god. It was decorated
with relief representations and plastic compositions. The tomb-altar of the local
god or hero Hyakinthos was used as the pedestal of the statue. Architectural parts
of a composite style, both Doric and Ionic, are exhibited in the Sparta Museum.
It is an exquisite work of Bathykles, an artist from Magnesia
of Asia Minor, dated to the Archaic period.