The temple is located at the foot of the Gardiki hill. On the top of the same
hill is preserved a walled acropolis
which is probably identified with the ancient city of Passaron, the capital of the Molossoi.
The temple was built at the end of the 4th century B.C. In 167 B.C. it was destroyed
by Aemilius Paulus, but was repaired and remained in use in the Roman period.
The site was abandoned, unknown exactly when, and was later used as a cemetery.
The site was discovered in 1914 by D. Evangelides, Curator of Antiquities,
who was also the first to excavate it in 1935. Later, in 1952, a second excavation
campaign was conducted by S. Dakaris.
The temple (measuring 19.30 x 11 m.) is peripteral in Ionic order,
with a pronaos and cella. It is preserved up to the crepis and the euthenteria,
and in the area around it many parts of the Ionic columns were found. According
to the excavator, the pteron consisted of 6 x 11 columns, while the structure
of the pronaos shows that it was prostyle with four columns.
This temple was probably the official sanctuary of the Molossoi, where
the god of war, Areios Zeus, was worshipped. To this conclusion point the offering
of decrees of foreign cities as well as the dedication to the sanctuary of a Roman