Javascript must be enabled to continue!

Belonging in/to Lakonia: An archaeohistorical study on the Sanctuary of Apollo at Amyklai and its surroundings

16-04-2024 17:04

The Agia Kyriaki hill 5 km south of Sparta has long been identified with the ancient cult centre of Apollo Amyklaios. The site played a central role in regional conversations. According to the literary sources, the Hyakinthia festival in Amyklai was the prime occasion were Spartans, perioikoi, and also foreigners all came together. Excavations on the hill carried out under the directorship of Professor Stavros Vlizos from the Ionian University of Corfu and the Archaeological Society of Athens run for almost 20 years of uninterrupted investigation, which makes the Amykles Research Project (ARP) one of the archaeological flagship enterprises in the Peloponnese.

The University of Münster has been involved in ARP research activities since 2022 through Sophia Nomicos with an archaeological-geophysical project. In 2023, Hans Beck has joined ARP with a integrated historical-archaeological study component (student participants: Emilia Bachmann, Lukas Duisen, Daniel Hagen, Ann-Kathrin Hönerloh). From 2024, “Beloning in/to Lakonia” complements the work of Stavros Vlizos and his team. GIS components of the project are carried out by Nicola Nenci (Perugia and EXC Fellow at the University of Münster). Indexing of attested settlement and sanctuary sites is done by Aphrodite Vlachou, postdoc at the Chair of Greek History in Münster.

Our project aims at discussing the Amyklaion’s role as a central hub in Lakonia on two distinct but interrelated levels: we seek to understand the relation of the Amyklaion with its immediate surroundings; and we examine Amyklai as a node of communications between the Eurotas Valley and the Argolic Gulf via the Parnon area, placing the site in its regional context. Our work includes three packages: 1) archaeological survey work south of the Amyklaion, the area of the presumed settlement; 2) the mapping of archaeological and historical evidence, including view shed analyses to the east of the sanctuary; and 3) the study and interpretation of emerging bodies of evidence, along with data already available. In sum, we wish to understand how modes of belonging emerged in Lakonia and what the role of sanctuaries was in this process. And, we are asking how far the notion of belonging extended, especially in places more remote from the Eurotas Valley. Our approach deliberately deviates from the thematic priorities in the body of surviving literary sources, enriching the study with perspectives of the lived experience in eastern Lakonia.

The 2024 field campaign runs from July 22 to August 18. It includes non-intensive and intensive as well as geophysical work components in the survey area indicated above. Student participants: Lukas Duisen, Daniel Hagen, Emilia Bachmann, Ann-Kathrin Honerloh, Kim Renzel, and Tim Luca-Landsmann

See also at:

Main image: 
Aerial view of the Amyklaion Sanctuary looking to the northwest. 
© Amykles Research project

Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter Supporter
© 2019 - AMYKLAION