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The Sanctuary of Apollo

The sanctuary flourished in the late Archaic period (6th century BC), but the earliest traces of worship in the area date back to the geometric period (9th-8th  αι.π.Χ). Despite the absence of written sources for the foundation and operation of the sanctuary, the hitherto known historical and archaeological data support the establishment and management of the city of Paros. The control of such a large extra-urban sanctuary - the largest in the Cyclades after the Panionios sanctuary of Delos - clearly indicates the need of the Parisians for the expansion of their geographical, economic and political domination in the central Aegean. 

The perfect organization of the sanctuary, the architecture of the religious and non-religious buildings and the richness of its votive offerings are indicative of the splendor and scope of a religious center with a super-local scope, in which the most worshiped deity was Apollo, as evidenced by vessels of the 6th and 5th BC.  The cult of Apollo's sister, Arteis, is also possible, since the type of finds is consistent with the worship of both male deities (a number of shavings, manuals, spears, agricultural tools), and women (jewelry, accessories, accessories, accessories, τµήµα γυναικείου αγάλµατος). In the classical period, the goddess Estia was also worshiped in the sanctuary under the surname "Isthia". 

The excavation to date has brought to light eighteen buildings dating from geometric to classical times. The core of the sanctuary developed on the highest and largest plateau of the Mantra peninsula, has an unobstructed view of Antiparos, Paros and Sifnos, and gradually the auxiliary buildings of the sanctuary spread throughout the peninsula, to the port.

Early installation. In the area where in the 6th century BC. the temple was erected and the ritual restaurant had developed the core of the geometric installation. Right in front of the temple and the archaic building D came to light two fragmentary surviving buildings, the O, which dates to the late 9th c. e.g. and has an elliptical plan and the rectangular building X which dates a little later, at the end of the 8th c. e.g. Near the buildings and just below the archaic building D, a variety of animal bones and decorated pottery dating to the geometric and early archaic years (9th -7th BC) were discovered in a layer of burnt soil and are probably associated with the preparation and performing worship meals.  


Archaic sanctuary. The core of the archaic sanctuary was the Mosque that developed in the area of the earliest worship facility. It is bordered by a square floor plan. area of about 2.5 acres. On the west side, oriented to the natural harbor, where ships and the faithful would dock, the temple and the ritual restaurant dominate. In the center of the precinct and just opposite the temple, is the specially built semicircular altar  and just outside the temple is the marble grate of the Isthmia Center. On the north side of the mosque dominates the temple-shaped building D, which probably had a cult character. On the east side of the enclosure, in contact with it, but with independent entrances, are building E and the so-called connecting building. 

In the immediate vicinity of the mosque was discovered the Southern Complex, the buildings M, N, P and the Eastern Complex. East of the wall, on the route that the faithful would follow on their ascent from the port to the sanctuary, buildings B, C, Z, H, K, L, R, S have been excavated, a circular tower and a strong enclosure have been located. 

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