A partially preserved inscription linking Artemis with the ancient town of Amarynthos was found in Paleochoria, Evia, 2 km east of the modern-day town with the same name, the Ministry of Culture said on Monday.
The fragmentary inscription, “… of Artemis in Amarynthos”, was reused in a Roman-era fountain, confirming that the foundations of the building in Paleochoria were related to the sanctuary of the goddess Artemis, first mentioned in Linear B tablets found in the Mycenaean palace of Thebes as “a-ma-ru-to”.
The discovery was made during this season’s excavations of the sanctuary by the Swiss Archaeological School in Greece (director Karl Reber) and the Antiquities Ephorate of Evia (Amarlia Karapaschalidou, honorary ephor). Excavations to locate the sanctuary began in 2006. This year’s dig focused on the Paleochora area where a modern house was razed in 2018 after a University of Thessaloniki geological survey showed remains of ancient buildings next to it.
In an announcement, the Ministry of Culture said the find was “particularly significant, as the remains of the prehistoric settlement excaved in the ’70s and ’80s in the same area by the Greek Archaeological Service was one of the most important sanctuaries of ancient Euboea (Evia).” It added that in recent years excavations have revealed two stoas dating to Hellenistic times, which serve to delineate the sanctuary east and north. “With the discovery of the south wing of the eastern stoa,” the Ministry said, “the sanctuary’s limits on three sides are now known.”
The site lies near a natural harbour. It was inhabited in the prehistoric and Classical periods, until Roman times (3000 B.C.-1st century AD), while during the Byzantine period two churches were built on top of the hill.