Archaeologists Found Poseidon’s Temple Through Ancient Historian Strabo

Archaeologists Found Poseidon's Temple, recorded by Greek Historian Strabo in Southern Greece.

Oct 13, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Poseidon's Temple
A team of Austrian and Greek archaeologists working in Southern Greece discover the temple of Poseidon recorded by Strabo. (Photo by Valerie Gache/AFP via Getty Images)


Archaeologists believe they found Poseidon‘s Temple, while excavating in Southern Greece.  Strabo’s Geographica holds the information about Poseidon’s Temple. In Geographica, Strabo describes the sanctuary as a critical center of religious and ethnic identity for the neighboring states.


Poseidon’s Temple Shows the Importance of Ancient Cities

Poseidon's Temple discovered
Poseidon. National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Via Wikipedia


Poseidon‘s Temple location stands on the acropolis of the ancient city of Samikon. The city is also known as Samicum. Strabo mentioned the sanctuary somewhere during the Greek Archaic period of 700 to 480 B.C.E. Strabo in his work speaks about Poseidon’s Temple as a very important critical center for that period.


“The people of Macistum used to have charge over it,” Strabo wrote, “and it was they, too, who used to proclaim the armistice-day called Samian. But all the Triphylians contribute to the maintenance of the temple.”


Samicum, Poseidons Temple
Remains of the walls of the ancient city of Samicum,
Via Wikipedia Commons


This excavation is a result of collaboration between Greek archaeologists (the Ephorate of Antiquities of Elis) and Austrian (Athens branch of the Austrian Archaeological Institute). The AAI first tried to conduct preliminary geoarchaeological and geophysical surveys of the area in 2017, 2018 and 2021.

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The survey shows the discovery of a 31 foot wide building with “carefully set walls”. “The elongated large building can be nothing other than an archaic temple located on the site of the sanctuary of Poseidon, perhaps even dedicated to the god himself”, says the post.


Fragments of a laconic roof and a marble perirrhanterion, confirm the building dates to the Archaic period. In its Facebook post, the AAI noted that the discovery allows for “new perspectives on the political and economic importance of the amphictyony of the Triphylian cities in the sixth century B.C.E.”


Who Is Poseidon?

Cape Sounio – The Temple of Poseidon
Cape Sounio – The Temple of Poseidon


Poseidon represents a Greek god of the sea, earthquakes and horses. He is a son of the Titan Cronus and the fertility goddess Rhea. According to mythology, Poseidon wielded a trident created by the three Cyclopes.


Because he is a god of earthquakes, many temples dedicated to him are located on land. But sometimes people would also build atop pools or streams. Finally, at the Poseidon’s Temple, the archaeologists found a pronaos (classic Greek temple).


The pronaos includes two rooms, which contain a dense layer of tiles, a marble basin associated with cults and fragments of the Archaic period’s roof.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.