Archaeologists Unearth a Building in the Valley of the Temples

Archaeologists Identified a New, Previously Unknown Building in Sicily's Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Italy.

Mar 20, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Archaeologists, Temple of Concordia
Italy, Sicily, Agrigento, Valley of the Temples, Temple of Concordia. Via Wikipedia.


Archaeologists recently unearthed a new, until recently unknown building. This archaeology team located the structure at Sicily‘s Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Italy, according to a new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. The edifice could have been used in religious ceremonies in the historic town.


What Metods Did the Archaeologists Use in the Excavation?

Temple of Concordia – Agrigento, Italy. Via Wikipedia.


Established as a Greek colony known as Akragas circa 580 BCE, the Valley of the Temples is now one of the area’s most prised monuments. Also, this structure is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. Despite suffering destruction by the Carthaginians in 406 BCE, it eventually flourished under Roman administration. The first excavations of the old city took place in the nineteenth century.


The activities persisted throughout the twentieth century. However, it has not been fully investigated. Archaeology researchers discovered the structure underneath the soil by utilising geophysical surveying methods over a 32,292 square foot region. Overall, this metod generated a map of suspected subsurface relics. Based on size and shape, these oddballs appeared to be subterranean constructions.


View of the Temple of Concord at Agrigentum by Charles Gore (1777)


During an exploratory dig, the excavation team uncovered a massive limestone block fortification. They also discovered remains of a residential kiln from different historical period. The archaeology team that did the excavation was very much thrilled about their discovery.

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Dedicated to Greek Gods

A View at Girgenti in Sicily with the Temple of Concord and Juno by Charles Lock Eastlake (c. 1818)


“We are thrilled at the prospect of discovering a hitherto unknown monument in a crucial part of the city, possibly related to the nearby sanctuary”, Sebastiano Imposa, an associate professor of applied geophysics at the University of Catania and a member of the research team.


“This could give us a better understanding of the city’s religious topography and help us determine the different phases of construction that took place in this area—located between a sacred sector and a residential district”- Though the function and date of the building remains unclear, it maybe have been part of a larger structure. The team should learn more as excavations continue next April.


Temple of Concord at Girgenti, a wood engraved print (c. 1885)


Despite its name, the Valley of the Temples is not actually located in a valley. It’s on a ridge overlooking the modern city of Agrigento, Sicily. It is also one of the largest archaeological sites in the world, covering an area of approximately 1,300 hectares. The temples located here were dedicated to many Greek gods and goddesses, such as Zeus, Hera and Hercules.

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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.