The Artemision of Ephesos from its beginnings to Alexander the Great

The Artemision was the main sanctuary of Ephesos. Through a contextual analysis of all excavations to date, the development of the cult and sanctuary will be studied from its beginnings until the construction of the ›world wonder temple‹. A particular emphasis has been placed on the reconstruction and dating of the early temple and on the electrum coins.

From an urban sanctuary to supraregional importance


The Artemision was the main sanctuary of the polis of Ephesos. In the Archaic period it gained su-praregional importance. This is owed in particular to the commitment of the Lycians whose last King Croesus was the most important benefactor of the first large marble temple (Dipteros 1). The successor building constructed in the late 4th century BCE (Dipteros 2) was considered to be one of the seven world wonders by ancient writers. From this point on Artemis Ephesia was venerated in the entire Mediterranean.

Overview of the contextual study of the excavation results


The research history of the Artemision is complex. Excavations took place in four main stages and with different methods (J. T. Wood 1869/1874, D. G. Hogarth 1904/1905, A. Bammer 1965/1995, S. Ladstätter since 2014). There are a number of preliminary reports and individual studies of varying significance, however, no summarizing presentation of the overall development of the sanctuary and cult has been published. The aim of the project is to comprehensively analyze all results of the excavations and material studies in order to trace the rise of the sanctuary from its humble beginnings in the ›Dark Ages‹ to the construction of the ›world wonder temple‹.

Reconstruction and re-dating of the early temples 


Based on the analysis of the stratigraphy it is now possible to present a well-founded and exact reconstruction of the early temple buildings and associated structures. In contrast to the preliminary reports, the detailed study of the pottery finds yielded a revised chronology for the earliest temple buildings which play a key role within early Greek architecture.

From context to cult


The contextual analysis of the find assemblages has made it possible to reconstruct the cult activities and dedication practices. The bone remains are the primary evidence for the animal sacrifices and the subsequent feasts. Offerings made of gold and electrum play a prominent role in the Archaic Arte-mision. The electrum coins discovered in and around Naos 2 provide crucial evidence for the dating of the beginnings of coin minting.