ICS/BSA Lecture: New light on the Early Historical and Archaic Sanctuary of Poseidon Heliconius at Ancient Helike, Achaia: The Results of the 2021 Excavations

This lecture will present the latest finds from excavations at Nikoleika, in the chora of ancient Helike, a city famous for its destruction in 373 BC. After presenting the apsidal temple of the late eighth century BC, as well as the mudbrick altar erected in the first half of the eighth century which laid buried beneath the temple floor, the remains of the Archaic temple, comprising mainly the remnants of a terracotta tiled roof and architectural sculpture, will be presented together with the recently excavated early eighth century BC layer containing an important quantity of fine vases of symposiastic character as well as coarse-ware pottery, both burnt and unburnt, and many bronze finds. What is the function of this layer? How is it connected with the mudbrick altar and the later apsidal temple? The presentation of the past and recent data from this unique sanctuary site will be discussed in order to make clear whether the sanctuary under discussion in Achaia was established and organized according to the common religious code, which existed during the early historical era in the Panhellenic sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi. Furthermore examination of the religious practices that took place in the sanctuary at Nikoleika and of the types of offerings made there will hopefully reveal the donors’ personal status and shed light on the process towards various forms of political development.

Institute of Classical Studies
Dr Anastasia Gadolou, Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sport and Dr Erofili-Iris Kolia, Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia
Event date: 
Tuesday, 30 November 2021 - 5:00pm