Archaeologies of the Greek Past - Home
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
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Providence, RI 02912
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Looking at Greek landscape today, it is hard to fathom the development of ancient Greece without sanctuaries. The image of the Parthenon has been embedded into all of our minds; it has become a universal symbol. Sanctuaries in ancient Greece were places where every citizen and family could participate. Art and architecture was a central importance at these sites. They also played an important role in the political sphere, both as principal centers for the state cult or as locations for major panhellenic festivals like the Pythian Games at Delphi or the Olympic Games at Olympia.
At the sites of Olympia and Delphi, archaeological excavations have recovered structures that have been associated with panhellenic festivals, particularly the stadia, which in both cases was located outside of the temenos. At Olympia, there is evidence to suggest that these “festival buildings” were also used for administrative purposes during the festival (particularly the bouleuterion).
Sources: Whitley, James. The Archeology of Ancient Greece. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001.