The Sanctuary of Zeus Ammon and Dionysus

The Sanctuary of Zeus Ammon is one of the most important temples in Halkidiki. The Sanctuary of Dionysus was founded in the second half of the 8th century B.C. by Euboean who settled in Afitis and was worshiped with the Nymphs in the cave beneath the rock on the southwest side of the site. The sanctuary of the Egyptian god Zeus Ammon was built at a small plateau on the northern side of the site.



In the late 5th c. B.C. an altar was constructed, but later, during the second half of the 4th century, a peripteros temple of Doric order with stone entablature (superstructure) was built next to the altar. In the late 3rd or early 2nd century it was replaced with another one made of marble, while the roof was decorated with embossed and colored clay tiles. The restoration of its design is possible based on the architectural parts found dispersed.



The sanctuary was retrofitted during the Roman period (1st-2nd c. A.C.) and its material was used to build two terraced constructions (stands) on its short south side and, between them a new small altar was built over the older one. There the devotees would participate in the rites.According to the findings, the Roman period of the temple lasted until the era of the heirs of Constantine the Great, when it must have been destroyed completely.



Part of an Early Christian bath installation (balneae), which was excavated on the southern part of the site, is probably associated with the continuance of worship during the Early Christian centuries and even later, during the Middle Byzantine period.


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