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Research Centre for Religious Studies Research Centres CRASIS

Ancient World Seminar: Michael Kerschner (Leiden University/ Austrian Academy of Sciences), "The Artemision of Ephesos in the Geometric and Archaic periods: When and how did the sanctuary gain supra-regional importance?"

When:Tu 21-06-2022 16:15 - 17:30
Where:1315.0043; Online


The Artemision of Ephesos had become one of the most important sanctuaries of the Greek world by the Hellenistic period, when the huge temple of the goddess was counted among the “Seven Wonders of the World”. Achieving this position, however, was a long process which will be analysed in the present lecture.

The beginnings of the cult can be traced back to the Early Iron Age, when the sanctuary was a small sacred precinct without any architecture. The main aspect of ritual was common consumption of food and drink. Votives were rare and modest, and this did not change much in the Late Geometric period, in contrast to the Heraeum on the neighbouring island of Samos.

In the course of the 7th century BC, however, the Ephesian Artemision saw a fulminant advancement. In the second quarter of the 7th century a first stone temple was built, one of the earliest in the Aegean with peripteral ground plan. The wealth of the votives increased considerably from the mid-seventh century onwards, and there are clear indications that this rise is related to the investment of the Mermnad kings from neighbouring Lydia. Croesus, the last member of this dynasty, donated considerably to the first marble dipteros, the splendour and size of which established the fame of the sanctuary.

About the speaker

Michael Kerschner holds degrees in Classical Archaeology, Art History, and Ancient History from the universities of Salzburg and Bochum. From 1995 to 2000, he was a project member at the OeAI. From 2000 to 2002, he was a scientific assistant at the University of Münster. 2009 habilitation at the University of Salzburg. Since 2002, he has been a scientific employee and library officer of the OeAI.

His research focuses on early Greek cult and sanctuaries, in particular on the Artemision of Ephesos, on culture and identity of Ionia and Lydia as well as archaeometric analyses on the ceramic production of the eastern Aegean, Euboea, and northern Peloponnese.