Sunday, August 21, 2011

The sanctuary of Hecate at Lagina

Lagina is an interesting Carian site. It had a Hellenistic temple with a 'short' plan like the ones at Labraunda and Priene, which shows it was an old Carian religious site probably with a Hecatomnid temple. The altar of Hecate in front of her temple was found a long time ago, and now archaeologists have announced they've found the monumental house of her priests, which at some point according to inscriptions on the walls, was inhabited by the high priest named Menestes:

A house unearthed in ancient city of Turkey's Mugla | General | World Bulletin
(the date is a typo in the English story, they mean 2,200 years old)


Archaeologists also found this little bronze depiction of Hecate at Lagina, the first found at the site. Although we tend to associate the many "breasts" with Artemis at Ephesus, it was also a feature of many Carian deities such as Zeus of Labraunda - and clearly Hecate of Lagina.

The breasted Artemis may have evolved out of the goddess assimilating local cults with this feature, as a syncretism, and there was certainly a cult of Hecate within the sanctuary of Artemis of Ephesus (Strabo Geographia 14.1.23). The heavy rope around the neck of the Artemis Ephesia, mentioned in ancient sources (see Eustathius etc JSTOR) and depicted on her statues, is also visible on this miniature Hecate. According to several ancient accounts Ephesus was founded by Carians (Pausanias 7.2.7;)

For new statue see: Ay Tanrı�ası bulundu - Arkeoloji- ntvmsnbc.com

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