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Votive Offering of Figurines Found at the Valley of the Temples, Italy

Votive Offering of Figurines Found at the Valley of the Temples
Archaeologists uncovered votive offerings of figurines at the Valley of the Temples in Italy. Credit: Sicilian Region Institutional Portal

Archaeologists have recently discovered a set of votive offerings of small figurines that were offered as gifts at the Valley of the Temples. This special place is a part of the old city of Agrigentum, which is located in the province of Agrigento, Sicily in Italy.

The ancient Greek historian Thucydides wrote that Agrigentum was built around 582 to 580 BC by Greek settlers from Gela. This was a town in eastern Sicily. More people from the islands of Crete and Rhodes also settled down there.

For more than two decades beginning in 1997, the Valley of the Temples, spanning a vast area of 3,212 acres, has been recognized and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. This place is famous for containing some of the most impressive structures from Ancient Greek civilization.

Among these structures, there are a few noteworthy temples such as: the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestus (also known as Vulcan), and the Temple of Asclepius.

Within the Valley of the Temples, there is another important site known as the “Tomb of Theron.” This is a large monument made of tuff, a type of rock, and it has a shape that resembles a pyramid.

Experts believe that this monument was constructed to honor the Romans who lost their lives during the Second Punic War, reported HeritageDaily.

Discovery of sixty figurines along with bronze fragments

In recent excavations, archaeologists have conducted new digs and discovered more than sixty figurines, along with protomes. Protomes are decorations that look like the head and upper body of either a human or an animal. Female busts, oil lamps, little vases, and pieces of bronze were also found.

A statement posted on the official website of the Sicilian Region says that these discoveries provide insights into what happened when Agrigentum was destroyed in the year 406 BC by the Carthaginians. During that time, people living there had to leave and move towards the city of Gela.

Archaeologists found these artifacts in House VII B, which is a part of the residential area located to the north of the Temple of Juno.

These special objects offered as gifts were found atop of the layers of destruction within the house. This indicates that the people of the city placed these items there after the attack by the Carthaginians, according to HeritageDaily.

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