Overview of temple, looking NNW, Metapontum, Tavole Palatine

Overview of E front of temple, looking W, closer, Metapontum, Tavole Palat...

Overview of temple, looking WNW, Metapontum, Tavole Palatine

Distant view of temple looking NNW from road, Metapontum, Tavole Palatine

View from temple looking NW over fields, Metapontum, Tavole Palatine

Overview of temple, looking NE, Metapontum, Tavole Palatine

Context: Metapontum
Type: Temple
Summary: Extramural sanctuary, located ca. 3 km. outside the site, on the right bank of the Bradano River.
Date: ca. 520 BC

Overall dimensions 18.46 m. x 35.69 m. Dimensions of stylobate 16.06 m. x 33.30 m. (proportions of approximately 1:2). Lower column diameter 1.06 m. Upper column diameter 0.785 m. Height of columns (including capitals) 5.21 m. Interaxial intercolumniation 2.96 m. Intercolumniation at flanks 2.90 - 2.94 m. Overall dimensions of cella building: 23.82 m. x 8.20 m. (external dimensions). Pronaos 3.45 m. x 5.67 m. Naos 10.30 x 5.67 m. Adyton 4.00 m. x 5.67 m.

Region: Lucania
Period: Archaic

Architectural Order:



In plan, the temple is peripteral with 6 x 12 columns surrounding a cella building containing pronaos, naos and adyton, with no propteron. The plan is viewed as representing a reaction against the overly long proportions of the Temple of Apollo at Metapontum. A notable feature of the plan is the extremely wide intercolumniation, which is nearly equal at flanks and sides.

Date Description:

The temple is dated to ca. 520 B.C. due to the style and profile of the column capitals, and the date of the ceramic and terracotta votive objects from the votive deposit inside the cella.


The temple was built in one major building phase, in ca. 520-510 B.C. As is the case with other temples at the site, the roof of the temple was restored at a later date; terracotta architectural fragments dating to the mid-fifth century B.C. were found.

Other Notes:

The temple was dedicated to Hera, as indicated by the votive deposits, but has long been referred to in the scholarship as Tavole Palatine, or Knights' Tables. That the area was a religious sanctuary before the construction of the temple itself in the late sixth century B.C. is suggested by the discovery of a quantity of ceramics and votive objects dating to the mid-seventh century B.C. The altar, located ca. 25 m. east of the temple and measuring ca. 4.00 m. x 3.00 m. is viewed by some as earlier than the temple itself, due to its modest scale and relative distance from the temple. If, in fact, the altar predates the temple, this may suggest that an older temple than the one preserved once stood on the site. Furthermore, the temple was probably surrounded by a number of smaller religious structures, or oikoi; a number of terracotta antefixes decorated with Gorgoneia were discovered; their scale is too small to belong to the temple itself.

Other Bibliography:

Koldewey and Puchstein 1899, 35-37, pl. 5; Galli 1926, 63-72; Nenci 1966, 128-131; Adamesteanu 1974, 54-55; LoPorto 1981a, 25-44; Mertens 1985, 660.