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Model of sanctuary, from E

View into cistern at NE corner of terrace, interior wall, Aegina, Sanctuar...

View of coast and sea to the S of the sanctuary, Aegina, Sanctuary, Temple...

Front of temple from E, Aegina, Sanctuary of Aphaia, Temple of Aphaia

Landscape view toward sea and S from sanctuary, Aegina, Sanctuary, Temple ...

Plan, ca. 600 BC, Aegina, Sanctuary of Aphaia

Summary: A small, remote sanctuary of the goddess Aphaia.
Type: Sanctuary
Region: Saronic Gulf






The site is located on a forested hill at the NE corner of the island with a vista over the Saronic Gulf. The remains consist of a temenos wall with propylon, living quarters for priests, altar, and temple of Aphaia.


Although Mycenaean ex-voto offerings and traces of Geometric structures have been found on the site, the earliest definite indication of cult activity dates to the 7th century B.C. At this time, when the Aegina Thalossocracy developed, a small altar and perhaps a structure to house the cult image of Aphaia were enclosed in a sacred temenos.

In the 6th century the first temple of Aphaia was constructed and a 2nd altar was set up between the temple and the original altar. A southern gateway or propylon was also added to the temenos.

During the third and final major building phase, early in the 5th century, a new and larger temple was constructed with a slightly different orientation. The area of the sacred precinct was tripled in size and a ramp was built from the temple to the altar, which was also enlarged. A new propylon was also added and priests' quarters were built to the S in an adjoining enclosure.


Temple sculptures from pediments and entablature taken to Munich in 1811. Bavarian excavations in 1901-03 under A. Furtwängler.

Sources Used:

Rossiter 1977, 222; PECS, 19

Other Bibliography:

A. Furtwängler, Aegina, das Heiligtum der Aphaia (1906). R. Carpenter, Greek Sculpture (1960) 115ff. B. Conticello, EAA (1960) 246ff. G. Grüben, "Die Sfinx-Saule von Aigina," AM 80 (1965) 170ff. A. Invernizzi, I frontoni del tempio di Aphaia ad Egina (1965). B. Ridgway, The Severe Style in Greek Sculpture (1970). Cockerell, The Temples of Jupiter Panhellenius at Aegina... (1860 London). Inscriptions: JHS 6 (1885)143ff, 340ff. Sketches: JHS, 29 (1909) 53ff. B. Stais, Prakt (1894) 20ff (Stais excav.). Furtwängler excav. in Sitzungber. d. Bayer, Akad. (1901) 363ff. and final report is Furtwängler, Thiersch and Fiechter, Aegina, das Heiligtum der Aphaia, 2 vols. (1906 Munich). For work by Orlandos, 1951-53 and Ohly work,1966-69 see: AA (1966) 515ff; (1970) 48ff; (1971) 505ff.