Remaining section of S stylobate of Old Temple and surrounding paving ston...

East end of North Stoa, from NW and above, Argive Heraion

South section of West Peristyle Building, from W, Argive Heraion

West section of West Peristyle Building, from N, Argive Heraion

Arched doorway leading to room in back of North Stoa, from S, Argive Herai...

Overall view of New Temple, from NE, Argive Heraion

Summary: The main sanctuary to Hera in the Argive territory.
Type: Sanctuary
Region: Argolid








The Heraion is located approximately equidistant from Argos and Mycenae, in an area referred to by Pausanias as Prosymna. The sanctuary occupies 3 artificial terraces below Mt. Euboea and has a commanding view of the Argive plain. The upper terrace, supported by a retaining wall of possible late Geometric date, is a level paved area occupied by the Old Temple and an altar. The later, middle terrace supports the New Temple, where a chryselephantine statue of Hera by Polykleitos was housed. Other structures located on this terrace included one of the earliest examples of a building with a peristyle court, which may have served as a banquet hall. On the lowest terrace is a stoa and an Archaic step-like retaining wall. To the W are Roman baths and palaestra.


Although tradition states that Agamemnon was elected at the Heraion to lead the Trojan expedition, the earliest finds at the cult area date to the Geometric period. The sanctuary grew and expended during the Archaic and Classical period and most of the remains (with the exception of the Roman baths and palaestra) date to the 7th through 5th centuries B.C. The sanctuary continued in importance through the Roman period.


Discovered 1831 by T. Gordon. Minor excavations: Gordon (1836), Rangabé and Bursian (1854), Schliemann (1874), Stamatakis (1878) and Caskey and Amandry 1949. Major excavations: American School of Classical Studies; C. Waldstein 1892-1895, C. Blegen 1925-1928.

Sources Used:

Leekley and Noyes 1976, 62-63; PECS, 90; Rossiter 1977, 278-279

Other Bibliography:

C. Waldstein et al., The Argive Heraion. 2 vols. (1902 &1905 Boston & New York); C. W. Blegen, Prosymna: The Helladic Settlement Preceding the Argive Heraion. 2 vols. (1937 Cambridge); J. L. Caskey and P. Amandry , "Investigations at the Heraion of Argos, 1949," Hesperia 21 (1952) 165-221; P. Stamatakis, "Peri tou para to Iraion katharisthentos tafou" AM 3 (1879) 271-286; A. Frickenhaus, "Griechische Banketthäuser" JdI 32 (1917) 121-130; C. W. Blegen, "Post-Mycenaean Deposits in Chamber Tombs," ArchEph 100 (1937) 1:377-390; Blegen, "Prosymna: Remains of Post-Mycenaean Date," AJA 42 (1939) 410-444; S. D. Markman, "Building Models and the Architecture of the Geometric Period," 259-271 in G. Mylonas (ed), Studies Presented to D.M. Robinson (1951). Amandry, "Observations sur les monuments de l'Héraion d'Argos," Hesperia 21 (1952) 222-274. G. Roux, L'architecture de l'Argolide aux IVe et IIIe siècles avant J.-C. (1961) 57-65. J.J. Coulton, "The Columns and Roof of the South Stoa at the Argive Heraion," BSA 68 (1973) 65-85. S.G. Miller, "The Date of the West Building at the Argive Heraion," AJA 77 (1973) 9-18. H. Lauter, "Zur frühklassischen Neuplanung des Heraions von Argos," Ath Mitt 88 (1973).