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Artemis in Attica

By Ruth Léger

[Snip] Religion is one of the most characteristic features in the history of mankind. By studying the cults of Artemis in Brauron, Halai Araphenides and Mounichia I would like to take a closer look at some specific examples. For these cults of Attica I would like to study, the excavation reports and the work of F. van den Eijnde, ‘Cult and Society in Early Athens 1000-600 BCE’, are the basis of my research. The work of F. van den Eijnde gives an overview of all cults in Attica from 1000-600 BCE and I therefore will use it as guide for this early period. From there on I would like to get more background information by looking at sources as literature and art to get an overview of the background of the cults and the type of the goddess Artemis that is honoured there. Artemis has different faces, and I think that is very interesting. Her epithets are well known and these are linked with the art and worship of the different cults.

Ancient writers tell us about the basis of the Western-European culture, but that is not
enough to know for sure what it was like. By studying the ancient goddess Artemis and her
cults, and the architecture and art that belongs to these cults it is possible to take a closer look
at the ancient history. In the setting of ancient Brauron, Halai and Mounichia, I learn to look
differently at archaeology and at the role these finds could play in trying to reconstruct
history. It is important to combine the ancient texts and archaeology to get a full picture. By
taking a closer look at the archaeological finds, it is possible to reconstruct life from hundreds
of years ago. The written texts give a context about life in those times and are important too.
They provide us with a little inside information about everyday life and events of a very long
time ago.

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