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Sounion Revisited: The Sanctuaries of Poseidon and Athena at Sounion in Attica

Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis
Bibliographical reference

Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis, Sounion Revisited: The Sanctuaries of Poseidon and Athena at Sounion in Attica. Pp. xii + 334, figs. 62, tab. 1. Archaeopress, Oxford 2015 [ISBN 9781784911546 or ISBN 9781784911553 (EPublication)].


This book is the first to be published from a wider research project, still in progress, about the sanctuaries of Poseidon and Athena on the promontory of Sounion.

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Full text

Fig. 1: Book cover with lead miniature kouros, recovered from the artificial fill in the sanctuary of Athena Sounias; Athens, National Museum, inv. no. 14930.20Full size image
Credits: Elias Eliades

1The aim of this volume is to present, for the first time, a comprehensive examination and interpretation of a wide selection of unpublished small finds from the sanctuaries of Poseidon and Athena at Sounion. These finds, of different categories and materials, were discovered in the bothroi (pit-deposits) and the landfills of the two sanctuaries. A diverse assemblage of 177 terracotta objects, consisting of male, female, and animal figurines, protomai, and painted and relief plaques, form the majority of the finds. These are systematically studied in order to reveal information about the early cults at both sanctuaries at Sounion. In Chapter 3, which deals with the stylistic analysis and interpretation of the finds, the illustrations, some in color, are integrated with the relevant text for easier reference. A detailed catalogue of 261 entries comprising 274 objects complements the discussion. In addition, an appendix of 183 select examples of small-scale pottery is presented chronologically, according to origin, shape, and iconography.

2The limited archaeological data concerning the excavations of the sanctuaries by Valerios Stais during the years 1897–1915 are re-evaluated; these excavations still remain the only extensive exploration undertaken to date. The author then revisits the two sanctuaries, reviewing the structures within them in order to cast light on the early phases of their establishment, their development, and their significance for the socio-economic growth of south-east Attica. This is attempted by drawing upon the evidence of both archaeological data and literary sources. This research thus provides insight into the early cults, with emphasis on the identity of the deities worshipped at Sounion from the late Geometric to the dawn of the Classical period.

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Electronic reference

Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis, Sounion Revisited: The Sanctuaries of Poseidon and Athena at Sounion in AtticaLes Carnets de l’ACoSt [Online], 14 | 2016, Online since 15 April 2016, connection on 02 October 2022. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Zetta Theodoropoulou Polychroniadis

Chair of the Greek Archaeological Committee UK

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Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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