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Prytaneion

Known as a place of worship dedicated to Artemis Boulaea, the Prytaneion was built during the reign of the Emperor Augustus, underwent repairs in the 3rd century and was destroyed at the end of the 4th. Here was to be found an urban sanctuary consisting of a square chamber paved with black and white marble containing an altar in a niche in front of which stood a figurine of the goddess Hestia, while the courtyard contained a statue of Athena. Here, too, burned the eternal flame symbolising the life of the city.

The large building consisted of a courtyard surrounded by porticos containing rooms and chambers, the colonnaded courtyard opening into a rectangular chamber with a roof supported by four Corinthian columns, three of which have survived. The building also had a secular function. The city administrators, foreign guests and local philanthropists would gather here to dine together. The famous statue of Artemis as goddess of plenty now exhibited in the museum was discovered here in absolutely perfect condition.




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