In the Valley of the Temples on the island of Sicily, archaeologists have discovered an amazing historical treasure – an ancient cache, which for more than two millennia has been storing votive sculptures intended as gifts to the gods. This unique discovery was made near the town of Agrigento, where the Valley of the Temples is located, a place rich in history and archaeological finds.
The cache, dating back to the early 4th century BC, was discovered during excavations on the northern hill of the ancient Doric temple of the goddess Juno. The city of Akragas, where the temple was located, was a Greek colony and at the time was in the process of rebuilding after being sacked by the troops of Carthage. The cache was located in a room in the western part of the sanctuary.
The place chosen for the cache was not random, but had some ritual significance or symbolic importance. Archaeologists recovered more than 60 artifacts, including clay figurines of deities, female figurines, decorative building models, oil lamps, small vases, and fragments of bronzes. All of these objects were mixed with human bones and buried in the same room.
Votive objects are various things that are personally offered as gifts to a particular deity by vow. People made such items in the hope of healing or fulfillment of their innermost desires. In this cache were found exactly such objects, which were evidence of the faith and worship of the ancient inhabitants of Sicily.
Archaeological excavations have confirmed the historical facts related to the city of Akragas. In 406 BC the city was defeated by the troops of the Carthaginian commander Himilko. The locals fled to the neighboring city of Gela, but it also fell before the troops of Himilko. After that the Greek colonies in Sicily fell under Carthaginian rule, but in 399 BC they were liberated.
The discovery of this ancient cache is of great importance for the study of the history and religion of the ancient Greeks in Sicily. It allows us to delve into the rituals and beliefs of those times, as well as to understand what objects were valuable to the ancient inhabitants and what rituals were accompanied by votive offerings.
Professor of the History of Antiquity John Smith notes: “This discovery is unique and gives us a glimpse into the ancient world and religious practices of the Greek colonies in Sicily. The cache represents a valuable source of information about the beliefs and customs of those times.”
An ancient cache in Sicily, discovered by archaeologists in the Valley of the Temples, is a unique testament to the beliefs and worship of the ancient inhabitants of Sicily. This discovery allows us to better understand the rituals and rites that accompanied the votive offerings to the gods. It is also of great importance for the study of the history and religion of the ancient Greeks in Sicily.