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Underground Shrine (Paestum)

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Keri Lynne Porter, Tom Elliott Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Apr 10, 2020 10:52 AM History
A small, underground tomb-like structure located in the agora of Paestum, thought to be either a shrine or a heroon.

40.4232711, 15.00488995

sanctuary (religious center), shrine


The Underground Shrine, located in the agora of the ancient city, was first constructed in the sixth century BCE. The exact use of the building remains unknown, but the artifacts found within (iron bars with remains of leather, a ceramic vase, a black-figure Attic vase, and eight bronze vases sealed with wax, containing honey that was still soft) suggest that it served some ritual purpose. The building is most commonly believed to be a shrine to worship a god of fertility (particularly the Nymphs), or a heroon dedicated to the founder of the city (oikist). The building is easily recognizable from the large red tiles that cover a double-gabled roof added during the third century BCE, along with a rectangular enclosure. The temple was buried during the later Roman phases of occupation and was not rediscovered until 1954.

Locational information from Google Earth. Temporal information from UNESCO.

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Keri Lynne Porter, Tom Elliott, Jeffrey Becker, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'Underground Shrine (Paestum): a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2020 <> [accessed: 11 December 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 307187361 (Underground Shrine (Paestum)) |author=Lynne Porter, K., T. Elliott |accessdate=December 11, 2023 4:48 pm |publisher=Pleiades}}