Syracuse, Ionic temple

Syracuse: the ancient capital of Sicily.

The temple of Athena (L) and the Ionic temple (R)

The remains of an archaic Ionic temple have been identified underneath the modern Muncipio building. Construction of this sanctuary probably started in about 530 BCE, but the temple was demolished in about 480, because several elements were reused in the nearby Temple of Athena. A model in the Museo Archeologico Regionale "Paolo Orsi" shows both temples.

Face of an archaic sphinx

Before the Ionic temple was built, there were other structures at this place, including some kind of house that dates back to the eighth century BCE and is the oldest known building in Syracuse. The face of an archaic sphinx that was excavated over here, appears to belong to be a bit older than the Ionic temple and may have belonged to an old statue that was dedicated to the deity venerated in this sanctuary.