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by Archaeology Newsroom

The sanctuary of Sounion

Cape Sounion is the southernmost tip of Attica. On the flat top of the cape, the sanctuary of Poseidon was founded and fortified. To the northeast of this sanctuary, on another, lower hillock was erected the temple of Sounias Athena . In the second century AD, when Pausanias visited the ruins of the Poseidon temple, he misconceived them as been the remnants of the Athena temple. This erroneous interpretation has been perpetuated until the early years of the twentieth century, when the excavations conducted by V. Stais in 1989 and 1990 brought to light the fortress and the two sanctuaries, which this time were correctly assigned to the deities to which they had originally been dedicated. Architectonic members from the Poseidon temple — mainly pieces of columns — have been smuggled by seamen and archaeophiles and transferred to various European countries.