After visiting the brief remains of Sardes, the ancient capital of Lydia, inside Asia Minor, we arrived to the place where the ruins of the mythical temple of Artemis rest, lit by a slightly warm sun of early December. The site is fenced and you have to pay a small entrance to enter. The Paktolos river flows quietly close the fence. In the background, imposing itself on the western horizon, the powerful mass of Tmolos Mount rises: the place where Greek mythology located the birth of the god Dionysus.
Photo 1.- General view of the excavated area corresponding to the Temple of Artemis.
The great temple of Artemis was built on the site where a sanctuary dedicated to this godess was raised at least from the fifth century BC. In fact, during the excavations some remains of this sanctuary have been found in moderate state of preservation, reason why they have been partially covered. The temple was built to the beginning of the third century BC, in hellenistic times, but it was only half-finished. The building stood unfinished during many years and we can assume that the earthquake of AD 17 seriously damaged its long-lived walls.