Demeter Temple

PRIENE

Demeter Temple

The temple of Demeter was built with the foundation of Priene and dedicated to Demeter who is the goddess of fertility and her daughter Core. It is situated on the terrace, just below the steep slopes of Acropolis. It covers an area 45.5 meters long and 17.75 meters wide, lies on an east – west axis with the entrance on the east side. 

The temple has a different form from the peripheral temple. Two statues of priestesses stood in front of the entrance door; one of the statues, a bronze one represented the priestess Timonassa, and the other, a marble statue of the priestess Nikesso which are today display in Pergamum Museum in Berlin. They were the head priestess of Demeter and Core. On the south of the entrance there are simple houses located which were used by temple personnel and the priestess to live.

Blood from the animals offered to the goddess was gathered at sacrificial hole where was outside the temple between the narrower south side of the sacred road and the vestibule. The Demeter figurine was found among the votive offerings was represented with a corn sheaf in her hand. It can also be seen on early Prienean coins.