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The survey recorded all cultic places used between 2800-146 BC in the Argolid (2,819.38 km 2 ) and Messenia (4,060.21 km 2 ).

The survey recorded all cultic places used between 2800-146 BC in the Argolid (2,819.38 km 2 ) and Messenia (4,060.21 km 2 ).

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Archaeologists have long acknowledged the significance of mountains in siting Greek cult. Mountains were where the gods preferred to make contact and there people constructed sanctuaries to inspire intervention. Greece is a land full of mountains, but we lack insight on the ancient Greeks’ view—what visible and topographic characteristics made part...

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Context 1
... study is devoted to two Peloponnesian regions: the Argolid (2,819.38 km 2 ) and Messenia (4,060.21 km 2 ; Figure 1). The Argolid is in the northeast Peloponnese, bound on the eastern side by the Arcadian mountain range. ...
Context 2
... VPO analyses tell a different story. The Argive Heraion yields a VPO score of 0; its mid-slope location made it unnoticeable against the horizon (Figure 10). Consequently, the Argive Heraion was noticeable, provided an observer knew where to look. ...
Context 3
... are earlier sanctuaries in the region (e.g., Mount Arachnaion) with high VPO scores and CVSO scores close to 0, and here is where comparison against regional datasets, as well as critical (Figure 11), I concluded that Argive Plain inhabitants valued accessibility alongside prominence at specific moments, and these preferences are tied to cultural and political shifts (Susmann 2019b:153). Prior to the seventh century BC, sanctuaries such as Mount Arachnaion-located at a noticeable mountain peak-were preferred (Susmann 2019b:80-83). ...


... Archaeologists have uncovered physical evidence of these beliefs. With diverse analytical approaches, scholars have explored how on the sacred landscape, the ancient Greeks underscored the auras they perceived (Scully 1962;Williamson 1993;Driessen 2003;Goodison 2004;Moortel 2006;Barnett 2007;Hitchcock 2007;De Boer and Hale 2008;Faro 2008;Retallack 2008;Moortel 2011;Hannah 2013;Belis 2015;Susmann 2019Susmann , 2020. In these investigations, the Greek island of Crete has held special interest. ...
... These sorts of explorations are Scully's (1962) seminal volume The Earth, The Temple, and The Gods ambitiously traced potential threads of continuity between the Greek mainland and Crete. More recently, scholars like Mason (2007), Psychoyos and Karatzikos (2015) Susmann (2019, 2020 have explored how visibility and viewshed shaped sacred landscapes on mainland Greece. In this paper, I trace changing human views and interrogate how behavior, setting, and wider historical circumstance combined to create new ways of seeing older places. ...
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This paper explores the reciprocal relationship between landscape, human attention, and time. It presents two sacred landscapes: Epidaurus and Nemea, located in the northeastern Greek Peloponnese. In both landscapes, worshipers created sanctuaries on prominent mountains. Eventually, their attention shifted downhill where they built larger, monumental sanctuaries on the flat ground. I trace each mountains’ role as a sacred landmark; I question what other social functions they had – if at all – after the new sanctuaries were built. I consider a wide range of evidence: beginning with a comparative example from Mount Fuji in Japan, and moving onto the archaeological excavation and survey data, ancient testimonials, and modern tourist reviews about the Greek sanctuaries. I also use Geographic Information Systems to quantify each Greek sanctuaries’ visual impact in comparison to the surrounding topography. Woven together, these data reveal generations of sacral continuity. The Sanctuary of Asklepios and the Sanctuary of Zeus encircled new sacred temenoi, but worshipers’ collective memory guided their pathways and vision; the mountains remained sacred landmarks.