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Eleusis ( Elefsina in Modern Greek: 9λεύσινα, ) is a small town about 30 km NW of Athens. Most importantly, it was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the major cults of ancient Greece. It was also the birth place of the great tragic poet of antiquity, Aeschylus. See also Metanira.

According to the Homeric Hymn to Demeter the goddess ordered the construction of the sanctuary in Eleusis. It was around 760 BC when the Oracle of Delphi advised the extension of the sanctuary. A Telesterion was build on the place of a Megaron in the period of Solon when Eleusis was controled by the Athenians. The Telesterion was replaced by a larger in the time of Pisistratus.

After the destruction by the Persians it was rebuild in the period of Cimon (479-461 BC) replaced by a larger building, protective walls were included

In the period of Pericles a new Telesterion was designed by the architect Ictinus.

In the Roman period the sanctuary was extended by more buildings such as the small propylaea, including giant statues of the roman Emperor Tiberius and a sculpture probably of Demeter.

Odysseus and his men blinding the cyclop Polyphemus (detail of a proto-attic amphora, c. 650 BC, museum of Eleusis)

Demeter Sanctuary in Eleusis [Source]

Hippothon representing the tribe of Hippothontis to which the deme Eleusis belonged

Celeus, King of Eleusis (father of Triptolemus)

Archaeology

Excavation in Eleusis, 1812 by the Dilettanti society, after half century some work by Francois Lenormant.

After the houses on the sanctury were sold to the greek archaeological society excavations actually started in 1882. Archaeologists involved in the excavations are : Dimitrios Philios (1882-1892), Andreas Skias (1894-1907), Konstantinos Kourouniotis (1917-1945) , Ioannis Travlos (1945-1985), Georgios Mylonas (1945) and others.

Today, the city, has became a suburb of Athens, and is linked by the freeway, the Athens metro freeway (Attiki Odos), and Athens metro (transit). A toll post named after the community is on the westbound lanes of GR-8A. A hill is near between the tolls and the refineryi North of Eleusis is Mandra and Magoula, and northeast is the Thriasian plain containing Aspropyrgos is founded. There are no communes in Eleusis. It lies northeast of the Gulf of Eleusina.

Elefsina is the town where the majority of crude oil in Greece is imported and refined. The refinery nearest to the city is on its west side. The other major town is Aspropyrgos, next to the shipyards of Skaramagkas.

Forests align with the bay with a length of around 200 m. The nearest mountain is in the northwest.

The "fleeing kore" from Eleusis early 5th century BC.

Eleusinian Mysteries

Links

Perseus : Eleusis

Quicktime Video Reality Eleusis

Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ελευσίνας - Archaeological Museum of Eleusis

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