Temple of the Sources

Temple of the Sources
In the area of Melanon around Flerio, we encounter the remnants of an ancient aqueduct.

The area was rich since antiquity and particularly important for the economy and the culture of Naxos. The presence of marbles in the area, was a point of reference for the development of Greek architecture and sculpture. Some of the most impressive sculptures and buildings of these times in Naxos, Delos and other parts of Greece are connected with the work in the ancient mines of the area in which until today, unfinished statues and other works are preserved.

At the same time the area was rich in springs and waterfalls, the reason for the rich vegetation of the area. The residents of the region, knowing the terrain and recognizing the gift they had from the nature, the abundance of water, constructed an aqueduct of 11 km length, which carried water across the whole island of Naxos.

In the same area they built a sanctuary, the Temple of the Sources, dedicated to the goddess of fertility. The sanctuary had its flourishing period during the 7th and 6th century BC and coincides with the heyday of exploitation of marble mines in the area. In the 8th century BC, the worshipping was held in a one-room stone building, while in the 7th century BC a newer and larger room was built. During the 6th century BC, after a disaster near the ancient building, it  was rebuilt, now serving as an auxiliary for the second largest sanctuary. The sanctuary operated till the end of ancient times and except for the Goddess of Fertility, it was the sacred place of worship to the heroes Otos and Ephialtes, who were considered to have the power to move large blocks and were the patrons of these marble mines. The latter were the main visitors of the sanctuary.

The way the temple is formed is indicating a mysterious cult, in which not all residents took part. The threshold of the entrance is saved until today, beneath a wall created at a later stage. Noteworthy is the view of the entire sanctuary, which illustrates the circular arrangement of the facilities.

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