Ioannis Mylonopoulos, “Greek Sacred Architecture and the Archaeology of the Senses”
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
The study of ancient architecture in general and sacred architecture in particular has focused primarily on typological categorizations, the origins of the Doric and Ionian orders, and a practical definition of ritual functions. Greek temples are still seen as minimalistic luminous spaces that housed a cult statue, and sanctuaries are almost metaphysically understood as well-organized environments that served the sole purpose of enhancing communication between the human and divine spheres. Despite countless ancient written sources, the idea of an ancient Greek sanctuary as a colorful, boisterous, rather smelly bazaar, or a Greek temple as an antiques dealer’s overfilled storage space, is still considered almost blasphemous. This paper presents ancient Greek temples and sanctuaries as spaces that were anything but empty contemplative environments, as spaces that can only be understood fully if we “look” at them not only with our eyes.