Olivia Denk

"Cults and Sanctuaries in the Chalkidiki - Studies on Sacred Topography in the Context of Historical-Political Events (1200 B.C. - A.D. 300)."

The Greek peninsula Chalkidike, situated between the Thermaic and Strymonian gulfs, formed a transit country since the earliest times due to its geographical position. Besides the Chalkidians, numerous population groups settled on the peninsula. The region was particularly influenced by the founding of various Apoikia, through which Attic, Cycladic, Corinthian and Ionian influences can be traced. The origin of the Chalcidians as colonists of Chalkis on Euboea as a result of the great colonization movement in the 8th century BC is as controversial as the assumption to see in them a Macedonian-Thracian tribe.
Based on this ethnic complexity, the sacral landscape of Chalkidiki will be reconstructed in microcosm. The area of investigation refers to the name "Chalkidike" used today for the entire peninsula. The temporal framework stretches from the protogeometric period to the Roman imperial period, with a focus on the archaic, classical and Hellenistic periods, as numerous socio-cultural upheaval processes took place especially in these periods.
The cults and sanctuaries in focus are evaluated with the help of literary, epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological evidence in an interdisciplinary framework. The resulting findings are to be contrasted with the better researched Greek sanctuaries and cult sites in Upper and Lower Macedonia. Special attention will be given to the religio-ethnological aspects of this microregion and the impact on religious life as well as the formation of sacred characteristics. Onomastic studies will further make it possible to uncover indigenous elements and to determine the contrasting influence of cultural contacts. The investigation of the Chalcidian sacred landscape through a research project serves to further open up this region and thus provides important foundations within this young field of research in northern Greece, which has been neglected by international research to date. Furthermore, the project complements the research on cults and sanctuaries in Upper and Lower Macedonia.
Building on the preliminary work done within the framework of the master's thesis and the very good contacts with Greek archaeologists and staff of the ephories as well as internationally renowned scholars currently researching in the area under investigation (The Olynthos-Project), the progress of the project is favored in many ways.

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