(22) Sacristy

by Anandi Salinas
9 years ago

Early Imperial period
Limestone, marble, plaster
Central Sanctuary
ca. 7 m x 7 m

The Sacristy is a small rectangular structure wedged into the awkward space between the already standing Anaktoron and Rotunda of Arsinoe.  The single-roomed structure, measuring approximately 7 m on each side, shares a common wall with the Anaktoron, whose southern wall serves as the north wall of the Sacristy.  However, the Sacristy was built on the level of the Rotunda terrace, at a considerably higher elevation than the Anaktoron.  Like the Anaktoron, its walls were constructed of polygonal limestone masonry and covered in plaster.  Inscribed marble slabs recording the names of initiates were originally inserted into the walls as plaques, and marble benches stood on an earthen floor along the interior walls.  These accoutrements, along with lamps discovered in the structure, suggested to K. Lehmann the room functioned as a kind of sacristy, or room for cult personnel and liturgical implements.  A very narrow passage between the Anaktoron and the Rotunda gave access to the building, which had an entrance in the center of its western wall. An additional door on the south wall provided access to the narrow space between the Rotunda and its retaining wall. Like the Anaktoron, the Sacristy was constructed in the early Imperial period; its eastern wall was repaired in the 4th century A.D.

Selected Bibliography:

Lehmann, K. 1998. Samothrace: A Guide to the Excavations and the Museum. 6th ed.,rev.
J.R. McCredie. Thessaloniki, pp. 61-62.

McCredie, J.R. 1979. “Samothrace: Supplementary Investigations, 1968-1977,” Hesperia 48, pp. 27-35.