Der ‘Heilige Baum’ und Kultkontinuität im Heraion von Samos
Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier & Yannis Maniatis Mitteleilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. Athenische Mitteilungen 125 (2010) : 99-117
In 2009, the so-called Sacred Tree at the Samian Heraion – a cult tree marking the Bronze Age origin of the sanctuary according to Η. Walter, a tree grown fortuitously in Archaic times according to H. Kienast – was excavated for a third time. In the process, it was dis¬covered to be a stump deposited rather than a tree having grown in its eventual find spot. The tree was felled at an age of approximately 60 years in 676 ± 11 B.C., as established by wiggle matching. The deposition of its stump in the centre of the sanctuary is indicative of its cultic importance, possibly as a xoanon or other ritual marker, which was laid to rest here. The temporary removal of the stump provided an opportunity to re-examine the Bronze Age pavings A and B, which had already been identified by H. Walter and A. Clemente in this location. Conical cups, partly deposited – as in Cretan Neopalatial sanctuaries -upside-down on paving A, demonstrate, along with pottery of Minoan type from Walter’s excavations, that the Samian Heraion – like the sanctuary of Athena at Miletus – is Minoan in origin.