Cult of Hera
Hera, queen of the gods, also known as the goddess of the sky, women, and marriage. She has many cults in Greece and is highly worshipped. I am going to focus on her oldest cult, which resides in Olympia.
The cult was constructed around 600 BC, in fact it is the oldest temple in Greece. The style of the temple is peripteral hexastyle with six columns on the front and back and sixteen on both sides comprising pronaos, calla and optistodomos. The columns are a little over 15 feet. Originally these columns were made of wood and were gradually replaced by stone.
The temple was thought in earlier times to have been dedicated to Zeus and Hera. When the temple of Zeus was completed it was officially only the cult of Hera. There is still an image of Zeus in her temple. In the cella there is Hera seated on a throne and Zeus is standing beside her wearing a beard and an helmet on his head. Only the head of Hera remains. There is also an image of Athena with an helmet on her head as ell as Zeus, carrying a spear and shield. The image of Hesperides was removed out the cult by the Eleans.
The people of Megara built a treasury and dedicated offerings in it. The offerings were cedar white figurines inlaid with gold, represented Herakles fight with Acheloos. Other items important to the ancient Greek, such as, Iphitus bronze disk and a carved ivory chest hidden by cypselos, were believe to have been stored in the temple. In later years the cult housed the famous Hermes of Praxiteles.
The cult stood for almost a thousand years, until about 300 A.D.
JSTOR: The annual of the British school, Vol. 90
Gate to Greece: Guide to Greece: Peloponnese: Olympia Temple of Hera Heraion Cult of Hera 1: Ancient Greek religion
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