Background: one of the most characteristic features of the sanctuary: what was once possibly a sacrificial altar, cozy underneath its protective cover. A definite winner in every tour of the site, it attracts the attention of visitors of all ages, especially children, who often reproduce it in drawings of the site. Certainly not due to its appearace: a squat rectangle of stone slabs, covered by an inglorious makeshift tin roof. Or perhaps precisely because of the mystery hidden underneath the protective cover that hides as much as it protects. Or, finally, because of the attachment of this magic word: altar (vomos in Greek), which awakes some sort of pertified life in this material relic of the past.
On the foreground, one more way of keeping time in the sanctuary. The poppies at bloom, sometime in early May. They are preceded by some sort of yellow flower, resembling the buttercup, but reaching waist level. Then, in autumn, it’s the turn of the cyclamens. People refer to the epochs of the sanctuary, by asking me: are the poppies out yet, or: the cyclamens will be out any time now. Flowers, I feel sometimes, are equally important as ruins, perhaps more. The October before last, we found a bunch of picked cyclamens neatly placed upon a flat stone of the temple perivolos. A personal offering, we thought. Or perhaps absent-mindedness of the picker. Or merely time that went by without fulfilment.