The ancient Greek community of Selinunte was founded as a sub-colony of Megara Iblea in 651-650 BCE. One of the first sacred sites in the western Sicilian city, which is considered one of the world’s largest archaeological zones, is the Santuario della Malophoros or the Sanctuary of the Fruit Bearer. “Malophoros” implies pomegranates or apples, and because among the ruins in the temple grounds dozens of small sacred feminine statues carrying pomegranates were found at the foundation of what archeologists deem was an altar, researchers have concluded that this site was dedicated to the mother goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Some of these statuettes can be seen today in the Regional Archaeological Museum Antonino Salinas in Palermo (pictured).
(To be continued… )