added by archaeologs Important Greek town just west of Athens, famous for the Eleusinian mysteries celebrated in honor of Demeter and Persephone. Occupation is attested from the early Bronze Age and the sanctuary was in use from at least Mycenaean times. The site's most famous monument, the telesterion (hall with rock-cut seats), was built in late 6th century BC. It was a temple of unusual design, dedicated to Demeter, with rare features such as a lantern over the anaktoron (holy of holies) and built-in seating to the main hall. The Romans built the Propylaea. Alaric and his hordes (Goths) devastated the area and the edicts of the emperor Theodosius led to its abandonment.
added by archaeologs Greek city, some 22 km west of Athens, famous in antiquity as the home of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a mystery cult in honour of Demeter and Persephone. Situated on a bay that is virtually an inland lake, the town enjoys good protection from the sea. This advantage, coupled with a naturally defensible acropolis, would have made the site attractive, and occupation is attested from the early Bronze Age onwards. Use as a sanctuary seems to go back at least to Mycenaean times. The major ritual building of the sanctuary, the so-called telesterion (Hall of Initiation), was a temple of unusual design dedicated to Demeter, incorporating such rare features as a lantern over the anaktoron (holy of holies) and built-in seating to the main hall. Interpretation of the site is not straightforward, with some evidence for one or more archaic temples and possibly a Mycenaean-type megaron. The sanctuary continued to enjoy great popularity into Roman times, and it was only devastation by Alaric and his hordes (see Goths) and the edicts of the emperor Theodosius that finally led to its abandonment.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983