The small valley with the two temples is just below a summit of ancient Mt. Kotilion. It is reachable by a clearly marked path (carved/painted red arrows) that ascends (20 minutes brisk walk) from the end of the dirt road that serves the conservation workshops and WCs of the Bassai Apollo temple.
The temples of Artemis Orthasia, protector of small children, and Aphrodite, stand in the small valley of Kotilon, at an altitude of 1230 metres, on the highest peak of Mt. Kotilion, north-east of the temple of Apollo Epikourios. The temples were erected in the Archaic period, possibly by poor Phigaleians from Bassae, which accounts for the poor construction technique. The Artemis temple has a cella and pronaos, and its walls were built of roughly cut stone bonded with clay. There are no traces of columns or sculptural decoration. Like the temple of Apollo, it is orientated north-south instead of the usual east-west of ancient temples, possibly due to a local Arcadian tradition. North of the temple is a low limestone pedestal, which may have supported a cult statue. An emancipation inscription engraved on a bronze plaque found at the temple's southeast corner, mentions the worship of Artemis Orthasia, Apollo Vassitas and Pan Sinois.
The temple of Aphrodite was built north of the temple of Artemis, directly on bedrock without foundations. Unlike the temples of Apollo Epikourios and Artemis Orthasia, it has the usual east-west orientation. It consists of a cella and pronaos and was built of roughly cut stone bonded with clay. There are no traces of columns or sculptural decoration. Inside the cella is a stone pedestal, which may have supported a cult statue of the goddess.
The finds from this area (bronze mirrors, terracotta female busts and the bones of sacrificial animals) indicate that both temples were used throughout the Archaic and Classical periods and were abandoned in the third century BC.
The temples were investigated in 1902-3 by P. Kavvadias and K. Kourouniotis, then Ephor of antiquities, who identified the monument with the temple of Aphrodite at Kotilon on the basis of Pausanias's description (8, 41, 10). (Olympia Vikatou, archaeologist) . Inscription is IG V,2 429
, mentioning Artemis Kotilaia and Worthasia as well as Pan and Apollo Basitas.Wikidata ID: Q38282420Trismegistos Geo: 37677
(Odysseus, Greek Ministry of Culture)