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Eleusis (ĭlōˈsĭs) [key], ancient city of Attica, Greece, 12 mi (20 km) NW of Athens. Through ancient times it was the seat of the Eleusinian Mysteries. There was a large temple to Demeter. The Eleusinian games, also held there, were not connected with the mysteries. Excavation of the cemetery began in 1952; graves were found that date from the 7th and 8th cent. B.C. The temple and a type of theater with rock-cut seats for about 3,000 spectators were uncovered near the modern village of Eleusis.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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