The remains of the monument are located in the archaeological area of Metaponto, more precisely on the last undulation of the Givoni, ancient coastal cords, near the right bank of the Bradano river, built on the remains of an ancient Neolithic village, along the prehistoric road coming from Siris -Heraclea, about 3 km from the ancient city of Metaponto.The temple, restored in 1961, was initially attributed to the cult of the goddess Athena, later on a fragment of a vase, found during the archaeological excavations of 1926, was found a Votive dedication to the goddess Hera. Until the nineteenth century the Palatine Tables were locally also called "Mensole Palatine" or "Palatine Columns", probably in memory of the struggles against the Saracens of the Paladins of France. The temple was also called "School of Pythagoras", in memory of the great philosopher Pythagoras. In the Middle Ages it was still called "Mensae Imperatoris", probably in memory of Emperor Otto II who, in the expedition against the Saracens of 982, camped at Metaponto. The remains of the temple consist of 15 columns with 20 grooves and capitals of Doric order. Of the 15 columns, 10 are on the northern side and 5 on the southern side. Originally the columns were 32, since the temple had a periptera shape with 12 columns on the long sides and 6 on the short sides. The temple is very degraded, since it was built with local limestone (called mazzarro). In the vicinity of the temple many remains of the ancient terracotta decoration, statuettes, ceramics and other pieces of columns exposed to the Archaeological Museum have been found since the excavations in 1926 national of Metaponto.
Photo credit: Nunzia Armento
Strada Statale 106 Jonica