The temple of Artemis Tauropolos was first located in 1925, on the shore of Artemida (Loutsa), right beside the sea; it was systematically investigated in 1956-7 by the Archaeological Society. The small temple dates to the Classical period (5th-4th c. B.C.), measuring 21 x 14m, is preserved only to its foundation, made of poros ashlars. It is reconstructed as a Doric peripteral building with 13 columns on its long sides and 6 on the narrow ones. The cella was divided into a large eastern part and a smaller western one, which has been interpreted as an adyton.
The sanctuary of Artemis Tauropolos is known mainly from the literary sources. In Euripides? play Iphigeneia in Tauris, the founder of the sanctuary is mentioned as having been Orestes, who transferred the wooden cult statue (xoanon) of the goddess from Tauris, disembarking at Halai on the eastern coast of Attica to build the goddess? temple. Euripides and Menander in his comedy Epitrepontes (?Men at Arbitration?) provide information about the character and events included in the festival of the ?Tauropolia? held in honor of the goddess: night-time processions, ceremonies of an unbridled Dionysian nature, and events that included the symbolic enactment of human sacrifices.
The sanctuary of Artemis Tauropolos was the most important site of worship as well as the center of the Deme of Halai Araphenides. The sanctuary?s operation is documented from the 7th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D., as attested by the finds, which are votives, as well as utilitarian and cooking ware vases, which point to the holding of banquets within the context of worship.
In the sanctuary area there have been found two porches (east and west), a gravel road, and bases for marble votives. A small temple with a deposit containing a great many votives dating from Geometric to Classical times was revealed 200 meters south of the temple of Artemis Tauropolos. Finds from the sanctuary of Artemis Tauropolos and the small sanctuary are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Brauron.