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However, in times of necessity, especially in war, these treasures were often melted down, as were the costly church utensils of the medieval era and of later periods.The doorkeeper, who permitted visitors to enter the temple at stated times, also guarded the treasures.Among the equipments of the temple was a massive altar, sacrificial tables, movable heaths for fire, sacrificial utensils and other objects, which were dedicated at the same time as the temple.They formed a temple property that could not be sold.If the temple could not be erected on an open space dedicated to the divinity, it was customary to surround the temple by an enclosed precinct, whereby it was separated from all that was profane.
This theory suffers, however, from the fatal uncertainty as to the date the day of dedication fell on.
It is certain that the Indo-Germanic peoples originally had no buildings for the worship of their gods, but worshiped the gods upon mountains, as Herodotus expressly says of the Persians, or believed the supernatural beings were present in groves or trees.
Consequently among the ancient Germans the conception of a grove was identified with that of a temple.
The massive altar, as mentioned above, did not stand in the temple but before it.
Either it was built upon a high stone platform, and thus united architecturally with the temple, or it stood in front of the steps or in the portico.