According to the Greek geographer Strabo, Assos was founded by Greeks from Methymna on Lesbos in the tenth century BC., although the site had been inhabited as early as the Bronze Age. The temple was discovered by the American Archaeological School of Athens in 1882, and has been partially restored.
The Doric temple at Assos is the only one of its kind in Asia Minor. With that in mind, some archaeologists and art historians feel it looks "thrown together without much understanding" of the Doric style and design. Among the inovative elements employed in it, is the decorated architrave beneath a traditonal triglyph and metope frieze, a feature usually seen only in the Ionic order temples. The architrave is covered in various subjects ranging from animals combats to mythological scenes, and reveals the distinction that existed between the architectural style of the Classical period Doric order in mainland Greece, and that of the Archaic period outside the usual rhelm of influence. The inovative disign fluxuation at Assos, simply demonstrates that the Doric order was a style that had yet to become fully articulated at that time and in all places.
The Temple of Athena at Assos : style, date and iconography, Diss., Oxford, 1983