Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

The sacred land of Delphi

An important chapter in the history of the Delphic oracle refers to its relations with its broader geographic region. The four sacred wars undertaken by the Amphictyony were aimed either at extending or keeping not only the oracle under its control but also the entire area around it. The Pleistos valley,which is the district of Delphi, is the natural pass connecting the eastern to the western mainland of Greece. The older excavations of the French Archaeological School of Athens, the more recent ones of the Greek Archaeological Service as well as the surface survey still in progress have supplied us with valuable information as regards the history of the valley and its mountainous part where the site of Delphi is located. According to the latest archaeological data the original settlement lies in the valley, by the sea in the site of modern Kirra. An important prehistoric settlement, inhabited uninterruptedly until the end of the Mycenean world (2100-1100 BC) has been discovered there. Quite unexpectedly, the Mycenean settlement of Delphi occupies a steep slope at the highest spot of the mountainous part of the valley, far away from its natural accesses. This new settlement owes its extremely impressive character to the two huge rocks of the Phaedriads, the thrilling, sacred gorge of Castalia and the abundant springs scattered all over the mountain slope. The topographic peculiarity of the Delphian settlement distinguishes it from all other settlements of the time in the vicinity . It could be explained assuming that a sanctuary already existed there, functioning as the nucleus of the inhabitation as was common in antiquity.