7 October 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

New discoveries show that Claros continued to serve as an oracle center after Christianity

Game boards and forked cross motifs dating to the fifth and seventh centuries AD were discovered at the ancient Greek temple of Claros, on the southwest coast of Izmir, one of the most important pagan sanctuaries of Ionia.

The new findings show that Claros, which was thought to have been abandoned after the spread of Christianity, actually functioned for many years.

According to archaeologists, Claros was one of the three prophecy centers, along with Delphi and Didyma, in modern-day Greece.

It is thought that Claros was built in the name of Apollo, the god of Colophon, at the beginning of the 7th or 6th century BC. It was in the territory of Colophon, one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, which was twelve kilometers to the north. The Homeric Hymns, which date from the sixth and seventh centuries BC, are the earliest literary references to this holy site. However, proto-geometric pottery found there indicates that it was occupied as early as the ninth century. A sacred cave near the Temple of Apollo, which was important in both the Hellenistic and Roman eras, indicates the presence of a Cybele cult here in the early periods. Every fifth year, in honor of Apollo, the Claria games were held at Claros.

A view from Claros
A view from Claros, İzmir. Photo: AA

Although it was previously thought that Claros served as a prophecy center until the spread of Christianity in the fourth century, new evidence suggests that it did not lose prominence until the seventh century.

In the new period excavations in Claros, which dates back to the 13th century B.C., traces belonging to the fifth to the seventh century B.C. have been found.  Nine stone game boards and forked cross motifs engraved under a Doric head of the Hellenistic Temple of Apollo, as well as ceramic finds, have been discovered as a result of archaeological research.

These discoveries support the claim that the sanctuary, which was thought to have been abandoned or emptied by the Roman Empire since 380 A.D. when Christianity was accepted as the official religion as it symbolized the pagan faith, was actually inhabited or visited for a longer period of time.

Forked cross motifs reveal that Claros continued to serve after Christianity, Izmir, western Türkiye.
Forked cross motifs reveal that Claros continued to serve after Christianity, Izmir, western Türkiye. Photo: AA

Stating that important decisions such as wars and city establishment in ancient times were made after the approval in the prophecy center, Onur Zunal of Ege University Faculty of Letters, who serves as a consultant to the excavations in Claros, said: “Claros is one of the most important sites of the ancient period. Our recent work here showed us that the sanctuary continued to be used even after the declaration of Christianity as the official religion of Claros in 380 A.D. We discovered that it did not lose its charm in the fourth century and continued to be used until the seventh century A.D., taking into account the current findings.”

Emphasizing that the “sacred space” function of Claros continued despite the conversion to Christianity, Zunal said: “There are still people who visit this place. There are many people who believe in the energy of Claros. We have also witnessed that people who believe in Apollo come here at certain times and perform certain rituals. Therefore, in fact, it would even be wrong to say that the city was abandoned in the seventh century A.D. Even in the 2020s, people who believe in Claros somehow come here and do their own rituals.”

Zunal also stated that articles on the studies that advanced the sanctuary’s history by about 300 years had been published in national and international journals.

Banner
Related Post

Climate and Archaic humans caused the extinction of giant camels that lived in Mongolia 27,000 years ago, a study says

3 April 2022

3 April 2022

Camelus knoblochi, a species of giant two-humped camel, survived in Mongolia alongside modern humans—and perhaps Neanderthals and Denisovans—until about 27,000...

During roadwork in Oregon, a woolly mammoth tusk was discovered

21 June 2021

21 June 2021

A 12,000-year-old woolly mammoth tusk was discovered beneath the street by crews rerouting a gas line in Corvallis, Oregon. “Whenever...

The Roman Imperial period, There was Less Waste in the Production of Marble Slabs than Today

17 May 2021

17 May 2021

When talking about the architecture of the ancient Roman Empire, most people usually think of the mental image of white...

Excavations at Aizanoi in Western Turkey to Resume

29 March 2021

29 March 2021

The ancient city of Aizanoi is located in the town of Çavdarhisar, 57 km from the center of Kütahya (Turkey’s...

Archaeologists Unearthed Third Greatest Fire Temple Existing in Ancient Iran’s Sassanid Era

11 July 2022

11 July 2022

Archaeologists have unearthed ruins of what they believe to be the third-greatest fire temple in ancient Iran during the Sassanid...

A stone bathtub, which is considered to be the first example of ‘water birth’, was found in Ani Ruins

7 September 2022

7 September 2022

A stone tub was found in the large bath, whose birth was mentioned in a work by the Turkish scholar...

Archaeologists unearth 128 ancient urn burial tombs for children in north China

22 November 2021

22 November 2021

Archaeologists have uncovered urn burial chambers containing the remains of 128 infants among the ruins of an ancient city of...

Researchers may have found the wreck of British explorer James Cook’s Endeavour

3 February 2022

3 February 2022

The wreck of Captain James Cook’s famed vessel the Endeavour has been found off the coast of the U.S. state...

“Unprecedented” Phoenician necropolis found in southern Spain

28 April 2022

28 April 2022

A 4th or 5th-century B.C Phoenician necropolis has been found at Osuna in Southern Spain. A well-preserved underground limestone vault...

A Roman bridge from the Republican era was discovered on Via Tiburtina

27 February 2022

27 February 2022

The remains of a rare Republican-era bridge have been discovered on the 12th kilometer of the Via Tiburtina, the ancient...

In Lake Mendota, Wisconsin archaeologists discover the oldest canoe ever found in the Great Lakes region

23 September 2022

23 September 2022

A group of divers from Madison, Wisconsin’s Lake Mendota emerged on Thursday carrying a remarkable piece of history for the...

Stunning carved stone depicting a mystery naked horseman is discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda

30 June 2021

30 June 2021

Near Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, archaeologists discovered a carved sandstone slab portraying a naked horseman. During the annual excavations...

Exciting discoveries at Accana Mound: 3,250-year-old seal belonging to Hittite prince and Akkadian cuneiform texts discovered

19 November 2021

19 November 2021

A 3250-year-old seal of the Hittite prince and a 3400-year-old cuneiform tablet was found in Accana Höyük (Mound) in the...

Archaeologists find Viking Age shipyard in Swedish island

15 June 2022

15 June 2022

Archaeologists from Stockholm University have discovered a Viking Age shipyard at Birka on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren,...

Digs at Turkey’s Seyitömer mound reveals thousands of artworks

20 March 2022

20 March 2022

Approximately 14,500 artifacts have been unearthed during rescue excavations carried out over 33 years at Seyitömer Mound in Turkey’s western...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.