Strange Science: Ancient Greek Temples on Fault Lines?

Ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi

Ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, by Laslovarga (2009)

A geologist researching fault lines in Greece has hypothesized that the ancient Greeks may have intentionally built their temples on fault lines, in order to expose themselves to prophetic visions caused by hallucination.

The idea of the Pythia, the high priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, inhaling hallucinatory gasses to acquire her visions is a theory that has been expounded upon for some time. In the nineteenth century, excavations led to the belief that this was not the case, but more modern excavations have suggested that there were hot springs and fault lines that could have produced hallucinatory fumes in ancient times.

But the idea that more than just the Temple of Apollo was built at this type of location is a newer idea, one which still needs some archaeological work to prove or disprove. A summary of the geologist’s article can be found here.

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1 Response to Strange Science: Ancient Greek Temples on Fault Lines?

  1. Apart from hallucinations, sometimes there are *real* glowing points in the sky before and during earthquakes (“Earthquake Lights”). They might have been thought of as prophetic, or messages from the Gods…

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