Europe: Temples, Palaces / Nekromanteion

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PHOTO: alexandros.k 3914'10.43" 2032'4.17"

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The Nekromanteion is the ancient Greek temple of necromancy devoted to Hades and Persephone. It is situated on an archaeological site located in northwestern Greece overlooking the Acheron river. This site was believed by devotees to be the door to Hades, the realm of the dead. The site is near the Acheron, Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus rivers, which were thought to flow through and water the kingdom of Hades. The meaning of the names of the rivers has been interpreted to be "joyless," "burning coals" and "lament." The word Nekromanteion means "Oracle of Death", and the faithful came here to talk with their late ancestors. Although other ancient temples such as the Temple of Poseidon in Taenaron as well as those in Argolis, Kyme, and Herakleia in Pontos are known to have housed nekyomanteia (priests/oracles of the dead) The Nekromanteion of Ephyra is the only Oracle of Death in Greece It belonged to the Thesprotians, an early Greek tribe who settled in this area about 2000 BC. Rediscovered in 1958 by archaeologist, Sotirios Dakaris, the temple was excavated throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It was identified as the Nekromanteion due to its geographic location and its similarities to descriptions found in history (Herodotus) and literature (Homer).


 

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