Pilgrims visiting the sanctuary of Apollo would first purify themselves at a well below the resting place of the Medusa head, then approach the still-prominent circular altar to offer a sacrifice before proceeding to the steps of the shrine itself. As at Delphi, prophecies were formulated by proxy – supplicants would first deliver their queries to the priest of Apollo, who would disappear to consult the priestess, who (accounts disagree) either drank from, bathed in, or inhaled potent vapours from, the waters. Her subsequent ravings were rephrased more delicately to those waiting out front; the priest would reappear after a suitable interval on a terrace some 2m higher to deliver the oracular pronouncement. Questions ranged from the personal to matters of state; prophecies were recorded and stored for posterity.

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Turkey features

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