In the southwest of present-day Turkey, oracles with knucklebones were very popular. The temple of Apollo in Claros has a unique architectural peculiarity: it is adorned with 316 bronze knucklebones sealed in the steps of the temple. The knucklebones indicated the presence of a famous oracle of Apollo. 18 inscriptions of oracles dating to the Roman period were found in public places or in sanctuaries. They provide the list of the predictions obtained by the throw of five knucklebones.
Temple of Apollo
Note the knucklebones indicated in yellow in the temple facade elevation
© Mission archéologique de Claros MAE, drawing N. Bresch, IRAAA and O. Riss. | Photos © J.-C. Moretti
- J. Nollé, Kleinasiatische Losorakel, München 2007.
- J.-Ch. Moretti et D. Laroche, “Le temple de l’oracle d’Apollon à Claros (Turquie)”, Les Dossiers d’archéologie, 342, 2010, 16-23.