Abstract

Ancient tradition linked the Delphic oracle in Greece to specific geological phenomena, including a fissure in the bedrock, intoxicating gaseous emissions, and a spring. Despite testimony by ancient authors, many modern scholars have dismissed these traditional accounts as mistaken or fraudulent. This paper presents the results of an interdisciplinary study that has succeeded in locating young faults at the oracle site and has also identified the prophetic vapor as an emission of light hydrocarbon gases generated in the underlying strata of bituminous limestone.

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