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| 01/01/1970 | |

Abae - the mystery of the oracle (Greece)

The Research Project
Themistocles, Alexander the Great and even Gyges and Croesus, Kings of Lydia – these and other greats of the ancient world would never have ventured a decision of any great consequence without first consulting an oracle. In his Tragedy of Oedipus, Sophocles mentions all three of the greatest oracles of the time in one and the same breath – Delphi, Didyma and Abae.

The locations of the first two of these sacred sites (in what we today call Greece and Turkey) have been known to us for many years. But where is Abae? What happened to the third greatest oracle of the ancient world? Where could the buildings of the legendary sacred site of Abae have once stood? Where did the oft-depicted oracle take place?

This unanswered question has pre-occupied generations of historians and archeologists. Until recently, no one had succeeded in finding Abae. But now an international team led by archeologist Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier seems to have cracked the oracle enigma. One of the most important sites of ancient Greek history has been snatched back from oblivion.

According to the team, Abae was located not far from the small village of Kalapodi in central Greece, less than 100km east of Delphi. The excavation site is on a mountain slope overlooking a wide valley, amid rolling, fertile landscape. At the heart of the sacred site, there are two temples alongside one another. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier has been performing excavation work around the south temple since 2004 and up to this point has identified six different temples, which had been erected on top of each other in chronological sequence. And so this shows that this has been a sacred site for more then 1200 years. But was it the long sought after oracle?

A camera accompanied the archeologists during their fascinating excavation works.
The further excavations are documented in the second series.

Project leadership

Prof Dr Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier


Kalapodi (Greece)

Academic project manager
Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier

Film project manager
Dr.-Ing. Nils Hellner

Editorial teams
Susanne Decker

Camera technicians
Dr.-Ing. Nils Hellner
Jan-Marc Henke M.A.

Editing technicians
Janine Negele

Project assitants / Actors
Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier
Dr. Barbara Niemeier
Dr. Rainer Felsch
Dr. Annamarie Felsch-Klotz
Dr.-Ing. Nils Hellner
Christos Vaporakis
Dipl.-Ing. Hans Birk
Dipl.-Ing. Alexandra Tanner
PD Dr. habil. Katja Sporn
Dr. Dimitrios Grigoropoulos
Dr. Gudrun Kleebinder-Gauß
Dr. des Laura C. Rizzotto
Jan-Marc Henke M.A.
Gabriella Lini lic.phil.
Aikaterini Ragkou B.A.
Emanuel Seitz
Sarah Rengers
Sarah Tausch
Lina Günther
Klara Gehbauer
Athanasios Mavroeidis
Dimitrios Mavroeidis
Ioannis Kasounis
Despina Stamouli
Tomor Insolari
Pagona (Peggy) Sikioti
Evangelos Kantas
Stelios Markakis
Alexandros Gianelis
Giorgos Moraitis
Ioannis Tsounganis
Konstantinos Dimou
Nikolaos Gkouras
Dimitrios Theocharis

Film extras
Dr.-Ing. Silke Langenberg
Dipl.-Ing. Martin Sauerbier
Sebastian Prignitz M.A.
Prof. Dr. Denis Rousset
Prof. Dr. Aliki Moustaka
Margit Heiber
Dr. Christine Hoffman
PD Dr. habil Reinhard Senff
Doris Senff
Katrin Fuchs M.A.
Jana Mätzschker M.A.
Dr. Panagiotis Karkanas
Vassiliki Pavlou
Elias Pavlos
Angelos Vassiliou

Overall planning teams
Gisela Graichen und Peter Prestel

All episodes
The mystery
Episode 1
The search begins
Episode 2
Getting to the core
Episode 3
The Persians are coming
Episode 4
Hot on the heels of Apollo
Episode 5
The men's ring dance
Episode 6
The well
Episode 7
The inscription
Episode 8
Sensational find!
Episode 9
Episode 10


by Barbara Elsas | 01.03.2012 | 18:30
Da ich im April 2012 nach Zentralgriechenland fahre, möchte ich anfragen, ob und wenn ja wann die Ausgrabungen von Kalapodi - Abai zu besichtigen sind. Ich werde in der Zeit vom 19.-26.5. in der Gegend sein. Leider habe ich bisher nirgends finden können, ob das Ausgrabungsgelände überhaupt dem "normalen Besucher" zugänglich ist.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Barbara elsas


by Dr. Lea-Katharina Steller | 23.07.2017 | 10:37
Es ist unglaublich interessant. :-)


by Dr. Hans Werner Schmidt | 13.10.2017 | 09:03
Fantastische Ergebnisse und eine sehr interessante Dokumentation


by Nan Mena | 28.04.2020 | 22:59
Very interesting! I think is an amazing work this team did, that let us learn more about the ancient cultures. Congratulations for your efforts!

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