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Archaeological Sites
Necromancy of Acheron
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The Necromancy of Acheron is located in Epirus, in a short distance from the village of Mesopotamos. This is the most famous ancient necromancy and it was founded during the early Hellenistic period.

 

History - Mythology

River Acheron, according to Greek mythology, was the gateway to the underworld where Charon lead with boat the souls of the dead to Acherousia lake. The lake Acherousia, located in the homonym alluvial plain just before the mouth of the river, was drained after the Second World War. The necromancy of Acheron was founded in a hilly rise, on the northeast shore of Lake Acherousia. Through the specific oracle the living could communicate with the dead and receive prophecies. The necromancy, was burned and destroyed by the Romans in 167 BC.

Over the years the abandoned oracle was forgotten and covered by alluvial deposits of the drainage network. The site was discovered after archaeological investigations during the second half of the 20th century. Over the necromancy was built the monastery of St. John the Baptist in the 18th century.

 

Initiation ceremony

The believers were visiting the necromancy in order to communicate with the souls of the underworld. Upon entering the room, believers were undergoing on special diet that consisted of grueling fasting followed by beans and shells. The initiates, dazed by  the hallucinogenic foods and physical stress, were roaming the labyrinthine hallways and they were "chatting" with the souls of the dead and they were receiving the oracles they asked for.

 

Architecture

The building is developed on two levels. The aerial part, known as "world of the living" was designed to prepare the visitors for the ceremony. In this part of the building were located  isolation and diet rooms, baths, storage rooms, service rooms and staff rooms.

The underground section or the "world of the dead" hosted the dark sanctuary of Hades. Through a tortuous path, the initiates were passing 3 imposing iron-gates  before they end up in the "realm of the dead." The proper construction of the "dead room" with 15 carved arches of the roof resulted the absence of sound reverberation.   The entire underground portion of the oracle was built properly to serve the purpose of its operation. Specifically, the dazed believers when they were crossing the labyrinthine corridor they thought  that they were walking the "road to Hades." Also, the silent "dead room" was  increasing the sense of hearing of the visitors.  Silence, darkness and dizziness were the 3 essential ingredients for a "visit" to the Underworld.

 

Information

Necromancy of Acheron, Mesopotamos, contact number: (+30) 26840-41206