Grant in support of two students involved in the excavation of the sanctuary of Poseidon in Onchestos, Boetia, following a request by Dr Ioannis Mylonopoulos, professor of Greek art and archaeology at Columbia University.
A political and religious centre of the Boetian League, Onchestos was inhabited since prehistoric times. The legend was that it was named after Poseidon’s son who had lived there and in whose honour the Onchestia festival of chariot races was held.
The sanctuary is thought to have preceded the Oracle of Delphi; its founding is dated around the late 6th c. BC, and the reason may have been the competition between Thebes and the Delphic Amphictiony.
Sporadic excavations carried out between 1964 and 1991 led to the view that Onchestos functioned as the centre of the Amphictiony, was a strategic point for controlling Boeotia and its connection to the nearby sanctuary of Poseidon helped preserve its value and prestige.