Side proves to be a prophecy center

Side proves to be a prophecy center

ISPARTA – Doğan News Agency
Side proves to be a prophecy center

DHA Photos

An Omphalos stone, which has been found in Manavgat, a town in the southern province of Antalya, has proven the region was a prophecy center.

Isparta Süleyman Demirel University Professor Mehmet Özhanlı said his further examinations of the stone have confirmed this fact.

The Omphalos stone was found during excavations in 2001 in the ancient site of Side in Manavgat’s Side neighborhood. The original of the stone is made of meteor and it has many marble copies. The stone found in Side, which is one of these copies, is on display at the Side Museum.

Özhanlı, who has been working on the stone since 2007, also made studies in Germany about the stone. He said that as a result of his work, it was documented that Side was the center of prophecy. “This stone was found in prophecy centers only and was considered holy,” he said.

The professor noted the Omphalos stone was built in the center or top of a temple and the prognosticator of a temple took their power from this stone. 

The nearly 40-centimeter high stone has a snake description on it, as well as other ornamentations.
“Since the 7th century B.C., Side has been the only gate opening to the Mediterranean. There is another temple right next to the temples of the Goddess Athena and the God Apollo. The stone, which was found in the excavation carried out in Side Büyükhamam, showed us that the temples of Side had other functions; people did not go there to worship only, as it was also the center of prophecy. Our studies revealed that Side had a female prognosticator and this woman made prognostications in the Temple of Apollo. Side was a significant source of income in the ancient era. The existence of such a holy stone in Side, which is one of the most popular tourism spots in Turkey, and the making of prognostications in the temples will contribute to tourism,” said Özhanlı.

Many cities want to have it

The professor said Omphalos was a Greek word, and continued:

“’Om’ means center and ‘phalos’ means navel, which is the center. If we compare it to humans, the navel is the center of a human. Humans are tied to life with the navel. Omphalos symbolizes this. It symbolizes that it is the center of the world. It is one of the things that many cities want to have. The most recognized ancient city in the world is the ancient city of Delphi in Greece. Anatolia is home to various places such as Didim, Claros, Patara and of course we can mention Side among them. We see that these stones were considered holy until late periods. In the ancient age, the place of this stone was considered the center of the world.”

What is an Omphalos stone?

Since the ancient ages, human beings have always been curious about the shape of the world, where its center is, and where they live. In order to understand it, they have created myths. In one of the ancient sources about the center of the world, the world is in the shape of a tray surrounded by oceans and Omphalos is the navel, the center of this tray. To understand the center of the world, Zeus sent two eagles across the two sides of the tray and they met at the Omphalos stone. And the area of this stone was considered the center of the world.