The validity of the ancient testimonia as regards the origins of the Oracle of Apollo still remains controversial. To test the validity of the tesmonia, a research has to be conducted on the evidence for geological faults and gas emissions at the sanctuary of Delphi. Modern doubts as to the availability of chasm and vapor at Delphi are rooted from unsuccessful archaeologists. Surveys at Delphi have continuously indicated the presence of the two; hence Dr. Jelle de Boer and John Hale are to investigate the presence of geological faults and gas emissions so as to test the soundness of the ancient testimonia pertaining to the origins of the Oracle of Apollo.
The Oracle at Delphi is a major international archaeological center whose popularity and reputation have grown immensely. The chasm and vapor are regarded to be important components of the power of the Oracle. A test to verify the existence of the components will be a major breakthrough in the archaeology as well as the origin of the Oracle. The tufa rock at Delphi is extremely permeable and malleable hence the affluence in air and gases. The tufa rock was formed at the Apollo temple and therefore some pores in the rock may be available for tests to end the controversy behind the origins of the Oracle.
Surveys have indicated the presence of the faults and gas at Delphi despite several archaeologists claiming that the inexistence of the elements. Their claims are based on research that has been considered unsuccessful. Laboratory analyses have shown that below the travertine rock, normally known as tufa, lies limestone which when superheated by seismic activities produce fractures and gases. The sanctuary is characterized by fractures on its blocks indicating seismic activities that initiated the emission of vapor. The bedrock that has been visible by archaeologists seems to have deposits of tufa hence the likelihood of obtaining the desired results. The fault region at Delphi has signs of emitting gases at alike the tectonic environment in a different place. If the government allows for the collection of samples from Delphi, the presence of the two components would be tested for validation of the origins of the oracle at Delphi. This would mean a major progress in science and archaeology importance to Greece as a nation.
The laboratory at Texas A&M University where the research will be conducted by Dr. Jelle de Boer and John Hale has in the recent successfully tested for gaseous emissions for the faults in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is parallel with Delphi and if permission is granted, it would be easier to make a comparison with the results obtained, and those of Mexico. When permission is granted, a total of ten smaller samples of the tufa rock at Apollo Sanctuary will be collected within a diameter of 15 centimeters. The samples will undergo tests and isotopic analyses. Isotopic ratio C13 – C12 will establish the origin of carbon, while the ratio 018 vs. 016 will determine where the waters that came up the length of the juvenile fault that underlies Delphi Oracle. The temperature of the spring will be determined and this will determine the validity of the ancient testimonia as regards the origins of the Oracle of Apollo.
The researchers; Dr. Boer is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University and Dr. Hale is Lecturer in Archaeology and Director of Liberal Studies at University of Louisville. Given their education level and the experience in teaching and studying archaeology, they are likely to conduct a successful test. Surveys have indicated the presence of the faults and gas. The research is therefore significant and with the test being carried on in reputable Texas A&M University Laboratory, the research is likely to succeed given the permission to obtain the travertine samples at Delphi.