Near Güzelçamli in
Ionia, 17 km S of Kuşadasl. Here was the Sanctuary of
Poseidon Helikonios, the religious place of assembly of
the Ionian League. The site was unknown until quite
recently; Herodotos (1.148
) places it on Mt. Mykale
facing N; Strabo (639
) calls it the first place after the
Samos strait going N, three stades from the sea. This
region was disputed between Priene and Samos, but the
priesthood belonged to the Prienians. The assembly was
accompanied by a festival, the Panionia, held on the
ample plain to the N. According to Diodoros (15.49.1)
the festival was transferred, because of the constant wars,
to a safe place near Ephesos, and it seems to be referred
to as the Ephesia by Thucydides (3.104
). It was suspended under Persian rule and revived after the time of Alexander.
The sanctuary lay on the summit of a low hill called
Otomatik Tepe (formerly the hill of St. Elias) at the foot
of the mountain; the remains are scanty in the extreme.
From one to three courses of the enclosing wall may be
seen, with an entrance on the W; in the middle are traces,
mostly cuttings in the rock, of a structure some 18 by
4 m; this is evidently the altar of Poseidon, dated by
the excavators to the end of the 6th c. B.C. No temple
was found, and none is mentioned in the ancient authorities, who refer only to sacrifices (Diod. l.c.; Strab. 384).
At the SW foot of the hill is the council chamber of
the Ionian League, a theaterlike building some 30 m in
diameter with 11 rows of seats. There is no speaker's
platform, but only the leveled rock. Diodoros says that
nine cities, not twelve, shared in the assembly, and the
excavators see some confirmation of this in the arrangement of the front row of seats; the historian's statement has generally been regarded as a mistake.
Between the council chamber and the sanctuary is a
large cave in the hillside. This may well have played a
part in the cult of Poseidon, though nothing of interest
has been found in it.
G. Kleiner, Neue Deutsche Ausgrabungen
(1959) 172-80; G. E. Bean, Aegean Turkey
G. E. BEAN