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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 (1966) 216-18.


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