New Models to Explain the Alignments of Greek Temples

20 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2020

Date Written: December 11, 2019


An analysis of over fifty Greek temple and other archaeological sites reveal that one-third (33%) are aligned to the cardinal directions, solstices, and lunar standstills. The others are largely unexplained in terms of current theories. We consider three alternative models that are able to account for the alignment of all but one of the other sites. The first, which assumes certain sites were aligned in the direction of the geomagnetic pole using some form of magnetic compass at the time of construction, accounts for approximately 10% of unexplained alignments. The second, which considers the possibility that ancient sites were aligned to older oracles or other centers of spiritual significance, reveals that a significant fraction (42%) appear to face in directions toward the Amun Temple in Siwa, the Cave of Zeus and Mt. Ida on Crete, Dodoni, Delphi, and Mycenae. Alignments of the remaining 15% of the sites have no conventional explanation. An analysis of these sites reveals that all but one are aligned in directions that reference previous hypothesized locations of the North Pole.

Keywords: greek temples, alignments, oracles, geomagnetic, geographic poles

Suggested Citation

Carlotto, Mark, New Models to Explain the Alignments of Greek Temples (December 11, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

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