More than 2,200 years ago, an order was placed by the keepers of the Oracle of Apollon at Klaros in Asia Minor. It was the order of one 10-meter column that would serve as the sixth column to strengthen the temple itself. Months later, news must have reached them that the column would not be arriving: the ship carrying the column had sunken to the bottom of the sea. Now, the column is returning home after all.

Klaros (Κλάρος) was an ancient Hellenic sanctuary on the coast of Ionia, an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. It contained a temple and oracle of Apollon, honored here as Apollo Klarios, and was considered a very important center of prophecy as in Delphi and Didyma. It may have dated back to the sixth or sevent century BC, and is perhaps even older. It was also the site of ancient games, helt every five years. The site has mention in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis:

"She [Artemis] waters her horses from Meles deep in reeds, and swiftly drives her all-golden chariot through Smyrna to vine-clad Klaros where Apollon, god of the silver bow, sits waiting for the far-shooting goddess who delights in arrows."

Pausanias decribes the founding of the sanctuary in his 'History of Greece':

"The people of Colophon suppose that the sanctuary at Clarus [Klaros], and the oracle, were founded in the remotest antiquity. They assert that while the Carians still held the land, the first Greeks to arrive were Cretans under Rhacius, who was followed by a great crowd also; these occupied the shore and were strong in ships, but the greater part of the country continued in the possession of the Carians. When Thebes was taken by Thersander, the son of Polyneices, and the Argives, among the prisoners brought to Apollo at Delphi was Manto. Her father Teiresias had died on the way, in Haliartia, and when the god had sent them out to found a colony, they crossed in ships to Asia, but as they came to Clarus, the Cretans came against them armed and carried them away to Rhacius. But he, learning from Manto who they were and why they were come, took Manto to wife, and allowed the people with her to inhabit the land. Mopsus, the son of Rhacius and of Manto, drove the Carians from the country altogether." [7.3.1 - 7.3.2]

The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports about the decision that was made and the original find of the column:

"The column was discovered in 1993 by researcher and writer Cemal Pulak, and removed in 2007 by six archaeologists under the coordination of the U.S-based Underwater Archaeology Institute. Research revealed that the column was carried for the Apollo Temple in Klaros, in İzmir’s Menderes district.

“For the first time in the world, the address of a sunken ship was found. Following the cleaning process, the plan was to display the column in Çeşme Museum but we said that it would be more truthful to display it in its original place, Klaros,” she said."

No news yet on if it's actually going to be placed at its intended spot or will end up in a museum, but I am very happy to hear that the column will finally be allowed to end its journey in the place where its creators intended it to go.