Yet another list of historically attested offerings

This is a list of botanical burnt remains found in several temples including:

  • Sanctuary of Apollo and Artemis, Kalapodi, 10th-9th c. B.C. “Pilier des Rhodies”,
  • Delphi, 8th-7th c. B.C.
  • Samian Heraion, 7th c. B.C.
  • Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, 5th c. B.C.
  • Roman Palaimonion, Pit A A.D. 50-100 Palaimonion, Pit C, late 2nd-early 3rd c. B.C.
  • Heroon of Messene 3rd c. BC

the “x” originally indicates where said remains have been found, I left them in as an indication of frequency.


  • Wheat (Triticum sp) x x x x x x
  • Barley (Hordeum vulgare) x x x x
  • Cereal cakes


  • Lentil (Lens culinaris) x x x x x
  • Fava bean (Vicia faba) x
  • Pea (Pisum sativum) x x x
  • Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) xx x
  • Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) x
  • Ervil/bitter betch (Vicia ervilia) xx x

Fruits and nuts

  • Olives (Olea sp) x x x x
  • Grape (Vitis vinifera) xx x x
  • Fig (Ficus carica) x xx x x
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum) x x x x x
  • Apple (Malus sylvestris/Domestica) x
  • Walnut (Juglans regia) – not found in Greek temples but found in Italian ones.
  • Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) x
  • Chestnut (Castanea sativa) x
  • Almond (Amygdalus communis) x
  • Date (Phoenix dactylifera) x
  • Pine (Pinus pinea – bracts and nuts) x x
  • Oak (Quercus sp – acorns) x x
  • Quince (Cydonia oblonga) x
  • Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) x
  • Melon (Cucumis melo) x
  • Pistachio (Pistacia sp) x
  • Poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum) x x x

Basically: people offered what they had, lists like those are best used as inspiration if you don’t know what to offer and informative purposes.

Source: Megaloudi, F. Burnt sacrificial plant offerings in Hellenistic times: an archaeobotanical case study from Messene, Peloponnese, Greece. Veget Hist Archaeobot 14, 329–340 (2005).


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