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The diatribe on which of the two temples is that of the Oracle of Siwa

Until the visit of the Scottish traveler James Hamilton in 1852 all modern travelers (Browne, Horneman, Cailliaud and following) believed that the temple of the oracle was that of Umm Ubayda also because the real temple, on the acropolis of Aghurmi, was hidden from the constructions in Kharshif and the acropolis itself was not accessible to foreigners.

Even Hamilton had been badly received and practically taken prisoner but thanks to the help of Yousef Ali he had managed to send a letter requesting help to the Egyptian viceroy who had sent 200 soldiers to the oasis. This allowed Hamilton, the first European, to enter the village and discover the ruins of the temple.

At first Hamilton continues to believe that the temple of the oracle is Umm Ubayda but then, a few years later, comparing Diodoro's description with what he saw it reconsider and advances the hypothesis that Aghurmi is the true temple of the Oracle. This hypothesis opens a lively discussion among scholars until Gustav Parthey dedicates a contribution of 60 pages to the analysis of classical sources and comparing Diodoro's account with the findings of Hamilton confirms that the remains of Aghurmi must be those of the Temple of Oracle.

J. Hamilton, "Wandering in North Africa", London 1856 E. F. Jomard, "Remarques sur l'oasis de Syouah, ou de Jupiter Ammon, suivies d'une relation de M. James Hamilton" from: "Bulletin de la Société de Géographie" 4a série, XV (1858) G. Parthey, "Das Orakel und die Oase des Ammon", Berlin 1862 from: Abhandlungen der Köninglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.


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