North American visitors to Turkey almost always arrive in Istanbul and spend at least one day there visiting the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Archaeological Museum.
When visiting the Hippodrome we “ooh and ah” at the obelisk of Thutmose III and south of it the “Serpentine Column.”
Constantine brought the Serpentine Column from Delphi (Greece) to his New Rome (Constantinople/Istanbul) after he had established his capital there.
This column/tripod had three intertwined heads (see diagram above; two heads are now missing). It originally stood near the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Greece; see picture below).
The column and tripod were dedicated in 479 B.C. They commemorated the victory of 31 Greek cities over the Persians in the battle at Plataea in 479 B.C. One of its surviving heads is in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.
The Archaeological Museum in Istanbul has been under renovation for over three years. And during that time selected artifacts are on display in a narrow winding maze. Unfortunately, most people pass by, without even noticing, the one remaining serpent’s head from the Serpentine Column.