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) was an ancient Greek town located in Epirus, historical region now shared between Greece and Albania.Dodona was the ancient seat of the oracle of Zeus and Dione, the mother of Aphrodite, also honored as the wife of Zeus instead of Hera. It became mainly famous in antiquity as a cultural and religious Zeus shrine and oracle center, where many people traveled from neighboring places to worship Zeus and the goddess Dione, from which the city took its name.The diviner interpreted the cracks as the answer to his questions, which were engraved on the polished surface alongside the cracks.

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About six thousand different characters have been recorded from the inscriptions, of which some two thousand can be identified with modern versions; the remainder are mostly proper names.

Though constricted by the formulaic nature of their composition, the texts yield a mass of varied information which gives a vivid insight into the lives of the Shang people.

An example of the upper portion of an ox scapula prepared in this way is shown above.

The application of heat to the hollows on the reverse produced characteristic shaped cracks on the obverse; this is the origin of the Chinese character bu (‘to divine’).

By 1903 the first book of rubbings of oracle bone inscriptions had appeared, and interest in them among collectors grew rapidly, enabling unscrupulous dealers, who were careful to conceal the ultimate source of the bones, to profit from the ignorance of enthusiasts by selling egregious fakes.