Another well-known tripod was the Plataean Tripod, made from a tenth part of the spoils taken from the Persian army after the Battle of Plataea. This consisted of a golden basin, supported by a bronze serpent with three heads (or three serpents intertwined), with a list of the states that had taken part in the war inscribed on the coils of the serpent. The golden bowl was carried off by the Phocians during the Sacred War; the stand was removed by the emperor Constantine to Constantinople (modern İstanbul), where it can still be seen in the hippodrome, the Atmeydanı, although in damaged condition, the heads of the serpents having disappeared. The inscription, however, has been almost entirely restored. Such tripods usually had three ears (rings which served as handles) and frequently had a central upright as support in addition to the three legs.
Tripods are frequently mentioned by Homer as prizes in athletic games and as complimentary gifts; in later times, highly decorated and bearing inscriptions, they served the same purpose. They were also used as dedicatory offerings to the gods, and in the dramatic contests at the Dionysia the victorious choregus (a wealthy citizen who bore the expense of equipping and training the chorus) received a crown and a tripod. He would either dedicate the tripod to some god or set it upon the top of a marble structure erected in the form of a small circular temple in a street in Athens, called the street of tripods, from the large number of memorials of this kind. One of these, the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, erected by him to commemorate his victory in a dramatic contest in 335 BC, still stands. The form of the actual victory tripod, now missing from the top of Lysicrates' monument, has been variously rendered by scholars since the eighteenth century.
The scholar Martin L. West writes that the sibyl at Delphi shows many traits of shamanistic practices, likely inherited or influenced from Central Asian practices. He cites her sitting in a cauldron on a tripod, while making her prophecies, her being in an ecstatic trance state, like shamans, and her unintelligible utterings.
According to Herodotus (The Histories, I.144), the victory tripods were not to be taken from the temple sanctuary precinct, but left there for dedication.