The Oracle of Delphi was a priestess who served at the Shrine of Apollo in Delphi, a Greek city. According to archaeological evidence, an oracle was associated with the site as early as the eighth century BCE, with the site being shut down in the fourth century CE because it was deemed inappropriate by the newly Christianized Roman Empire. Numerous contemporaries wrote about the Oracle and depicted her in works of art, and she is perhaps one of the most famous and enigmatic figures in Greek culture.
Obviously, a single person didn't serve at the site for over a thousand years. Instead, the Oracle of Delphi was chosen from among the priestesses of Apollo who served at the shrine. The Oracle had to be of good character, but she might be rich, poor, learned, old, ignorant, or young; the primary criterion appeared to be her potential fitness to serve. Once a woman became the Oracle of Delphi, she took the name Pythia, abandoning her previous life.
By tradition, the Oracle of Delphi sat on a three-legged stool over an opening in the Earth which supposedly conveyed messages from Apollo. Supplicants were supported from the Oracle by a barrier, and they were expected to sit quietly while she delivered her message as the mouthpiece of Apollo. The Oracle's proclamations were sometimes quite cryptic and at other times very clear, and many contemporary authors suggested that the Oracles gave advice and information in their own voices as often as they used Apollo's.
Delphi itself is a very interesting site, and thanks to the rich trove of archaeological treasures there, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. The Greeks believed that Delphi was the center of the world, and they went there to visit the omphalos, or navel-stone, which marked the middle of the known world. The ompahlos at Delphi was covered in a carved knotted pattern, and it was typically kept close to the Pythia.
Many societies have had some version of an oracle or a sacred priestess, suggesting a universal desire for information from the gods about the future. The Oracle at Delphi is only one among many such women, and she was obviously a topic of intense interest and discussion in Ancient Greece, with many people writing about her and their experiences at Delphi. Today, no oracle sits in Delphi, although some people claim that they feel an intense and almost supernatural connection with the site and its ancient history.