|27 January 2005
Shrine to Hercules unearthed in Greece
Archaeologists working on the site of a hotel development in Thebes, Greece, believe they may have uncovered a shrine to Hercules mentioned by a classical poet writing 2500 years ago.
Pindar described the shrine - which was built over the birthplace of Hercules - and according to the head of the regional archaeological service, Vassilis Aravantinos, his descriptions match with what the archaeologists are now finding: “We had waited for many years for this discovery but it never came. These findings support the ancient writings. There are signs of worship of Hercules.”
The current dig was started in February last year, and has revealed the remains of an altar and ancient dwellings used for more than 3000 years. Archaeologists have found hundreds of ceramic vessels, small bronze statues (including one of Hercules wrestling with a lion), animal bones, and a thick layer of ash from the sacrificial burning of animals. The many finds date from the third millennium BCE up to the late Byzantine era. “We’re still finding beads, bones and coins. There are so many, you can’t imagine,” said Costas Kakoseos, who works on the site.
For the time being, the building of the hotel has been put on hold, and there are plans for a new museum to house the artefacts from the dig.
Source: Kathimerini (21 January 2005)
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