Friday, January 21, 2005

Shrine to Hercules unearthed

ekathimerini.com "an archaeological site dubbed "Hercules? House" - the place, experts say, that the ancient Greeks may have held to be the mythological hero?s birthplace, has yielded the remains of an altar and ancient dwellings used for more than 3,000 years.

Vassilis Aravantinos, head of the regional archaeological service, said finds on the site tally with descriptions by the poet Pindar some 2,500 years ago of a shrine to Hercules built on his legendary birthplace.

'We had waited for many years for this discovery but it never came... These findings support the ancient writings," Aravantinos said. "There are signs of worship of Hercules."

Small bronze figures, including one showing Hercules grappling with a lion, are a key piece of evidence.

With most of the 335-square-meter site explored, archaeologists have recovered several hundred ceramic vessels, small bronze statues, animal bones, and a thick layer of ash created from burning animals sacrificed to the gods."