Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The "Gate to Hell"

The Daily Mail reports that archaeologists have discovered the "gate to hell" as described in Greek and Roman myths. From the article:
Archaeologists say they have discovered the 'Gates of Hell', the mythical portal to the underworld in Greek and Roman legend.
The site, in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey, is said to closely match historical descriptions of what was known as Ploutonion in Greek and Pluutonium in Latin.
In its heyday, a small temple with traditional Greco-Roman pillars was said to have stood next to wall with steps leading down to a cave doorway filled with foul and noxious gasses.
... Among the ruins the archaeologists found a cave with Ionic semi columns upon which were inscriptions with dedications to the gods of the underworld -- Pluto and Kore.
Mr D'Andria told Discovery News: 'We could see the cave's lethal properties during the excavation.

'Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes.'
... The ancient city was founded around 190BC by Eumenes II, King of Pergamum. It was taken over by the Romans in 133 B.C..
Under Roman rule the city flourished. There were temples, a theater and people flocked to bathe in the hot springs which were believed to have healing properties.
Today Pamukkale is well known for the stunning white travertine terraces which are the result of the hot springs.

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