The Gates of Hell of Ancient Greece have been found in south-western Turkey, believe a group of Italian archaeologists.
The archaeologists believe the gates are found in an ancient cave called Plutonium that within houses the portal to the Hades of Greek mythology, complete with poisonous vapours. The new discovery features a temple, a pool and multiple steps that once descended into the hell. There were even inscriptions in stones related to the underworld rulers Pluto and Kore.
‘This is an exceptional discovery as it confirms and clarifies the information we have from the ancient literary and historic sources,” Alister Filippini, a researcher and Roman historian at the University of Palermo, Italy, told Discovery News.
Ancient Greek mythology was used to direct and guide the archaeologists to uncover the portal to the underworld.
In ancient times, people would watch the sacred rites from the steps but only the priests could stand in front of the portal opening. The gate was used for sacred rites, including sacrifices of animals.
Ancient scripts from around 2000 years ago, written by Greek geographer Strabo, mentioned the gate to hell as located at the ancient site in Turkey, noted Discovery, but nobody had been able to find it until now.
“This space is full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell,” Strabo wrote.
The archaeologists told Discovery that they 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.