News Article

News Article

Archaeologists Discover Deadly 'Gates of Hell' in Turkish Ruins

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A research team recently discovered a crumbling structure in southwestern Turkey which closely matches ancient Greek and Roman descriptions of a passage to the underworld, or the Gates of Hell.
 
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Image: Francesco D’Andria
 
Led by archaeologist Francesco D’Andria, the scientists also found a subterranean cave, which according to ancient writings would kill anyone who entered it. The team observed several birds entering the passage, attracted by the warmer air inside, which was mostly made up of carbon dioxide. In moments the birds were dead, giving further proof to the legend.
 
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Image: Francesco D’Andria
 
D’Andria and his team uncovered even more evidence, including a statue of a coiled snake – a symbol of the underworld – and a large figure of Cerberus, the three-headed dog which, according to myth, served as the ferocious guardian of Hell's gateway.
 
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Images: Francesco D’Andria
 
They also revealed a ceremonial ground where priests apparently sacrificed animals to the god of the underworld (Hades to the Greeks; Pluto to the Romans) by exposing them to the toxic gases. Those fumes may also have triggered intense hallucinations which would then become part of the sacrificial ritual.
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