`Gate to hell` discovered in Turkey
Washington: Italian archaeologists have uncovered a “gate to hell” from ruins in southwestern Turkey.
Known as Pluto’s Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.
According to historic sources, the site was located in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now called Pamukkale, and the opening was described as filled with lethal mephitic vapors.
Greek geographer Strabo (64/63 BC -- about 24 AD) wrote that this space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground and any animal that passes inside meets instant death.
The finding, announced this month at a conference on Italian archaeology in Istanbul, Turkey, was made by a team led by Francesco D’Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento.
“We found the Plutonium by reconstructing the route of a thermal spring. Indeed, Pamukkale’ springs, which produce the famous white travertine terraces originate from this cave,” D’Andria told Discovery News.
Featuring a vast array of abandoned broken ruins, possibly the result of earthquakes, the site revealed more ruins once it was excavated. The archaeologists found Ionic semi columns and, on top of them, an inscription with a dedication to the deities of the underworld -- Pluto and Kore.
D’Andria also found the remains of a temple, a pool and a series of steps placed above the cave -- all matching the descriptions of the site in ancient sources.
“People could watch the sacred rites from these steps, but they could not get to the area near the opening. Only the priests could stand in front of the portal,” D’Andria said.
D’Andria said they could see the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation. He said several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes.
According to D’Andria, the site was a famous destination for rites of incubation. Pilgrims took the waters in the pool near the temple, slept not too far from the cave and received visions and prophecies, in a sort of oracle of Delphi effect. Indeed, the fumes coming from the depths of Hierapoli’s phreatic groundwater produced hallucinations.
D’Andria and his team are now working on the digital reconstruction of the site.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party changes its logo
- Unidentified flying objects spotted over Mumbai airport not motorised: Home Department
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Militants kill five, target telecoms in Kashmir attacks
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah