Friday, October 20, 2006

Hercules Sanctuary at Thebes: Part II

From today's ekathimerini

Among the many archaeological objects found on the plot of land in Thebes was a statue of the mythical hero Hercules and a lion.


Two years ago exciting finds related to the cult of Hercules came to light on a plot of land in Thebes, sparking international interest and prompting the Greek Culture Ministry to plan an archaeological site in downtown Thebes.

On Tuesday, the Central Archaeological Council decided to appropriate a 343.76-square-meter plot at 13 Polyneiki Street, in order to protect and showcase the archaeological remains related to the cult.

That site held a wealth of finds (including more than 300 groups of ceramics) that will help researchers further examine the area's history.

Among the finds were architectural remains from the Bronze Age, sections of flooring (some of them from the Christian era), Mycenean potsherds, finds which indicate the existence of a temple, and inscriptions that refer to the cult of Hercules and one that is dedicated to Megara.

Also found was a sculpture of Hercules with the lion, a bronze tripod, a pit of votive objects, sacrificial knives and colored potsherds depicting the feats of the mythical hero, Dedalic statues, a 7th century AD kore, and other 5th century BC sculptures.

All the objects found on Polyneiki Street indicate that the site was in use from the late 8th century BC to 480 BC.

The site to be expropriated is on the southwest side of the Acropolis of Cadmeia, about 200 meters south of the gates of Electra. The Thebes tax authority valued the land at 62,000 euros.

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