Gate to the Underworld found In ancient Hieropolis
|The archaeological area oh Hierapolis [Credit: ANSA]|
According to Greco-Roman mythology and tradition, the Gate to the Underworld, also known as Pluto's Gate - Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin - was the entrance point to hell. Both Cicero and Greek geographer Strabus referred to the Hierapolis Plutonium in their writings, and both had visited it.
It was a well-known place of pilgrimage in Antiquity. Since the excavations commenced in Hierapolis in 1957 - by an Italian mission under Paolo Verzone from the Turin Polytechnic - finding the exact location of Plutonium had been the focus of the archaeological digs. D'Andria told ANSAmed that he had found it by studying the vast literature from the period and reconstructing the route of a thermal spring to a cave, ascertaining that in that area bird corpses were collected.
According to the tales of the travelers in those times, bulls were sacrificed to Pluto before pilgrimages into the Plutonium. The animals were led by priests to the entrance to a cave from which fetid fumes arose, suffocating them to death. The announcement of the discovery was made during a conference on Italian archaeological excavations in Turkey supported by Italian Ambassador to Turkey Giampaolo Scarante.
Source: ANSAmed [March 14, 2013]