(Greece) – Archaeologists have confirmed the discovery of human remains on top of Mount Lykaion at the site of a well-known ancient altar that is dedicated to Zeus, king of the gods. According to the legends, Greeks participated in human sacrifices to the god and this skeleton is thought to support those legends. Mount Lykaion is known for being one of the centers in Ancient Greece where worship of Zeus took place. It is also said to be his birthplace. The skeleton that was found at the site was around 3000 years old and was found in a mound of ashes that appears to have come about because of animal sacrifices.
This past Wednesday, representatives from the Greek Culture Ministry said that the skeleton most likely belongs to a boy who was in his adolescence when he died. It was found at the heart of Zeus’s altar, embedded in the ashes. The skeleton was also found next to a platform that is made of stone. Although researchers may think that the skeleton points to human sacrifice, they are also quick to point out that it is too early in the process to reach any final conclusions. However, the discovery is still an important one.
David Gilman Romano, an excavator at the site, said that, “Several ancient literary sources mention rumors that human sacrifice took place at the altar, but up until a few weeks ago there has been no trace whatsoever of human bones discovered at the site. Whether it’s a sacrifice or not, this is a sacrificial altar … so it’s not a place where you would bury an individual. It’s not a cemetery.”
This detail is an important one and could help researchers discover the real reason why the skeleton was located there. Romano also said that, “We have a number of years of future excavation to go. We don’t know if we are going to find more human burials or not.”