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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Pluto’s Gate Has Been Found In Turkey

April 2, 2013
Image Credit: Kletr / Shutterstock


Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

The archeologist who once claimed to have found the tomb of one of Jesus´ 12 disciples is now saying he has discovered what many once considered the Gates of Hell in southwestern Turkey.

This place was once known as “Pluto´s Gate,” a shrine to the gods of the underworld. In addition to being associated with the underworld, Pluto´s Gate was also known for spewing out toxic fumes that could kill animals and cause humans to hallucinate and see visions.

Greek geographer Strabo once said of this place: “This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell.”

This finding was announced last month in an Italian archeology conference held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Francesco D’Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento, led this team.

According to Discovery News, this site was suspected to be near the historic Phrygian City of Hierapolis, near what is now known as Pamukkale. The city was known for its thermal springs, which many believed had healing powers. It was these springs that led D´Andria to find Pluto´s Gate.

“We found the Plutonium by reconstructing the route of a thermal spring,” said the archaeologist in an interview with Discovery News.

“Indeed, Pamukkale’ springs, which produce the famous white travertine terraces originate from this cave.”

As the team began to excavate the Gates of Hell, they discovered Ionic semi columns, as well as references to Pluto and Kore, the gods of the underworld. D´Andira also found ruins that matched the ancient descriptions, including a pool and a series of steps that led into the mouth of the cave. Thousands of years ago, this would have been the place where ancient worshippers would have paid their homage to Pluto and Kore.

“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.

To test the deadly effects of the vapors spewing forth from the cave, visitors were given small birds to hurl into the opening. These birds would die as soon as they breathed the fumes.

Priests were also on hand in these days to sacrifice bulls to the gods of the underworld. These priests weren´t immune to the effects of the gases and would hallucinate wildly as they performed their rites, which involved leading the bulls into the cave, and then dragging them out once they died.

The gasses are still in effect, according to D´Andria. As he and his team were working to excavate the Gates of Hell, several birds attempted to fly into the warm opening in the mouth of the cave. They were instantly killed by the fumes.

After sacrificing birds and bulls to the gods, ancient pilgrims would then bathe in a nearby pool and sleep not too far from the cave.

At this distance, the fumes were said to give the pilgrims visions, prophecies and other hallucinations.

This site was fully functional until the fourth century. Pilgrims occasionally visited the site two centuries later, until Christians reportedly destroyed the site. Subsequent earthquakes and thousands of years have also helped to bring ruin to this ancient place.


Source: Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online