March 27, 2009

Oldest Religious Temple Discovered In Cyprus

An Italian archaeologist has unearthed what she believes is the oldest location of religious worship in Cyprus, a 4,000 year old temple.

The huge discovery at the Pyrgos-Mavroraki location, near the city of the Mediterranean city Limassol, is older than any other finds in Cyprus by 1,000 years, Italian archaeologist Maria Rosaria Belgiorno announced.

"This is the first evidence of religion in Cyprus at the beginning of the second millennium BC," she was said to Rome's Cyprus Weekly newspaper.

The Cyprus Antiquities Department said supplementary assessment is needed before the find is established. "We cannot dismiss the claim but we cannot verify it either," Antiquities Department official Maria Hadjicosti said to Reuters.

Belgiorno found the outline of the triangular temple, including two rooms. A sacrificial altar bordered by a channel finished the monumental discovery.

"We found no statues, but there is evidence that it is a monotheistic temple," she noted. It was most likely shattered from an earthquake and deserted in 1800 BC.

In ancient times, triangles delineated spiritual gates or personified three separate gods.

In past times, the Pyrgos-Mavroraki location has been the site of finds like an antique perfumery to locating the earliest attempts of how olive oil was utilized to heat furnaces.


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