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Archeology News of March 2012
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  3/29/12
By: Yona Williams

As highway construction began in central Greece, the digging has uncovered one of the oldest sanctuaries dedicated to the god of healing, Asclepios. This would make the oldest of its kind ever found. Dating back to 5th century BC, the sanctuary appears in writings by the historian Strabon in the 1st century AD. In this article, you will learn more about this exciting discovery, as well as other recent news.

Ancient Find in Greece

The remains of the sanctuary dedicated to Asclepios were transported stone by stone out of the path of highway construction. As bulldozers got ready to resume their project, researchers had to race against the clock to study and relocate the findings before they were ruined by the construction work. They were given a deadline and after the date had passed – the site would be handed over to the construction workers. Researchers were able to complete at least two years' worth of work in a matter of six months.

The sanctuary was located about 200 kilometers north of Athens – situated on the outskirts of the ancient port town of Dafnounta, which is close to what is now known as the city of Lamia. The site not only dates back to the 5th century BC, but is also one of the best preserved found to date in Greece. Measuring 30 by 15 meters, the structure was most likely part of a small provincial town.

Offering in the shape of a snake, jewels, and shards with the name of Asclepios on them allowed archeologists to identify the site. The sanctuary was dedicated to Asclepios (the god of healing) who was the son of Apollo – the sun-god. He carried a staff with a snake wrapped around it which to this day is recognized as a symbol of medicine.

Other archeology headlines to hit the news include:

  • A new lead in the case of the missing Peking Man fossils has emerged. Originally, the bones were found close to Beijing during the 1930s. Some of the fossils were boxed up and sent to the American Museum of Natural History in New York for safekeeping during World War II. The specimens never made it and are thought to have ended up buried at Camp Holcomb, which is an American military base situated at the port city of Qinhaungdao.
  • A section of the Great Wall of China has been detected with the help of Google Earth. Long-forgotten or lost, this part of the wall is located in southern Mongolia and is comprised of mud, desert shrubs, and quarried black volcanic rock. It is thought to date back to a time somewhere between 1040 AD and 1160.
  • In Utah, a reburial of 53 sets of human remains has been set for this spring. The remains were uncovered during the construction of a dam close to Kanab. The burials in the area date back 1,000 years and are accompanied by 30 pit houses and storage structures.


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