Greek highway construction unearths sanctuary to god of healing

Published on March 28th, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

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healing
Highway workers in Greece have uncovered a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepios, the god of healing.

The sanctuary was found some 200 kilometres north of Athens on the outskirts of the ancient port town of Dafnounta, near the present city of Lamia. It dates to the fifth century BCE and is one of the oldest associated with the cult of Asclepios — and best preserved — ever discovered in Greece, the archaeologist said. Its modest size, 30 by 15 metres, suggests that it was near a small provincial town, she said. The remains of the sanctuary, which had been visited and cited by the Greek historian Strabon in the first century AD, were found during construction on the new Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki highway in 2005-2007. Its identity was confirmed thanks to the discovery of snake-shaped offerings and jewels and shards bearing the healing god’s name. Asclepios, son of the sun-god Apollo, carried a snake-entwined staff which remains a symbol of medicine today.

[tweetmeme][Full story] Story: AFP | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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