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Human remains found at Temple of Zeus

The 3,000-year-old skeleton of a teenager has been found at the Temple of Zeus at Mount Lykaion in Greece.

Excavations this summer on Mount Lykaion, once worshipped as the birthplace of the god Zeus, uncovered the 3,000-year-old skeleton of a teenager amid a mound of ashes built up over a millennium from sacrificed animals.

Greece’s Culture Ministry said Wednesday that the skeleton, probably of an adolescent boy, was found in the heart of the 30-meter (100-foot) broad ash altar, next to a man-made stone platform.

Excavators say it’s too early to speculate on the nature of the teenager’s death but the discovery is remarkable because the remote Mount Lykaion was for centuries associated with the most nefarious of Greek cults: Ancient writers — including Plato — linked it with human sacrifice to Zeus, a practice which has very rarely been confirmed by archaeologists anywhere in the Greek world and never on mainland Greece.

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Story: NIcholas Paphitis, Ekathimerini | Photo: Ekathimerini

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