2600-year-old object of unknown purpose found in the temple of Asclepius

2600-year-old object of unknown purpose found in the temple of Asclepius
2600-year-old object of unknown purpose found in the temple of Asclepius

In Greece, archaeologists working in the famous temple of Asclepius in the ancient city of Epidaurus have discovered a building of unknown purpose, the study of which will probably make it possible to rewrite the chronology of the worship of the god of medicine.

According to the Greek Reporter, excavations at the Sanctuary of Asclepius of Epidaurus have been carried out by the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Athens since 2016. It would seem that this temple is well studied.

However, Greek archaeologists reported a sensational find - a previously unknown structure that was part of a ritual complex. Scientists note that this building provides a new insight into the famous sanctuary.

The fact is that it dates back to about 600 BC. Until now, it was believed that in Epidaurus the worship of Asclepius began around 550 BC.

Archaeologists note that the purpose of the discovered building is unknown. It has not yet been established exactly what functions it could perform in the sanctuary. This structure is located on the site adjacent to where Tolos is located - the most iconic, mysterious and important building of Asklepion.

The excavated structure has a regular rectangular shape. It is equipped with a basement, comparable in size to the basement. A mosaic was found inside.

According to the professor of the University of Athens Vasilis Lamprinudakis, who directs the excavations in ancient Epidaurus, the found object may have been the predecessor of Tholos. And Tholos himself, as established by previous studies, was a kind of underground house of Asclepius, where patients were treated "by injection."

“A patient who slept in this special place saw in a dream the god of medicine Asclepius, who gave him medicine,” says Lamprinudakis. “Perhaps the building we found performed a function similar to that later performed by Tholos, that is, his basement served as a place stay of Asclepius on earth.

The archaeologist also explained that the name "Tolos" was given to this structure by the ancient traveler Pausanias only in the 2nd century AD. And its original name, as the inscriptions of the 4th century BC say, was "Timeli".

According to the writings of the poet Hesiod, Asclepius was the son of Apollo. He was born in Epidaurus and was considered the ancient Greek god of medicine. The sanctuaries dedicated to him are called asclepions. In fact, these were the first hospital hospitals.

Scientists are aware of the existence of approximately 300 Asclepions. The most famous of them is located in the homeland of Asclepius - in Epidaurus, in the northeast of the Peloponnese.