Archaeologists in the north of Israel may have discovered the sanctuary of the Greek god Pan in the ancient city of Hippos. Excavations conducted by the Qingmen Institute of Archeology at the University of Haifa uncovered the monumental Roman gates, which may have led to the creation of a complex dedicated to the worship of Pan, the god of flocks and shepherds, who is depicted as half human and half-bred Greek mythology. A new archaeological find can help researchers better understand previous discoveries in the ancient city. Last year archaeologists discovered a bronze mask of Pan, which is unusually large compared to other similar bronze masks of the Greek god, dating from the same period. Researchers said that efforts on the date of the paragraph or the explanation of the function of the mask would be difficult. [7 of the most mysterious archaeological finds on Earth]
Having recently opened the gate, Michael Eisenberg, the leader of the expedition, said that the researchers now have a starting point that will help them to seek answers.
“Now that all the gates have been opened, we have not only the best information for acquaintance with the mask, but also the key to its function,” Eisenberg said in a statement. “Are we looking at the gate leading to the sanctuary of the god Pan or one of the village gods?”
The mask was discovered in the remains of a large stone building, and archaeologists hoped that finding the rest of the building would suggest a context about the origin of the mask.
Based on what they found in the excavation, the researchers calculated that the original sluice was about 6 meters high and that the whole building was probably even higher. They also timed the building to the time of the Roman emperor Adrian, who ruled from 117 to 138 AD.
Eisenberg put forward the hypothesis that the place that was discovered outside the city may have been compound for Panya’s god and that it was built right before the entrance to the hippos.
“The mask, and now the gate into which it was embedded, continue to poison our imagination,” Eisenberg said. “Pan worship sometimes included ceremonies related to drinking, sacrifices and ecstatic rituals, including nudity and sex. This worship usually took place outside the city walls, in caves and other natural places. ”
Hippos, also called Sushita, come to the Sea of Galilee and were founded in the third century BC. And destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD. Hippos also have historical significance in Christianity, because they once formed the so-called “Decapolis” area along the Jordan River, described in the New Testament, which, along with other ancient cities along the Jordan River, was the land in which Jesus performed miracles.
As new discoveries are made in the future excavations, the researchers said that the recently unearthed material will continue to shed light on the history of the ancient city.
“What worship of Pan or his compatriot Dionysus, the god of wine, happened here in a hippopotamus?” Eisenberg said. “To answer this question, we will have to continue to dig.”
Hippos (Sussita) Excavations – portal for the pot by mayzenb on Sketchfab
Original article about Live Science.