Ancient Greek Altar Found at Patara Archaeological Site in Turkey

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A marble altar with an ancient Greek inscription dating over 2.000 years old was discovered recently by Turkish archeologists at the site of Patara close to the southwest coastal city of Antalya in Turkey.

The ancient Greek altar, which features a relief of a snake wrapped around the ancient stone with a Greek inscription, is thought to be over two thousand years old.

Speaking to Turkish media, Mustafa Koçak, an archaeologist working at the site, noted that such an altar has never been found in the area, but similar finds have been discovered at other ancient sites.

He hypothesized that the snake motif relates to the worship of the gods, as people would make sacrifices and give offerings to the gods at altars like this one.

Koçak added that archaeologists have encountered sculptural forms of large snakes throughout their excavations that resemble the one found on the altar and theorized that there may have also been others present in the city during ancient times.

Patara, where the altar was found, was a commerce hub

Patara was an ancient and flourishing maritime and commercial city, capital of Lycia, on the south-west coast of Turkey near the modern small town of Gelemiş, in Antalya Province. It is the birthplace of Saint Nicholas in 270 AD, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra.