While taking part in a conference in Turkey, a team of Italian archaeologists went public with the news that they had made one very important archaeological discovery. Long story short, they claimed to have found the gate to hell.
What the archaeologists are referring to is in fact an opening, which Romans and Greeks used to call Pluto's Gate. This so-called gate to hell is located in southwestern Turkey, at a site now known as Pamukkale.
Opposing Views says that, in ancient times, this site used to be part and parcel of the Phrygian city of Hierapolis.
By the looks of it, this opening used to release lethal vapors into its surroundings, which was why any animal that came a tad too close to it would die an instant death.
Because of this, Romans and Greeks considered the opening to be some sort of a portal to the underworld.
According to the same source, this so-called gate to hell was mentioned by Greek geographer Strabo in several of his writings.
“This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell,” Strabo reportedly wrote in an attempt to describe the gate.
Ancient priests are believed to have purposely stood at a fair distance from the cave and inhaled these fumes in order to have visions.
The pilgrims who came to visit this site slept close to a nearby pool, and some of them also experienced visions.
Apparently, archaeological evidence supports the theory that the opening was indeed deadly to all those who came a tad too close to it.
“We could see the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation. Several birds died as they tried to get close to the arm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes,” Italian archaeologist Francesco D’Andria, now working with the University of Salento, told members of the press.
Further evidence which supports the claims that this opening used to be regarded as a gate to hell in ancient Greco-Roman mythology is the discovery of several semi-columns that have dedications to the ancient gods of the underworld (i.e. Pluto and Kore) inscribed on them.