Search - School / College / Institute

Remains of a Human Sacrifice to Zeus Unearthed


In a statement from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs, a discovery is announced on August 10, 2016 stating that a 3,000 year-old skeleton has been discovered at an altar dedicated to Zeus at Mount Lykaion in Greece. The archaeologists confirmed that the new finding can be the remains of a human sacrifice offered to the Greek god.


A team of researchers have found a skeleton of a male teenager on the side of Mount Lykaion – known to be site of animal sacrifices to Zeus. Mount Lykaion was associated with human sacrifice by many ancient writers including Plato. Zeus was god of the sky and thunder, who later became the leader of the classical Greek pantheon.


As per the researchers 7% of the altar on Lykaion has been excavated.  David Romano, professor of Greek archaeology, who participated in the excavation, stated that the upper part of the skull is missing, whereas the body was laid among two lines of stones on an east-west axis, with stone slabs covering the pelvis. He also mentioned that “Whether it’s a sacrifice or not, this is a sacrificial altar….so it’s not a place where you would bury an individual. It’s not a cemetery.”


According to ancient literary sources there are rumours that human sacrifice took place at the altar, but until a few weeks ago there has been no trace at all of human bones revealed at the site.


Read More