Archaeologists have supposedly found the temple of Hercules, the famed Roman god of strength, though further investigations are still to come. By Naina Atri
Once a religious sanctuary visited by great historical figures like Julius Caesar, the Temple of Hercules Gaditanus was lost with the tides of time, becoming a legend more than a reality to the modern historian. However, with the use of digital technology, archaeologists may have found ruins that match the descriptions of the legendary religious shrine in the Bay of Cádiz, off the coast of Spain, reports the Daily Mail.
Dated back to the eighth century BC, the temple, also called the Temple of Melqart, was once one of the most significant religious sites of pilgrimage of the Western world. The columned structure was said to be elaborately decorated, with columns depicting the twelve labours of Hercules, carved in bronze. It is said that Caesar was once brought to tears by the depiction of Alexander the Great at the temple.
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What archaeologists of the University of Seville and the Andalucian Historical Heritage Institute have now found is a nearly 1,000-foot-long, 500-foot-wide structure, as reported by the Smithsonian Magazine. This site of enduring importance has been specifically located between Camposoto and Sancti Petri in the southern region of Andalusia. According to the statement made by the university about the findings, researchers also claim to have found a new coastal landscape and a coastline that has been anthropized over time, by human actions, such as agricultural processes or urbanisation. The area is intertidal i.e. it is above water at low tide and underwater at high tide.
However, the work doesn’t end here. Along with further archaeological surveys, researchers will study the now ancient geological material (known as paleoenvironmental sampling). Their findings will be continuously corroborated with ancient literature about Hercules’ sanctum. Given how academically controversial the location of the temple has been, these findings are obviously significant and exciting. If confirmed, more groundbreaking discoveries may be uncovered about the Greco-Roman ancient civilisation.