'Gate to hell' dug up in Turkey
The mythical - and, let's face it, horrifying-- 'gate to hell' has finally been discovered in a cave in Turkey. (Google Maps)
Daniel Reid, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, April 2, 2013 5:38PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 2, 2013 6:21PM EDT
It's a discovery that seems like it was lifted right from the script of the next George A. Romero movie.
The mythical -- and, let's face it, horrifying -- "gate to hell" has finally been discovered in a cave in Turkey.
According to Greek and Roman legend, the so-called portal to the underworld was said to be "full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground."
"Any animal that passes inside meets instant death," wrote Strabo, the ancient Greek geographer.
As it turns out, the legends were at least partially true.
While it might not actually be a gateway to the afterworld, the cave in the Ruins of Hierapolis does emit poisonous gases, according to the dig's lead archaeologist.
“We could see the cave's lethal properties during the excavation," Francesco D'Andria told Discovery News. "Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon monoxide fumes."
The archaeologist also found other remains that match ancient descriptions: a temple, a pool and a series of steps placed above the cave, where the gate is located.
“People could watch the sacred rites from these steps, but they could not get to the area near the opening. Only the priests could stand in front of the portal,” D'Andria told Discovery.
The supposed door to Satan's home -- also known as Pluto's gate -- was destroyed by the Christians in the sixth century.
D'Andria and his team say they are now working on a digital reconstruction of the site.