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Archaeologists discovered in Taman an ancient Greek altar of unique design

Scientists have discovered an altar during the excavations of the ancient city of Fanagoria in the Taman Peninsula. The design of the altar is unique to the ancient Greek colonies of the Black Sea region, said Vladimir Kuznetsov, the head of the Fanagorian archaeological expedition.
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«The complex dates back to the time of the founding of Fanagoria — the middle of the VIth century BC, give or take … I do not know of another such complex found anywhere in the Black Sea region, and it is a rarity even for the Mediterranean as a whole. It’s its construction that is unique, there had not been such altars discovered before, with precisely that set of features,» Kuznetsov said.

He explained that the building of clay bricks had been deepened two metres into the ground, into a layer of soil which had formed before the people settled in this place. A staircase led from the cellar upstairs to a small landing area in front of the altar of a rectangular shape, also built of bricks. There was a bowl on the edge of the altar, with diameter of 80 cm, and a deep pit next to the altar. There are also traces of fire and ash on the surface of the altar and along the edge of the pit.

The scientists now believe that the building they found is a sanctuary dedicated to underground deities. Sacrifices were made on the altar and blood was poured into the bowl so that it would not touch the altar. Bones found in the pit suggest that the remains of the sacrifices were thrown there.

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