Archaeologists have found traces in the Krasnodar region of one of the most mysterious ancient Greek cults

March 6, 2012 12:35

The scientists involved in the study of the ancient temple complex dedicated to the goddess Demeter in Anapa, Krasnodar Krai region, have suggested that in its territory in ancient times come to pass one of the most mysterious rites of antiquity — the Eleusinian mysteries.

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Ancient Greek authors argued that in the afterlife waiting for all the suffering and only initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries will find there is a blissful existence.

Eleusinian Mysteries came from an ancient agricultural cult attributable to the Minoan era. They were dedicated to the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. About what happened to Mr. Little is known as dedicated swore on pain of death not to reveal what they have learned. Moreover, anyone who saw the accident that occurred during this rite, was condemned to death.

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

More or less detailed information about what happened during the Eleusinian mysteries can be found in early Christian writers. According to them, a dedication ceremony took place in several stages. During the mysteries neophytes gave contemplate the sacred symbols and sacred food to eat, there was a "complete purification." At the end of the ceremony, the stories of Plutarch dedicated had to endure a terrible thing, followed by a genuine contemplation of divinity.

Duties of the high priest could perform only member of the genus Evmolpidov. According to legend, their ancestors — Evmolpu Dimetra — opened the essence of the Eleusinian mysteries and made him a priest. In Roman times, related with evmolpidami, high priest of the mysteries was not even the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Head of Eastern Bosporus Expedition Nicholas Sudarev: "We know that the Bosporan kings was related to the family Evmolpidov. As members of this genus, they were given the right to perform in this sacrament priestly duties. Respectively, and at home, as high priests of Demeter, they celebrated the mysteries of Eleusis by model. During excavations near the village of Messenger, we are faced with a monumental structure built by all the classical ancient Greek canons. This suggests that such a big deal for the time structure could be built only with the support and direct participation of the supreme power of the Bosporan kingdom. "

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Photo courtesy of the administration of the Fund "Archaeology"

Oleg Markov, director of development fund "Archaeology": "In this case, we are dealing with a unique archaeological site. Analogue would be in life, is that known to everyone Stouhendzh in England. One has only to imagine what the temple complex in the ancient Journal for 50 years of the Parthenon, and is located almost in the least unique necropolis belonging to representatives of pre-Greek population of the Taman Peninsula. However, the English religious complexes known around the world, it is studied and visited by tourists all over the world, and we have a magnificent monument of archeology, is history, but there is no funding for the study and its desire to maintain an interesting tourist destination. So, in the real help in the study of the temple of Demeter we get only from voluntarily came to the excavation of volunteers. "

Information provided by the administration of the Fund "Archaeology".

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