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Bones may belong to teen sacrificed to Zeus

Luke Skywalker

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Photo shows the 11th century B.C. skeleton of a teenager excavated recently at Mount Lykaion in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece.(Photo: AP)

(NEWSER)<span style="color: Red;">*</span>– An ancient legend tells of a man sneaking a human boy into an animal sacrifice to Zeus on Greece's Mount Lykaion and being turned into a wolf as punishment, the<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Washington Post<span style="color: Red;">*</span>reports. But despite Plato and others writing about ongoing human sacrifices, archaeologists have never been able to confirm the practice on mainland Greece, according to the<span style="color: Red;">*</span>AP. That may have just changed. On Wednesday, the<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Guardian<span style="color: Red;">*</span>reports, the Greek government announced the discovery of a 3,000-year-old skeleton belonging to a teenage boy. It was found buried at the ancient sacrificial altar on Mount Lykaion amidst the ashes from 1,000 years of animal sacrifices. The find may confirm what the AP calls "one of the darkest legends of antiquity."
An expert at Columbia University tells the<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Post<span style="color: Red;">*</span>that the find, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, could be "extremely significant." Ancient writers reported ongoing human sacrifices at Mount Lykaion, a center of Zeus worship, possibly in hopes of being turned into wolves. Evidence — including the removal of most of the skull and the arrangement of the body — points to the newly discovered remains being those of a human sacrifice. However, a body being buried at the altar where it was sacrificed would be unusual. Archaeologists hope to find more evidence for the existence of human sacrifices in ancient Greece. And with only 7% of the Mount Lykaion altar having been excavated, there's a chance more human remains are waiting. (An archaeologist thinks she's<span style="color: Red;">*</span>solved the mystery of Mexico's Teotihuacan.)
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