Mythic Birthplace of Zeus Said Found

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The
Greek god of thunder and lightning had Earthly beginnings, and scientists
think they finally know where.

Ancient Greeks
first worshipped the omnipotent Zeus at a remote altar on Mount
Lykaion, a team of Greek and American archaeologists now think.
During a recent dig at the site, the researchers found ceremonial
goods commonly used in cult
activity
and dated at over three millennia old, making them
the earliest known "appearance" of Zeus in Greece.

The discovery
challenges the idea that Zeus worship began on the Greek island
of Crete, which at least one classical historian names as the god’s
mythic birthplace. The latest finds
on Mount Lykaion
, in the mainland province of Arcadia, are as
old as the idea of Zeus himself, said the project’s senior research
scientist David Romano, of the University of Pennsylvania.

"This
new evidence strongly suggests that there were drinking (and perhaps
feasting) parties taking place on the top of the mountain in the
Late Helladic period, around 3,300 or 3,400 years ago," Romano
said.

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February
11, 2009

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