Europe

Mountaintop dig finds chilling echo of dark Greek legend

  • This undated photo released Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, provided by the Greek Culture Ministry, shows the 11th century B.C. skeleton of a teenager, with jaw section at top, excavated recently at Mount Lykaion in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece, the mountaintop sanctuary of Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods.  Scientists are still investigating the 3,000-year old skeleton intriguingly found deep in an ash mound seemingly formed from the remains of animal sacrifices, although it is still unclear how the youth died.  (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)

    This undated photo released Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, provided by the Greek Culture Ministry, shows the 11th century B.C. skeleton of a teenager, with jaw section at top, excavated recently at Mount Lykaion in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece, the mountaintop sanctuary of Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods. Scientists are still investigating the 3,000-year old skeleton intriguingly found deep in an ash mound seemingly formed from the remains of animal sacrifices, although it is still unclear how the youth died. (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated photo released Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, provided by the Greek Culture Ministry, shows the 11th century B.C. skeleton of a teenager excavated recently at Mount Lykaion in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece, the mountaintop sanctuary of Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods.  Scientists are still investigating the 3,000-year old skeleton intriguingly found deep in an ash mound seemingly formed from the remains of animal sacrifices, although it is still unclear how the youth died. (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)

    This undated photo released Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016, provided by the Greek Culture Ministry, shows the 11th century B.C. skeleton of a teenager excavated recently at Mount Lykaion in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece, the mountaintop sanctuary of Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods. Scientists are still investigating the 3,000-year old skeleton intriguingly found deep in an ash mound seemingly formed from the remains of animal sacrifices, although it is still unclear how the youth died. (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Archaeologists in Greece have made a sinister discovery on a southern mountain top dedicated to the ancient god Zeus, which might corroborate one of the darkest Greek legends.

The Culture Ministry said Wednesday that an excavation of a mound on Mount Lykaion, made of the ashes of animals sacrificed for more than a thousand years to the chief of the Greek gods, also uncovered a 3,000-year-old skeleton of a teenager.

The find in the southern Peloponnese region dates to the 11th century B.C.

That was the end of the Mycenaean era, whose heroes were immortalized in Greek myth and Homer's epics, and many of whose palaces still stand.

Ancient writers linked Mount Lykaion with human sacrifice, a practice which has very rarely been confirmed by archaeologists in the Greek world.