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Altar of Hieron 2

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Altar of Hieron 2
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Photo Comments

View looking southeast at the huge altar that was constructed by Hieron II in the third century B.C.  It is 643 feet long and 75 feet wide!  It is the largest known altar from antiquity.  Most of what is visible in the picture is carved out of "living rock."  There was a superstructure but most of the stones have been carted off and reused in other buildings in Syracuse.  It had been covered with plaster.  Many think it was dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios (Zeus the Liberator) and that at its dedication 450 bulls were sacrificed!

Hiero II was the ruler of Syracuse from 270 to 215 B.C.