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Plutonium from the South

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Plutonium from the South
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View looking north, down at the Plutonium.

In the center of the photo is a shallow rectangular pool.  At the far end is a door through which the bulls were led into this space to be sacrificed.  In ancient times there probably was a raised platform upon which the sacrificial rites took place.

The entrance to the chamber from which the lethal fumes of Carbon Dioxide are/were emitted is on the right (east) side of the pool—visible in this image.  The animals were overcome by the fumes and slaughtered.

Above the rectangular space, on the right (east) and to the north are two of the three sets of benches upon which around 800 worshipers could sit and observe the rituals taking place below and around them.

In the upper right quadrant of the photo is a full-scale reproduction of a statue of Pluto, the god of the Underworld, and two snakes.  These were among other statues found in the area.

A platform is on the left (west) side of the image, above the wall that outlines the pool.  The excavator says that two pools of freshwater and a round structure (tholos) were constructed there.  The meager outlines of the foundations of these are barely visible.

In March 2013, Francesco D'Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento and excavator at Hierapolis announced that he had excavated the well–known, to ancient authors, Plutonium at Hierapolis—known as the gate to the Underworld.