Achaeologists in the ancient Greek city of Patara have uncovered a stunning 2,000-year-old altar engraved with a coiled, decorative snake relief. While serpents have proven a ubiquitous symbol across ancient civilizations, this is first discovery of its kind in Patara, which has an intriguing history of its own.
According to Archaeology News Network, the ancient city in Turkey’s southern Antalya Province is known as the “cradle of civilizations” because it was once a diverse melting pot where cultures converged millennia ago. The city served as the capital of the Lycian League, an alliance of Greek city-states, before joining the Roman Empire.
The city was named after Patarus, its mythological founder and the son of the Greek god Apollo. According to Greek Reporter, Patara was governed by several emperors throughout its long and winding history, with notable incidents including its conquering by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C.