As stated in a previous post, Francesco D’Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento, has been excavating the cave of the Plutonium in Hierapolis. This year, he discovered two unique marble statues:
“The statues represent two mythological creatures,” D’Andria told Discovery News. “One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology.”
According to this article in Discovery News, the excavations also revealed that the source of the thermal springs that produce the white travertine terraces, was located in this cave.
The site represented an important destination for pilgrims. People watched the sacred rites from steps above the cave opening, while priests sacrificed bulls to Pluto. The ceremony included leading the animals into the cave, and dragging them out dead.
According to another newspaper report, the tombs located in the extensive northern cemetery of Hierapolis are being restored. While removing the asphalt road that ran through the middle of the cemetery, an ancient road was discovered.
Denizli Mayor Abdülkadir Demir said they were celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pamukkale’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. He said Pamukkale was a very important tourism center for Turkey due to its travertine, ancient pool and thermal sources. He said, “When we look at figures in the beginning of November, we see the number of visitors is 100,000 more than last year. Interest is increasing every year.”
Hierapolis is mentioned in the New Testament. The believers in Hierapolis were very precious to the Apostle Paul (Col. 4:13). One wonders if any of those early Christian believers may have been buried here.