Inside the complex, archaeologists discovered rock art depicting eight deities, including Atargatis, the Syrian goddess of fertility.
Usually, it’s archaeologists who make big discoveries. But in Başbük, Turkey, it was looters who stumbled upon an ancient fertility complex located beneath a local house.
According to a study about the find published in the journal Antiquity, authorities noticed “a rock-incised panel” beneath a two-story home in Başbük when they foiled a looting plot in 2017.
“Criminal investigations by the authorities discovered an artificial opening… cut through the paved ground floor of the house by looters,” the study’s authors explained.
Live Science reports that, following the discovery, police alerted the Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum. Archaeologists from the museum then discovered that the narrow opening led into a vast, underground chamber, 98 feet in length, carved out of limestone.
“This chamber led into the upper gallery via a long, descending staircase,”
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