Have archaeologists finally discovered the long-lost temple of Hercules?

Archaeologists in Spain have found the remains of a series of buildings which they believe to be the lost temple of Hercules.

 A statue of Hercules and a lion (photo credit: FELIX MITTERMEIER/PIXABAY)
A statue of Hercules and a lion
(photo credit: FELIX MITTERMEIER/PIXABAY)

Researchers in Spain found the remains of a series of buildings which they believe to be the temple of the Greco/Roman mythological hero Hercules.

Using information obtained through documentary and archaeological data, researchers from the Territorial Delegation and the University of Seville conducted a number of research trips to the area between Chiclana de Frontera and San Fernando in Andalusia, Spain.

The information obtained from these trips revealed a different environment from what was previously believed to have existed in the area. Researchers now believe there was a coastline there that was anthropized (transformed or adapted by people) with a possible dock.

The newly discovered information about the area matches information about the temple of Hercules from ancient writers of the time. In order to confirm their suspicions, the archaeologists will investigate the area and the data they have about it in an attempt to reconstruct the history and determine chronology, typology and the uses of each of the structures they discovered.

Hercules (or Hercales; known to the Romans as Melqart) is a heroic figure of Greek mythology who was then adapted to fit Roman mythology. As the son of Zeus (or Jupiter), Hercules was a demigod who had various adventures. He is considered the god of strength and heroes.

 Remains of a Roman temple. (credit: DIMITRI SVETSIKAS/PIXABAY) Remains of a Roman temple. (credit: DIMITRI SVETSIKAS/PIXABAY)

The temple of Hercules is well-known to have been a popular pilgrimage site thousands of years ago and was believed to have been visited by the likes of Julius Caesar, but its location was lost, and archaeologists have been seeking it for years.

"We researchers are very reluctant to turn archaeology into a spectacle, but in this case, we are faced with some spectacular findings," Francisco José García, director of the University of Seville's Prehistory and Archaeology Department, told El Pais.