A vast cave system known as Alepotrypa in Greece was a bustling neolithic hub for thousands of years.
The gigantic cavern was so large that it would have resembled something like Moria in the Lord of the Rings. Thousands of people would have used the caves as shelter, for trade, for burying their dead and for other rituals. Excavations since the 1970s have unearthed tools, pottery and other valuables from the period. "Alepotrypa existed right before the Bronze Age in Mycenaean Greece, so we're kind of seeing the beginnings of things that produced the age of heroes in Greece," said archaeologist Michael Galaty.
Around 5,000 years ago however everything changed when the cave collapsed, killing those who were inside. It isn't clear what caused the calamity however an earthquake is a likely explanation. Researchers have been painstakingly unearthing the remains of the cave's former inhabitants, many of which were buried alive while working on their everyday chores.
"A giant cave that might have helped serve as the inspiration for the mythic ancient Greek underworld Hades once housed hundreds of people, potentially making it one of the oldest and most important prehistoric villages in Europe before it collapsed and killed everyone inside, researchers say."
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Source: Live Science
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