Open Access Research Article

The Ploutonion in the Archaeological Site of Hierapolis (Turkey): A Gate to the Underworld and the Knowledge

Cantisani E1, Vettori S1*, Bracci S1, Degano I2, Lucejko J.J.2, Ismaelli T3 and D’Andria F4

1National Research Council-Institute for the Conservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy

2Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, Italy

3Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage (IBAM), National Research Council, Lecce, Italy

4Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Salento, Italy

Corresponding Author

Received Date: May 31, 2019;  Published Date: June 24, 2019


The archaeological site of Hierapolis (Denizli, Turkey), one of the great Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine cities of southwestern Turkey, protected by UNESCO since 1988, was built in the third century B.C. Even if damaged several times by earthquakes, it has survived for millennia. During antiquity, Hierapolis was a famous pilgrimage destination, the centre of a cult, because of the Ploutonion, the sanctuary dedicated to Hades– Pluto and his wife Kore–Persephone, visited also by Cicero and Strabo. In this paper the authors report the results obtained on some materials found in recent excavations carried out in the Ploutonion area. In particular, the investigated materials were a marble bust, a fragment of marble slab with painted scales and a piece of resin. Non-invasive (i.e. imaging techniques and portable X-Ray Fluorescence) and micro-destructive (i.e. X-Ray Diffraction, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to a Mass Spectrometry detector and Pyrolysis coupled with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) have been employed to characterize the archaeological finds.

Keywords: Hierapolis archaeological site; Ploutonion; Madder lake; Egyptian blue; Pitch; Huntite

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