A Greek Legend Bites the Dust

According to Yahoo News recent research near Mt. Taygete indicates that the Spartans did not, in point of fact, throw sickly or deformed children off a cliff:

After more than five years of analysis of human remains culled from the pit, also called an apothetes, researchers found only the remains of adolescents and adults between the ages of 18 and 35, Athens Faculty of Medicine Anthropologist Theodoros Pitsios said.
“There were still bones in the area, but none from newborns, according to the samples we took from the bottom of the pit” of the foothills of Mount Taygete near present-day Sparta.

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9 Responses

  1. So… what you are saying, then, is that the adolescents and adults between the ages of 18 and 35 ate the babies that were thrown into the pit… must have been atheists…

  2. So… what you are saying, then, is that the adolescents and adults between the ages of 18 and 35 ate the babies that were thrown into the pit… must have been atheists…

  3. I hate to be the bringer of bad tidings, but, no, no babies were eaten. The archaeologists who did the excavations relate it to a massacre that took place during the second war between Sparta and Messene. So there was some definite carnage, pillaging, and whatnot involved…

  4. Not to be too morbid, but a baby is pretty small. Now a wolf for example could pick up a whole one and walk away, but an adult, then the carnivores would have to chew on that right there.
    This study might comclude that no remains were found at that loaction, but it can’t conclude it never happened. Maybe the babies were tossed at a different site. Isn’t it fairly common to not find remains at supposed slaughter sites? How many remains were found at Masada for instance?

  5. Clearly, the Spartans ate their weak, sickly and deformed babies and didn’t throw away such a valuable resource.

  6. “Not to be too morbid, but a baby is pretty small. Now a wolf for example could pick up a whole one and walk away, but an adult, then the carnivores would have to chew on that right there. ”
    True; it’d be far more likely that a baby’s bones would be eaten/scattered and decayed, or taken away.
    But thousands of babies…..?

  7. That’s not the right cliff. The right cliff has a pile of baby bones. Actually, I thought they just set them out on a hillside and recovered the ones who survived a given amount of exposure.

  8. Jim, I think you’re right. They didn’t put them all out overnight though, just the doubtful ones. If they were still alive in the morning they took them back. Talk about survival of the fittest! I think throwing off a cliff was reserved for criminals. Don’t let Georgey W hear about it.

  9. Jim, I think you’re right. They didn’t put them all out overnight though, just the doubtful ones. If they were still alive in the morning they took them back. Talk about survival of the fittest! I think throwing off a cliff was reserved for criminals. Don’t let Georgey W hear about it.

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