'Spartans didn't kill weak babies'
Tue, 11 Dec 2007
The Greek myth that ancient Spartans threw their stunted and sickly newborns off a cliff was not corroborated by archaeological digs in the area, researchers said on Monday.
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.
"It is probably a myth, the ancient sources of this so-called practice were rare, late and imprecise," he added.
Meant to attest to the militaristic character of the ancient Spartan people, moralistic historian Plutarch in particular spread the legend during the first century AD.
cooltech.iafrica.com | science & nature 'Spartans didn't kill weak babies'