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The Greek Pyramid of Hellinikon predates the oldest ancient Egyptian Pyramid

Ancient History

The Greek Pyramid of Hellinikon predates the oldest ancient Egyptian Pyramid

While many are unaware of this, there is a Pyramid (now in ruins) in Greece referred to as the ‘Pyramid of Hellinikon ‘ which according to studies is older than the oldest Pyramid of ancient Egypt by at least 100 years (Djoser – 2620 B.C.) and predates by at least 170 years, the Great Pyramid Giza (Khufu – 2550 B.C.).

Whenever we hear the word ‘Pyramid’ we always jump in our minds to ancient Egypt, and their supermassive, majestic Pyramids.

However, despite the fact that Egypt is well-known for its three main pyramids at the Giza plateau, the truth is that there are thousands of pyramids scattered across the globe.

There are pyramids nearly on every continent on Earth. There are pyramids in America, in Europe, in Asia, and even in India.

And curiously, one of the European pyramids is located in Greece and is known as the pyramid of Hellenikon in Argos, Greece.

The Pyramid of Greece (now in ruins) was well described in ancient times and Pausanias—a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the time of Roman emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius—documented the structure in his Description of Greece, referring to it as the Pyramid of Hellinikon close to Argos.

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“On the way from Argos to Epidauria there is on the right a building made very like a pyramid, and on it in relief are wrought shields of the Argive shape.

Here took place a fight for the throne between Proetus and Acrisius; the contest, they say, ended in a draw, and a reconciliation resulted afterwards, as neither could gain a decisive victory.

The story is that they and their hosts were armed with shields, which were first used in this battle. For those that fell on either side was built here a common tomb, as they were fellow citizens and kinsmen.”—Pausanias: 2.25.

The Pyramid is extremely interesting for a number of reasons, but mainly because of its supposed age.

If reports are accurate, the Greek Pyramid could be older than the oldest Pyramid of ancient Egypt by at least 100 years (Djoser – 2620 B.C.) and predates by 170 years the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu – 2550 B.C.).

In 1938, archaeologists from the US placed the construction of the monument between 300 and 400 BCE.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

In 1991, a different scientific team, led by Dr. I. Lyritzis of the Academy of Athens, concluded that the Pyramid of Hellinikon was built around 3000 BCE.

However, later research by the Academy of Athens and the University of Edinburgh placed the monument to around 2720 BCE.

Dating measurements were performed by the Laboratory of Archaeometry at Dimokritos Research Institute in Athens and by the Nuclear Dating Laboratory of the Department of Physics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The number speak for themselves. If the dates of the construction of the Pyramid are correct, it would mean that his Greek Pyramid is OLDER than the Pyramid of Djoser in Egypt—considered the oldest of all Egyptian pyramids.

While incomparable in size to its Egyptian counterparts, the pyramid of Hellinikon has the shape of a tour with its external sides sloping and surrounding a rectangular building of total dimensions 7,03 by 9,07 m.

The ancient Pyramid was built from gray limestone of the area together with large blocks in a trapezoidal and partially polygonal system.

Ivan
Ivan is editor-in-chief at ancient-code.com, he also writes for Universe Explorers. You may have seen him appear on the Discovery and History Channel.
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