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Spanish researchers claim to have found lost ancient building dedicated to Hercules

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By Thomas Blade
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Spanish researchers claim to have found lost ancient building dedicated to Hercules
Copyright  Elena Becatoros/Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A discovery by Spanish scientists promises to have solved a long-standing archeological mystery. 

Researchers from the University of Seville and the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage claim to have uncovered the possible location of the lost Hercules of Cadiz temple -- a building thought lost for centuries.

Using the latest radar technology and aerial photographs, researchers located traces of a large Roman and Phoenician building in the Spanish town of Sancti Petri close to Cadiz thought to be the prized temple of Hercules.

"The documentary sources we analyzed, the archaeological information together with the images obtained with digital models of the site, lead us to believe that this could be the mythical temple of Hercules," said Milagros Alzaga García, head of the Andalusian Institute's Centre for Aquatic Archaeology.

The temple was first mentioned in classical Greek and Latin sources -- such as Strabo and Philostratus of Athens -- which described the building on the dockside as a large Phoenician complex that was accessed by crossing two columns.

Hercules or Heracles, a well-known figure from popular culture, was worshiped by both the ancient Greeks and Romans as the God of strength and heroes.