In ancient Greece Lerna stood in the northern part of the Greek Peloponnese, just a short distance south of Argos. This region of mountains and rocky cliff faces included some difficult to traverse terrain. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia reports in that era a large portion of the land outside Lerna fell within a region of bogs and marshes. The area contained springs and the remnants of a lake which had existed in this location previously.
As a site, Lerna holds interest for archeologists today. References to this place in classical Greek mythology have created interest in the Lerna area. In 1952, an archeological team led by John L. Caskey began excavating ruins in Lerna dating from the Bronze Age.
Lerna And The Hydra
Wikipedia reports the area gained its greatest fame as the site of the den of the Lernean Hydra, a mythological monster. The many-headed Hydra inspired terror in most people. It had resisted attempts to destroy it. The creature possessed nine serpent-shaped heads. Unless immediately subjected to burning, the location of each severed head would permit two new serpent heads to sprout. The Hydra had become a source of fear and terror to the people residing in Lerna.
The ancient Greeks believe a Greek hero called Hercules finally succeeded in killing the Hydra. Descended from a human mother and the ancient Greek god Zeus, Hercules possessed incredible strength. He could perform almost superhuman feats. In killing the Hydra, he won the gratitude of the local people of Lerna. Hercules performed a number of remarkable deeds during his life (sometimes described as the “labors of Hercules”.)
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