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Inside a Greek Mystery Cult

Ancient pilgrims from across the Greek world flocked to the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace to be initiated into a popular mystery cult. Using 3-D modeling, a joint team from Emory University and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts is seeking to re-create the journey of these ancient initiates through the sanctuary. These videos simulate part of that route, from pilgrims’ entrance at night, to their steep descent down the Sacred Way toward the ritual buildings where they were likely inducted into the cult, to the stunning vistas of the sanctuary and the sea they would have enjoyed the morning after initiation. To read more about the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, go to “Secret Rites of Samothrace.” To watch additional walk-throughs and learn more about the team’s ongoing excavations, go to