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A bungled looting scheme has led archaeologists to an underground Iron Age complex in Turkey that may have been used by a fertility cult during the first millennium B.C., a new study finds.

The ancient complex, which has yet to be fully investigated due to the instability of the structure, has rare rock art drawings on its walls featuring a procession of deities depicted in an Assyrian style. This art style appears to have been adapted by local groups, indicating how strongly the culture of the Neo-Assyrian Empire — which hailed from Mesopotamia and later expanded into Anatolia — spread to the people it conquered in this region, according to the new study, published online May 11 in the journal Antiquity

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