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The Menelaion is a shrine associated with Menelaus, located east of Sparta, by the river Eurotas, on the hill Profitis Ilias (Coordinates: 37°03′57″N 22°27′13″E / 37. 0659°N 22. 4536°E / 37. 0659; 22. 4536). Built early 8th century BC it was believed by Spartans to be the home of Menelaus. In 1970 the British School in Athens started excavations in an attempt to locate Mycenaean remains in the area around Menelaion. Among other findings, they uncovered the remains of two Mycenaean mansions and found the first offerings dedicated to Helen and Menelaus. These mansions were destroyed by earthquake and fire, and archaeologists consider them the possible palace of Menelaus himself. [better source needed] Excavations made from the early 1990s to the present suggest that the area around Menelaion in the southern part of the Eurotas valley seems to have been the center of Mycenaean Laconia. The Mycenaean settlement was roughly triangular in shape, with its apex pointed towards the north. Its area was approximately equal to that of the "newer" Sparta, but denudation has wreaked havoc with its buildings and nothing is left save ruined foundations and broken potsherds.