The Museum at Olympia

Pediment from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia © David Gill

The museum adjacent to the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia contains some of the major finds from the sanctuary. One of the most impressive parts of the display relates to the architectural sculptures from the temple of Zeus that lay at the heart of the sanctuary. The pediment alludes to the mythical foundation of the games.

Pediments from the temple of Zeus at Olympia © David Gill

The other end includes the battle between the lapiths and centaurs, a centauromachy, that alludes to the battle between civilized society and the barbarians.

Bronze dedication from Olympia © David Gill

The collection also includes many of the bronze dedications from the sanctuary.

Only some 29 per cent of visitors to the archaeological site make it into the museum, though it still received around 135,000 visitors in 2014.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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