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Ash Altar Of Zeus Offers Insights Into Greece's Most Powerful God - UPDATES

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Author Topic: Ash Altar Of Zeus Offers Insights Into Greece's Most Powerful God - UPDATES  (Read 2361 times)
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« on: January 28, 2009, 12:22:14 pm »

Potsherds from the pre-Greek
Civilization that worshipped
an unknown deity there

In “Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion,” Jane Ellen Harrison, a British scholar, wrote in 1903, “The Zeus of Homer demanded and received the titbits of the victim, though even these in token of friendly communion were shared by the worshipers.”

The proximity of Mount Lykaion to Olympia, 22 miles northwest, initially attracted Dr. Romano’s attention. Another sanctuary of Zeus, Olympia was a prominent site of the Pan-Hellenic athletic competitions after which current Olympic Games are modeled, and Dr. Romano is an authority on these ancient festivals of sports. His colleagues point out that he is the only archaeologist they know to have a master’s degree in physical education.

At Lykaion, Dr. Romano began excavations of the hippodrome on a high meadow, where Greek athletes competed in horse and chariot races and other sports. Not far above, on the southern summit, meanwhile, the research team mapped the altar site and dug a test trench, under the direction of Arthur Rhon, emeritus professor of anthropology at Wichita State University.

Bones, mostly goats and sheep, were collected. A few bronze artifacts were recovered. Also a seal stone with an image of a bull, suggesting influence at one time from Minoan Crete. Altar stones were burned and cracked from the sacrificial fires.

A geological survey by George Davis of the University of Arizona revealed an ancient fault bordering the altar site on three sides. Could this fault be related to the selection of the site? The region is prone to earthquakes.
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