Archaeological Site of Olympia

Archaeological Site of Olympia, Greece

Ancient Olympia, Greece

Added to World Heritage List in 1989

Greece contains a total of 17 World Heritage Sites

Criteria Archaeological Site of Olympia was nominated for:

  • (i) Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius
  • (ii) exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world , on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design
  • (iii) bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which is disappeared
  • (iv) be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history
  • (vi) to be directly or tangible associate with events or living tradition, with ideas or with believes with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance

Basic Archaeological Site Information:

  • Site size: 106 ha
  • The site has been dated from approximately the 10th century BC to the 4th century AD
  • The first human settlements go as far back as prehistoric times
  • Cultural periods that is represented: Middle Helladic Mycenaean Periods
  • Cultural Groups Associated with Site: Ancient Civilizations of Peloponnesos and Christian settlements have also been associated with the site

Summary:

The Olympic Games is a tradition that has been present through decades and centuries of human civilization, these games represent the views of culture on an individual’s abilities in the areas of strength and speed.  The tradition of the Olympic Games stem back to a place in Greece, a valley between the Peloponnese, known as Olympia where these traditions began.

Olympia contains numerous structures such as thermal baths and sports structures.  The center of Olympia, also known as Atlis, was primarily a place of worship to the gods; specifically the Temple of Hera and the Temple of Zeus.  In these sanctuaries statues of bronze and gold, as well as sculptures have been excavated from the site of Olympia.  Of what has been found within this site and the surrounding area it has led Anthropologists to believe that this place was used for paying respects to the gods, mainly the worship of Zeus.  Orators, athletes, poets and even musicians would come to pay their respects, as well as to compete in the Games that occurred every four years.

This site represents many significant points to world history some of which will be highlighted.  First of all, the Ancient Greeks would use the Olympic Games as a way of keeping chronological time.  The Games also indicated a time where all the Cities in Greece would be at peace with one another just to come and compete.

Threats and Status of site:

  • As of today there are no current threats to the site
  • In 2007 there was a great fire that nearly destroyed the site

Links where information was obtained and other useful websites:

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