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Rain uncovers bull idol in Greece’s ancient Olympia

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The small bull idol was found near the temple of Zeus and the Altis, the sacred enclosure and core of the sanctuary. According to a preliminary evaluation, the idol has been dated to the Geometric era (1050-700 BCE). AFP

Rain uncovers bull idol in Greece’s ancient Olympia

Rain has helped uncover a small bull idol in ancient Olympia, Greece in what the culture ministry on Friday said was a “chance discovery”.

The ministry said the small bronze idol, found intact, was spotted by an archaeologist inside the sprawling ancient site that inspired the modern Olympic Games during a scheduled visit by ministry officials.

It was found near the temple of Zeus and the Altis, the sacred enclosure and core of the sanctuary, the ministry said in a statement.

“One of its horns was poking out of the ground following recent heavy rainfall,” it said.

According to a preliminary evaluation, the idol has been dated to the Geometric era (1050-700 BCE).

Burn marks suggest it was likely part of thousands of votive offerings to Zeus, the leading ancient Greek deity, the ministry said.

The ancient Olympics were held in Olympia every four years from 776 BC to at least 393 AD, with Greek city-states setting aside their conflicts to take part.

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