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Culture

Bronze Bull Figurine Found by Accident at Archaeological Site in Olympia (Pics)

ATHENS — A bronze bull figurine was found during an inspection conducted by a group of scentists from the culture ministry and the Ilia Antiquities Ephorate at the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia.

The culture ministry, in an announcement on Friday, said that the small intact figurine was found due to keen observational skills of archaeologist Zaharoula Leventouri, who spied one of its horns protruding from the ground near the temple of Zeus following recent heavy rainstorms that hit the area. The bull was immediately sent to the Ephorate's laboratories to undergo thorough examination.

The Ministry added that, based on an initial examination, the figurine is one of the thousands of gifts dedicated to Zeus at his huge temple in Olympia during the Geometric period (1050BC-700BC). The bull and the horse were the most important animals for the people's survival and the creation of their civilisation until the modern era. That's why it played an important role in the worship of the ancient gods and was frequently dedicated by the faithful to appease them or as a sign of satisfaction.

As with dozens of similar figurines depicting animals or human figures, the copper bull appears to have been dedicated by a worshipper to the god during a sacrifice, as shown by strong evidence of burning in the sediments and deposits that surround it.

The Ilia Ephorate has also posted a video showing the work done to clean and restore the bull after its discovery:

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