Olympia, site of the famous Temple of Zeus and original venue of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece, was presumably destroyed by repeated tsunamis that travelled considerable distances inland, and not by earthquake and river floods as has been assumed to date. Evidence in support of this new theory on the virtual disappearance of the ancient cult site on the Peloponnesian peninsula comes from Professor Dr Andreas Vött of the Institute of Geography of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.
"In earlier times, Olympia was not 22 kilometers away from the sea as it is today. Back then, the coastline was located eight or perhaps even more kilometers further inland," explains Vött. In his scenario, tsunamis came in from the sea and rushed into the narrow Alpheios River valley, into which the Kladeos River flows, forcing their way over the saddles behind which Olympia is located. The cult site was thus flooded. Vött assumes that the flooding decreased only slowly because the outflow of the Kladeos through the Alpheios valley was blocked by incoming tsunami waters and corresponding deposits. The analysis of the various layers of sediments in the Olympia area suggests that this scenario came true on several occasions during the last 7,000 years. It was during one of the more recent of these events in the 6th century AD that Olympia was finally destroyed and buried.
July 11, 2011
Site of Olympia buried by tsunami
Olympia Hypothesis: Tsunamis Buried the Cult Site On the Peloponnese