Category Archives: GREECE

A Greek Farmer Stumbled on a 3,400-Year-Old Tomb in His Olive Grove While Parking His Car

A Greek Farmer Stumbled on a 3,400-Year-Old Tomb in His Olive Grove While Parking His Car

The Crete local was trying to park his vehicle when he accidentally unearthed the ancient Minoan grave. Sometime between 1400 and 1200 B.C., two Minoan men were laid to rest in an underground enclosure carved out of the soft limestone native to southeast Crete.

Both were entombed within larnakes—intricately embossed clay coffins popular in Bronze Age Minoan society—and surrounded by colorful funerary vases that hinted at their owners’ high status.

Eventually, the burial site was sealed with stone masonry and forgotten, leaving the deceased undisturbed for roughly 3,400 years.

Earlier this summer, a local farmer accidentally brought the pair’s millenia-long rest to an abrupt end, George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo. The farmer was attempting to park his vehicle beneath a shaded olive grove on his property when the ground gave way, forcing him to find a new parking spot.

As he started to drive off, the unidentified local noticed a four-foot-wide hole that had emerged in the patch of land he’d just vacated. Perched on the edge of the gaping space, the man realized he’d unintentionally unearthed “a wonderful thing.”

An ancient Minoan tomb was discovered in this hole in Crete. Courtesy of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
An ancient Minoan tomb was discovered in this hole in Crete.

According to a statement, archaeologists from the local heritage ministry, Lassithi Ephorate of Antiquities, launched excavations below the farmer’s olive grove at Rousses, a small village just northeast of Kentri, Ierapetra, in southeast Crete.

They identified the Minoan tomb, nearly perfectly preserved despite its advanced age, in a pit measuring roughly four feet across and eight feet deep. Space’s interior was divided into three carved niches accessible by a vertical trench.

The eight-foot deep pit contained two ancient coffins and an array of funerary vases

In the northernmost niche, archaeologists found a coffin and an array of vessels scattered across the ground. The southernmost niche yielded a second sealed coffin, as well as 14 ritual Greek jars called amphorae and a bowl.

A Greek Farmer Stumbled on a 3,400-Year-Old Tomb in His Olive Grove While Parking His Car
Two Minoan men were buried in the Crete tomb roughly 3,400 years ago

Forbes’ Kristina Kilgrove writes that the high quality of the pottery left in the tomb indicates the individuals buried were relatively affluent. She notes, however, that other burial sites dating to the same Late Minoan period feature more elaborate beehive-style tombs.

“These [men] could be wealthy,” Kilgrove states, “but not the wealthiest.”

Unlike many ancient tombs, the Kentri grave was never discovered by thieves, Argyris Pantazis, deputy mayor of Local Communities, Agrarian and Tourism of Ierapetra, tells local news outlet Cretapost.

In fact, the site likely would have remained sealed in perpetuity if not for the chance intervention of a broken irrigation pipe, which watered down the soil surrounding the farmer’s olive grove and led to his unexpected parking debacle.

“We are particularly pleased with this great archaeological discovery as it is expected to further enhance our culture and history,” Pantazis added in his interview with Cretapost. “Indeed, this is also a response to all those who doubt that there were Minoans in Ierapetra.”

According to Archaeology News Network, most Minoan settlements found on Crete are located in the lowlands and plains rather than the mountainous regions of Ierapetra. Still, a 2012 excavation in Anatoli, Ierapetra, revealed a Minoan mansion dating to between 1600 and 1400 B.C., roughly the same time period as the Kentri tomb.

This latest find offers further proof of the ancient civilization’s presence—as Mark Cartwright notes for Ancient History Encyclopedia, the Minoans are most renowned for their labyrinthine palace complexes, which likely inspired the classic Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

According to legend, Queen Pasiphae of Crete gave birth to the Minotaur, a fierce half-man, half-bull hybrid, after falling for a bull sent to Earth by the Greek god Zeus.

The Minotaur, doomed to an eternity spent wandering the halls of an underground labyrinth and killing anyone it encountered, was eventually defeated by the demigod Theseus, who relied on an enchanted ball of thread provided by the king’s daughter, Ariadne, to escape the maze.

Much of the Minoans’ history remains unclear, but Forbes’ Kilgrove reports that natural disasters, including the eruption of the Thera volcano, an earthquake and a tsunami, contributed to the group’s downfall, enabling enemies such as the Mycenaeans to easily invade.

Analysis of the excavated Kentri tomb may offer further insights into the Minoan-Mycenaean rivalry, as well as the Cretan civilization’s eventual demise.

Ancient Greek Pyramids: A Unique Phenomenon and an Archaeological Mystery

Ancient Greek Pyramids: A Unique Phenomenon and an Archaeological Mystery

The so-called Greek Pyramids, also called the Pyramids of Argolis, are several frusta or truncated pyramidal shaped structures and “blockhouses”, located on the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula in present-day Greece.

Ancient Greek Pyramids: A Unique Phenomenon and an Archaeological Mystery

Although the structures are distinct in form and shape from typical Ancient Greek architecture, mention of the monuments in antiquity is scarce, with only the geographer Pausanias (AD 110-180) observing a single pyramidal monument (although associating Pausanias’s text with the Pyramids of Argolis is contested) in his Corinthiaka that states:

“Traveling from Argus to the region of Epidaurus, there is a building to the right that resembles very much a pyramid and bears relief carved shields of the shape of the Argolic shields.

In this place, Proetus had battled with Acrisius for the throne and they say that the battle ended without a winner; for this reason, they were later reconciled, as none could achieve a decisive victory.

It is said that this was the first time that men and armies equipped with shields clashed; for those that fell in this battle from both armies, since they were compatriots and even relatives, a common tomb was built in that place.”

Groups of possible pyramidal structures have been identified at Ligourio (Argolida), Kambia (Argolida), Viglafia (Lakonia), and Elliniko (Argolida), with the pyramid of Hellinikon at Elliniko being the best preserved and studied.

Dating of the monuments has been troublesome due to the lack of archaeological material, with previously disputed studies of ceramics from the Protohelladic II period dated to 2800–2500 BC, early thermoluminescence dating giving a range of 2500–2000 BC, but many proponents support the proposed construction during the Late Classical Hellenistic period, centred on the later 4th century BC.

Historical theories for the structures function have tried to establish an “Egyptian connection”, suggesting guard houses for Egyptian mercenaries, or burial practices that paralleled with the Ancient Egyptians, but these theories lack all credibility and without evidence.

The more likely theory looks at the structures’ presence of internal walls, small rooms, cisterns, the provision of a water supply, and internally fastened doors within the monuments, that Young (1957) and Fracchia (1985) proposed was for an agricultural function, possibly with a secondary function of providing a refuge in turbulent times.

Rare 20-million-year-old petrified tree measuring 62 feet tall discovered in Greece

Rare 20-million-year-old petrified tree measuring 62 feet tall discovered in Greece

A petrified tree 62 feet high complete with branches, leaves and roots has been discovered on the Greek island of Lesbos. It was found during salvage excavations at the site of roadwork in western Lesbos.

While the island is famed for its vast petrified forest, a national park, monument and designated UNESCO Global Geopark, most of the trees are trunks, either upright with their roots intact or fallen.

Trees with branches are rare — the last one before this was found in 1995 — and a tree of this scale with branches has never been found before.

The trees were mineralized and preserved in a series of massive volcanic eruptions that struck the northern Aegean 17 to 20 million years ago. The trees on the western part of the island were covered by volcanic lava and ash.

Heavy rains turned the ash into fast-moving mudflows that blanketed the forest. The subtropical forest of pines, oaks and Sequoia-like giants, plus leaves, fruits and roots were fossilized.

The latest discovery was preserved almost to its last leaf thanks to a coating of fine-grained volcanic ash which coated the whole thing and kept it intact in one piece exactly where it fell in the eruption. It was not moved or dragged by the mudflows.

It simply toppled over where it stood, was covered by a thick layer of fine ash and gradually turned to stone. Underneath it was a bed of fruit leaves, also preserved and mineralized by the volcanic ash. Nearby the excavation team unearthed a spectacular cache of 150 petrified logs one on top of the other in a single pit.

The discovery of an entire tree lying on a bed of leaves was not only unprecedented but down to pure luck. “Constructors were about to asphalt that part of the highway when one of our technicians noticed a tiny branch.

The road work stopped, we starting excavating and quite quickly realised we had chanced upon an incredible find,” said [University of the Aegean geology professor Nikolas] Zouros. “It will now form part of the open-air museum we intend to create.”

Geologists around the world have described the find as a breakthrough.

“We have a case of extraordinary fossilisation in which a tree was preserved with its various parts intact. In the history of palaeontology, worldwide, it’s unique” said the Portuguese palaeontologist Artur Abreu Sá. “That it was buried by sediments expelled during a destructive volcanic eruption, and then found in situ, makes it even more unusual.”

Because the road will still be built over the find site, the tree will have to be moved. The staff of the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest have been working assiduously for the past few weeks to complete the excavation of the tree and preserve it.

A custom splint has been wrapped around the trunk and branches to support them and ensure the tree remains intact. A metal grate has been built to transport the tree to an area 100 feet away where a protective shelter is being constructed for its display.

Bent Sword Found in 5th-Century Soldier’s Grave in Greece

Bent Sword Found in 5th-Century Soldier’s Grave in Greece

Live Science reports that Errikos Maniotis of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and his colleagues have uncovered seven graves, including a 1,600-year-old soldier’s arch-shaped grave, in an early Christian basilica discovered in 2010 ahead of subway construction in northern Greece.

Bent Sword Found in 5th-Century Soldier’s Grave in Greece
This iron sword was folded in a ritual “killing” before it was buried with a soldier about 1,600 years ago.

The soldier was buried with a shield, a spear, and a spatha, a type of long straight sword used from about A.D. 250 to 450, that had been bent. “Usually, these types of swords were used by the auxiliary cavalry forces of the Roman army,” Maniotis said.

The discovery of the folded sword was “astonishing,” because the soldier was buried in an early church, but the folded sword was part of a known pagan ritual, said project co-researcher Errikos Maniotis, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Byzantine Archaeology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Although this soldier, who was likely a mercenary, may have “embraced the Roman way of life and the Christian religion, he hadn’t abandoned his roots,” Maniotis told Live Science in an email.

The soldier’s burial is the latest finding at the site of a three-aisled paleochristian basilica dating from the fifth century.

The basilica was discovered in 2010, during an excavation ahead of the construction of a subway track, which prompted researchers to call the ancient building the Sintrivani basilica, after the Sintrivani metro station. The station is in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, which was an important metropolis during Roman times. 

The basilica was built over an even older place of worship; a fourth-century chapel, which might be the oldest Christian church in Thessaloniki, Maniotis said.

The individual’s burial in the ancient basilica.

In the seventh century, the church was damaged and only poorly renovated before it was eventually abandoned in the eighth or ninth century, Maniotis said.

During recent excavations, archaeologists found seven graves that had been sealed inside. Some of the graves contained two deceased individuals but didn’t have any artefacts. However, an arch-shaped grave contained an individual buried with weapons, including a bent spatha — a type of long, straight sword from the late Roman period (A.D. 250-450).

“Usually, these types of swords were used by the auxiliary cavalry forces of the Roman army,” Maniotis said. “Thus, we may say that the deceased, taking also into consideration the importance of the burial location, was a high-ranking officer of the Roman army.”

The individual was buried with the folded sword, a shield-boss and a spearhead.

The archaeologists still have to study the individual. “We don’t know anything about his profile: age of death, cause of death, possible wounds that he might have from the wars he fought, etc.,” Maniotis said. However, they were intrigued by his folded sword and other weapons, which included a shield-boss (the circular center of a shield) and spearhead. 

So far, the folded sword is the most revealing feature in the grave. “Such findings are extremely rare in an urban landscape,” Maniotis said. “Folded swords are usually excavated in sites in Northern Europe,” including in places used by the Celts, he said. This custom was also observed in ancient Greece and much later by the Vikings, but “it seems that Romans didn’t practice it, let alone when the new religion, Christianity, dominated, due to the fact that this ritual [was] considered to be pagan,” Maniotis said.

The bent sword is a clue that the soldier was a “Romanized Goth or from any other Germanic tribe who served as a mercenary (foederatus) in the imperial Roman forces,” Maniotis wrote in the email.

The Latin word “foederatus” comes from “foedus,” a term describing a “treaty of mutual assistance between Rome and another nation,” Maniotis noted. “This treaty allowed the Germanic tribes to serve in the Roman Army as mercenaries, providing them with money, land and titles. [But] sometimes these foederati turned against the Romans.”

The archaeological team recently found ancient coins at the site, so they plan to use these, as well as the style of the sword’s pommel, or the knob on the handle, to figure out when this soldier lived, Maniotis noted.

“The soldier’s armament [weapons] will shed light to the impact that the presence of the community of foreign mercenaries had in the city of Thessaloniki, the second greatest city, since the fall of Rome and after Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.”

Mosaic and cemetery

The discovery of the ancient basilica has revealed other ancient artefacts. Archaeologists led by Melina Paisidou, an associate professor of archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, have also excavated the building’s beautiful mosaic floor, Maniotis said.

The mosaic shows a vine with birds on its stalks, including the mythical phoenix with a halo that has 13 rays at its center. Only seven other depicted birds have survived, but the archaeological team posits that there were originally 12 birds, and that the mosaic is likely an allegorical representation of Christ and the 12 apostles, Maniotis said.

In addition, a discovery at the site in 2010 revealed about 3,000 ancient burials in Thessaloniki eastern cemetery, a burial ground that was used from the Hellenistic period (about 300-30 B.C.) until just before late antiquity (A.D. 600-700), according to Ancient Origins.

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels

In the Faliron Delta district of southern Athens, two mass graves containing 80 ancient bodies have been found. Young men’s bodies from the 7th century BC were placed side by side, their arms shackled over their heads.

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels
Skeletal remains, with iron shackles on their wrists, are laid in a row at the ancient Falyron Delta cemetery in Athens, Greece

One skeleton had an arrow stuck in its shoulder, which suggested the young men may have been murdered, prisoners. Researchers believe they may have been captured for being followers of ancient would-be tyrant Cylon of Athens.

The findings, presented by chief archaeologist Stella Chrysoulaki, were made when builders were preparing the ground for the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).

Given ‘the high importance of these discoveries,’ the council is launching further investigations, the culture ministry said.

Two small vases discovered amongst the skeletons have allowed archaeologists to date the graves from between 650-625 BC, a period of great political turmoil in the region,’ the ministry said.

The skeletons were found lined up, some on their backs and others on their stomachs. A total of 36 had their hands bound with iron. One of the men, the last one to be found in March, also had his legs tied with rope.

It remains a mystery as to why the men had their arms tied above their heads rather than behind their backs. Archaeologists found the teeth of the men to be in good condition, indicating they were young and healthy.

This boosts the theory that they could have been followers of Cylon, a nobleman whose failed coup in the 7th century BC is detailed in the accounts of ancient historians Herodotus and Thucydides.

Some of the shackled skeletons found at Phalaeron outside Athens
Two small vases (one pictured in this image) were discovered among the skeletons. They have allowed archaeologists to date the graves from between 650-625 BC, ‘a period of great political turmoil in the region,’ the ministry said.

Cylon, a former Olympic champion, sought to rule Athens as a tyrant.

But Athenians opposed the coup attempt and he and his supporters were forced to seek refuge in the Acropolis, the citadel that is today the Greek capital’s biggest tourist attraction.

The conspirators eventually surrendered after winning guarantees that their lives would be spared.

But Megacles, of the powerful Alcmaeonid clan, had the men massacred – an act condemned as sacrilegious by the city authorities.

Historians say this dramatic chapter in the story of ancient Athens showed the aristocracy’s resistance to the political transformation that would eventually herald Athenian democracy 2,500 years ago.

The skeletons were found in an ancient necropolis at around two and a half meters from the surface.

So far, only half of the Faliron Delta has been excavated so far. 

The site served as a port for Athens in the classical age.

Archaeologists said the excavation will continue, and the culture ministry is set to make a decision on whether to build a museum on the site.

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels

Phaleron is a small town just four miles south of Athens that most visitors are unaware of. In addition to being a port of Athens in classical times, Phaleron has one of the largest cemeteries ever excavated in Greece, with over 1,500 skeletons. Phaleron, which dates from the 8th to 5th centuries BC, is critical for our understanding of the growth of the Greek city-state. And, in particular, for comprehending the associated brutality and subjugation.

Shackled Skeletons Unearthed in Greece Could Be Remains of Slaughtered Rebels
Mass burial of 12 individuals with their hands tied at their backs, from 8th-5th BC Phaleron, Greece

People were forced face-down into a pit with their hands shackled behind their backs in two mass burials at Phaleron. An international team of archaeologists is cleaning, documenting, and examining the Phaleron skeletons to learn more about these deviant burials and their relationship to the Greek state formation.

Excavation at the site began nearly a century ago, with a mass grave – often referred to as containing the “captives of Phaleron” because of the presence of metal handcuffs – excavated by the Greek Archaeological Service.

But large-scale excavation of almost an acre of Phaleron was carried out between 2012-2016 by the Department of Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, led by archaeologist Stella Chrysoulaki.

The modern excavation garnered massive publicity in Greece because of its scale and funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, but little news has trickled out in the English-language media.

An archaeological excavation was careful and detailed, with conservators on-site and with several skeletons removed in blocks for future micro-excavation. Digitization of the archaeological field records, photographs, and maps is done, but this is just the beginning for the skeletons themselves, whose preservation and analysis has to be done by specialists in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

Example of a prone burial from 8th-5th BC Phaleron. The prone position and limb disorder indicate some sort of deviant burial

There is significant variation in how people were buried at Phaleron. Most were interred in simple pit graves, but nearly one-third are infants and children in large jars, about 5% are cremations complete with funeral pyres, and there are a few stone-lined cist graves. One individual was even buried in a wooden boat used as a coffin – the fact that this lasted nearly three millennia shows that preservation at the site is remarkably good.

The shackled skeletons, easily the most compelling remains from Phaleron, have received researchers’ attention for decades, as they are among the very few instances of shackled deaths in the ancient world and could indicate punishment, slavery, or a death sentence. But the study of these “captives” has to take place within the context of the entire cemetery, and analyzing 1,500 skeletons is a massive task.

Taking the lead on the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project are bioarchaeologist Jane Buikstra, founding director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University, and geoarchaeologist Panagiotis Karkanas, director of the Wiener Laboratory at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Their immediate goal for the skeletons showcases the crucial link between the excavation of human skeletons and analysis: curation.

Burial in an 8th-5th century BC cemetery at Phaleron, Greece. The burial preserves metal shackles at the wrists, a deviant form of burial

Before the 1,500 skeletons can be made available for researchers to study, each set of remains needs to be cleaned, the bones inventoried, their age-at-death and sex estimated, and basic pathologies recorded. Setting up a database of this magnitude takes time and effort, as does correlating the skeletons with their archaeological context, and it takes significant funding too. That’s where the bottleneck is at the moment. Buikstra has a grant for approximately half the funds for curation of the skeletons but needs a match for the project to move forward.

In the long-term, though, Buikstra is sure that the Phaleron skeletons will give us a window into a critical time in ancient Greek history, just before the rise of the city-state. The research team has four main objectives following the conservation of the skeletons:

Overview of part of the Phaleron cemetery, showing the diversity of burial practices in the 8th-5th c BC

1) To thoroughly investigate the shackled and other deviant burials, including the individuals tossed into mass graves. Are they a casualty of the political upheaval that preceded the rise of Athenian democracy?

2) To study the burials of children, made primarily in pots, to learn more about infancy and childhood in the ancient world. Since children don’t often make it into the historical record, studying their skeletons helps reveal their brief lives.

3) To learn more about people’s diet at this ancient port city, and to find out if its inhabitants succumbed to diseases easily passed through sailors and other travellers from distant lands.

4) To go beyond the analysis of elite individuals buried with elaborate grave goods by focusing on the more simple burials, to shed light on all social classes of ancient Athens.

Buikstra and her team plan to make the project accessible through a website sponsored by the Ephoreia of Piraeus, Western Attica, and the Islands, Ministry of Culture, Greece, and the ASCSA. This website will also include summary blog posts, photos, and preliminary results. Public talks around the U.S. are planned, as well as Wiener Laboratory open-house, school, and museum events in Athens.

Making the database available to researchers around the world is also part of Buikstra’s plan. This will allow bioarchaeologists to use cutting-edge analytical methods, such as ancient DNA and isotope chemistry, in order to tell the important stories of the people of ancient Phaleron.

5,000 Years old Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged city in the world

5,000 Years old Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged city in the world

If you ask Greeks what do they know about Pavlopetri, they will probably look at you in amazement. Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged city in the world and only in 2011 became known to the world when BBC visited this place and using specialist laser scanning techniques on location accurately recreated three-dimensional models of artefacts!

In 1904 the geologist Fokion Negri reported an ancient city in the seabed between the island Elafonisos and beach Punta in southern Laconia.

Later, in 1967, oceanographer Dr Nicholas Flemming, University of Southampton, visited the underwater city and found the existence of an ancient submerged city in a depth of 3 – 4 meters!

In 1968 Dr Nicholas Flemming returned to Pavlopetri with a group of young archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and in collaboration with professor Angelos Delivorrias, they mapped and dated the sunken city.

They discovered a rare prehistoric residential town with many buildings, streets and even squares! Based on the findings, the team of the University of Cambridge announced that the Pavlopetri firstly inhabited in 2800 BC, while the buildings and streets dating from the Mycenaean period (1680-1180 BC)!!!

In 2007 Dr Jon Henderson and Dr Chryssanthi Frenchman from the University of Nottingham visited Pavlopetri and in collaboration with the Director of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities Ilias Spondilis undertook a research program for further archaeological investigations Pavlopetri.

The project had a duration of five years (2009-2013), and it aimed to shed light on research questions concerning the dating and character of the submerged village in Elaphonisos and the role of the town in the control of the Laconian Gulf.

So, if you are interested in underwater archaeology, this is the ideal place, as the architectural remains of this sunken city are visible at a depth of about three meters!

5,000 Years old Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged city in the world

Pavlopetri is in Lakonia, in Peloponnese, which is 4 hours drive from Athens or 2.5 hours from Kalamata International Airport.

Pavlopetri is a fantastic finding, and there is a beautiful documentary by BBC, which will reveal you a spectacular view of an unknown world and civilisation 5000 years ago!

Over 3000-year-old ancient bronze figurine of bull uncovered in southern Greece

Over 3000-year-old ancient bronze figurine of bull uncovered in southern Greece

Following heavy rain near the ancient site of Olympia, a bronze figurine of a bull estimated to be at least 2,500 years old was discovered in Greece. Burn marks on the statuette suggest it may have been one of the thousands of offerings to the Greek god Zeus.

Over 3000-year-old ancient bronze figurine of bull uncovered in southern Greece
The small bull statuette is believed to have been offered to the god Zeus during a sacrifice

The discovery of the small, intact item was made by archaeologists near a temple, Greece’s culture ministry said. An archaeologist spotted one of the bull’s horns sticking out of the mud after a downpour, it added.

The item was immediately transferred to a laboratory for examination. Initial testing has indicated that the bull idol, which was found last month, dates from the Geometric period – about 1050BC to 700BC – of Greek art, the culture ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Animals such as bulls are believed to have been worshipped because of their importance at the time

Animals such as bulls and horses are believed to have been worshipped over that period because of their importance for human survival.

Like other animal and human figurines, the bull discovered near the temple of Zeus was likely to have been offered by believers during a sacrifice, which would explain the burn marks and “sediments removed during its purification”, the ministry added.

The site of Olympia in Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games.