One of the most memorable monuments of ancient Olympia. The altar was made almost entirely from the ashes of animals1 sacrificed to the Greek god Zeus during the Ancient Olympian Games. It is estimated to have grown to almost 7 metres in height. The mound of ashes was built upon an elliptical base, and a staircase was formed in the side of the altar to allow priests to climb to the top. Here they would perform the sacrifice of one hundred bulls in Zeus' honour.

The altar was situated to the east of the Pelopeion (area dedicated to the hero Pelops), vaguely in the centre of the Altis (main arena). This spot marked the place where Zeus was said to have struck his thunderbolt when laying claim to Olympia.

See also: Statue of Zeus at Olympia

1more accurately, the ashes of animals' thighs.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.