Recent excavations at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion have revealed evidence for ritual activity at the ash altar of Zeus from the Mycenaean through the Hellenistic period. Indications of continuous activity at this cult place beginning in the Late Bronze Age invite consideration of possible connections between this site and others in the Peloponnese, including the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Although altars composed of ash became fairly common in the Early Iron Age, we propose that the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia and its impressive ash altar may have been inspired by key aspects of the much older cult place at Mt. Lykaion, which it ultimately overshadowed in subsequent centuries.
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