Today's Olympic games are derived from the ancient games which began in Greece. The ancient Greek Olympic games took place at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, Greece, approximately one month after midsummer. They formed part of the Panhellenic crown games: a series of four games held at different temple sanctuaries as part of religious festivities in honor of each site’s respective deity. These sanctuaries are known as “Panhellenic” because anyone could worship, sacrifice, or dedicate offerings there, regardless of city-state. The Olympic games took place once every four years, just like the modern games, and were established sometime between the mid 8th to early 7th century BCE. The games included equestrian, track and field, and combat events, some of which continue in today’s modern Olympics.
For more information about the Olympics, follow the Carlos Museum on social media during the 2021 Olympic Games, July 23 - August 8!
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Thank you to our Curatorial Intern, Amina Hull, for her vigorous work on this project during the summer 2021.