In spite of a general shortage of financial means, excavations at the ancient site of
Olympia in Greece’s Peloponnese have resumed. It always makes me happy when new buildings are being brought to daylight or when new artifacts lift another corner of the veil shrouding antiquity.
[Picture from Archaeology News Network]
’s gymnasium has revealed another section of thirty meters of its eastern stoa. Earlier excavations had already exposed a 70-meters long section, but a remaining Olympia 80 meters are still hidden underground. The central court of the gymnasium was surrounded by a wide stoa, whose roof was supported on the inner side by a double row of Doric columns. Behind the stoa on the west side were the rooms dedicated to the athletes, while on the east side the stoa was closed off by a solid outer wall.
An acute problem at present is caused by the rainwater that used to be drained by running over the road alongside the gymnasium but which is now – not too well – collected in a basin and does regularly inundate the site. To remedy this major problem, it has been agreed to divert the excessive water towards the nearby
. The river seems to have been a problem even in antiquity as its waters swept away most the west wing of the gymnasium. Kladeos River
It will be interesting to see when and how this problem with be tackled properly.