Skip to comments.The tsunamis of Olympia
Posted on 07/08/2011 7:10:29 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Olympia, the Sanctuary of Zeus and venue of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, was probably destroyed by tsunamis that reached far inland, and not as previously believed, by earthquakes and river flooding... Paläotsunamis that have taken place over the last 11,000 years along the coasts of the eastern Mediterranean. The Olympic-tsunami hypothesis has been put forward due to sediments found in the vicinity of Olympia, which were buried under an 8 metres thick layer of sand and other debris, and only rediscovered around 250 years ago.
"The composition and thickness of the sediments we have found, do not fit with water flow of the river Kladeos and geomorphological events such as earthquakes," sad Vött. It was previously believed that an earthquake in 551 AD. destroyed the shrines and afterwards floods from the Kladeos filled the ancient buildings. However, Vött was puzzled that the small river Kladeos that flows past the Olympic site would need to have first been buried under several metres of sediment, in order to cut 10-12 metres deep at its ancient overflow level... Mussel and snail shells and the remains of foraminifera (marine protozoa) clearly indicate a marine origin. The sediments must have arrived at speed from the coast towards Olympia which has an altitude of about 33 metres above sea level...
"in the context of deposited sediment sequences in the area, such a scenario has been repeated several times during the last 7,000 years; with one of the most recent events occurring in the 6th Century AD. which carried with it the final destruction of Olympia.
In support of the Olympic tsunami hypothesis is the fact that both on the sea facing side of the hilly terrain as well as in Olympia, identical high-energy sediments were found.
(Excerpt) Read more at pasthorizonspr.com ...
Recovering the sediment sequences only a few hundred meters west of the Temple of Zeus. In the background is the mountain of Olympia, the Kronos hill. Image: © Andreas Vött/JGU
[Landscape, no other caption found]
Marine foraminifera. Image: Noora.S, Flickr
Column drums from Temple of Zeus. Image: Templar1307, Flickr
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I figured this topic would really take off, and, well, I *am* surprised. :’)
In the event of a seventh Century tsunami, would there not have been some refernce to this historically?
Depends on whether any witnesses survived, I suspect. The Mutton Island tsunami killed at least a thousand in 9th c Ireland, and though I tend to read up on natural catastrophes, I’d never heard of it until 2005.
FWIW, it is actually a very interesting thread. After reading the article I went off on a search spree for other articles on the subject. I wanted to find out why we haven't seen more of this type of work and why there hasn't been numerous discoveries of tsunami evidence in an area austensibly disposed to this sort of thing. Spent SEVERAL hours doing that and wandered off into some peripherally related stuff. Apparently it's going to take a while for evidence of catastrophes during historical times to catch on.