Ancient Olympic Games

Throughout the Ancient Olympic games, religion played an extremely influential role, and impended its development over time. Depictions of the Greek gods and goddesses are seen across a large amount of found artefacts created in the Ancient Olympic era. These depictions also clearly display the development throughout history of religion and beliefs in association with the games. The importance of the religious festival was high on the society, and was displayed across their currency around this time. These were used to commemorate the significance of the festival, and featured many aspects that related to other important factors in Greek society. One such coin displays the high influence of gods and goddesses in the games and society. The coin, …show more content…
Throughout the period of the Olympic games, many events were added as the competition expanded, incorporating not only new events, but combination events to challenge participants and entertain spectators. As the new found events flourished in the entertainment of the people, prizes awarded to successors of the events received largely desired and sought out winnings. Depictions of these games emerged in painting across pottery from Ancient Greece, as the games evolved. The “Panathenaic amphora”, dating back to ca. 530 BC, is a pottery piece awarded to a worthy victor, which depicted different events in illustrations along the sides. The amphora was made in a standardized shape and capacity, one metretes (42 quarts), and was decorated with paintings of different Olympic events and the ‘black-figure technique’. It’s purpose was mostly likely to be filled with a rare ‘sacred oil’ originating from Attica, and awarded to the winners of each competition in the games. The primary decorative aspect was the panels of the body, painted with an armed Athenian on the front and an illustration of the specific game on the rear. The particular piece (shown in Appendix 4), illustrates five sprinters running an expanded variation of the original game, the stadion foot race. The close attention to detail regarding …show more content…
Artifacts depicting women participates date back to the commencement of the Ancient Olympics for ‘boys and men’, becoming more elaborate and important as the games progressed to integrate females. One such artifact, titled the “Bronze Statuette of a running girl” represents the vast change in the games and on society throughout the 12 centuries of its thrive. The piece, dating back 520-500 BC, stands at 11.400cm high and was thought to have originated from Sparta. The main Olympic games consisted only of males, making the ‘running girl’ a rarity. Despite this, Spartans were insistent upon the integration of females into athletic competitions, believing they should be obligated and are capable enough to take part. The artifact fits description of a traditional female runner participating in the Heraia (the games held in honour of goddess Hera, Zeus’ wife)- “Their hair hangs down, a tunic reaches to a little above the knee, and they bare the right shoulder as far as the breast”. Evidence further suggests the statuette was originally attached to a vessel or utensil as a ‘decorative fixture’, due to a bronze rivet attached to the right foot. The origins of the statuette suggest that the Greek society incorporated women as highly active members of the community, and that women athletes were celebrated. In Greek society, decorative sculptures

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