Heavy rainfall in southern Greece has led to the discovery of a bronze bull figurine believed to have been a votive offering made to the god Zeus in Ancient Olympia as early as 3,000 years ago.
Greece’s Culture Ministry said Friday that the small, intact figurine was found after an archaeologist spotted one horn poking out of the ground following recent rainfall in the area.
The excellently preserved figurine was shipped to a lab.
Preliminary examination indicates it dates from the Geometric period of ancient Greek art, roughly 1050 B.C. to 700 B.C.
It is understood to have been a votive offering to Zeus made as part of a sacrifice, as the sediment cleaned from the statuette bore distinct burn marks, the Culture Ministry said.
As with dozens of similar figurines depicting animals or human figures, the copper bull appears to have been dedicated by a worshipper to the god during a sacrifice, as shown by strong evidence of burning in the sediments and deposits that surround it.
Many are displayed at the archaeological museum in Olympia.
The Ilia Ephorate has also posted a video showing the work done to clean and restore the bull after its discovery.