Olympia, competing and feasting in the sanctuary of Zeus. Recent excavations and research of the German Archaeological Institute
The sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia was a place of veneration for the Greek Pantheon and its supreme god all through the year, but especially the athletic games held here every four years made it through the centuries a Panhellenic meeting place where the whole Greek world came together. In the tradition of Heracles who was said to have rested and dined here with his companions after one of his deeds, the visitors of the games participated in large sacrifices and feasting during their stay, which have left their traces in various types of installations and numerous objects found during the excavations. Moreover the place became a unique stage for the exhibition of personal success, not only in sport, but also military and political achievements which were exhibited in rich votive dedications and monuments, some of which have recently been restored to provide the visitor with a better understanding of the sanctuary´s former wealth, contributing to a constantly growing picture of the infrastructure, its maintenance and the cultic practices.
Reinhard Senff studied archaeology, ancient history and philosophy in Münster , Munich and London . After receiving his doctorate in 1987, he worked as a research assistant at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . From 1990 to 1994 he was an excavation assistant for Volkmar von Graeve in Miletus and from 1995 to 2000 he was a scientific assistant at the Institute for Archeology at the Ruhr University in Bochum . There habilitatedIn 2002 he started a thesis on the excavations in Miletus from 1899 to 2001. Since 2004, Reinhard Senff has worked for the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) as the second director of the Athens department . Since 2020 he has been the first scientific director.  He coordinated the work of the DAI in Olympia .
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