Αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα επι της κορυφής του Ολύμπου Άγιος Aντώνιος
Υπηρεσία Αρχαιοτήτων και Αναστηλώσεως
Αρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον, 1967, Τόμος 22, Μελέται/Μέρος Α’, 6-14.
One of the highest summits of Mt Olympus is the Aghios Antonios peak (Φ= 40°03', Λ= 22°2Γ, H = 2817 m). This peak is smoothly rounded and covered with schistose fragments, with an underlying layer of soil varying from 0,30 to 1,50 meters depth. Trees and shrubbery vegetation stop in this area of Olympus at the height of 2000 to 2100 meters. In the year 1961 our Meteorological Institute of the University of Thessaloniki decided to erect an alpine type meteorological station on the Aghios Antonios peak of Mount Olympus, and to this purpose a two-storey building has been erected there. During the excavation works of the same year and the formation of the surrounding area in the summers that followed, till 1965, several archaeological findings have been collected exactly on this peak, either lying on the ground surface, or in small depths· These archaeological findings are recorded in detail in the adjoined lists, and consist of parts of stone slabs and stelai, fragments of ceramic vases, coins, and a few iron nails. The greatest part of those finds and all the coins have been found in a layer ranging at some places from 0,30 to 1,50 m depth, and consisting of a mixture of earth and solid rests of organic burnings (char) and a great deal of bones, which evidently must come from the immolation of great numbers of sheep and goats. Samples from this soil together with all the finds, except for the larger and heavier pieces, have been taken to the archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. All our findings up to this date (October 1965) are included in the three adjoined lists, that is: List I contains fourteen stone finds from Olympus (OL 1 - OL 14). List II contains specimens from the great number of ceramic fragments and other small items. List III contains those coins that were found in a sufficiently good condition. Considering the finds listed here, we note that these stone stelai, regardless of the cheap material they are made of, are to our opinion quite important. From the letters deciphered on Nos. OL 1, OL 2 and OL 6 we presume that these are votive stelai to Olympian Zeus. The word ΙΕΡΗ TEYONTOS on N° OL 6, together with the thick layer of char and animal bones found on the spot, gives proof that an organized worship of the Olympian Zeus was held on the Aghios Antonios peak of Mt Olympus, at least during the hellenistic and early Christian years; this aspect is also confirmed by the shape of the inscribed letters and the coins. Further on there are extracts from ancient and modern writers given regarding the matter of the existence or non-existence of a sanctuary on the summits of Mt Olympus. From these we draw the conclusion that no definite statements have been formulated on this matter till today.