Museum of the History of the Excavations in Olympia.

The Philippeion in the foreground and the temple of Hera in the background, directly after the excavation campaign of 1877/1878 (Photo: D-DAI-ATH-2003/10: Rhomaidis)

The systematic excavation in Olympia, implemented after an official agreement between the Hellenic and Prussian state, was among the earliests to be carried out in Greece. The excavation begun in 1875 and continues to nowadays in a minor scale.  

Due to the pioneering scientific methodology that was introduced and implemented by the archaeologists of the German Archaeological Institute, Olympia’s excavation became an example which afterwards was followed in many other excavations.  

On display are the engravings of the plain of Olympia before the beginning of the excavations, photographs of the protagonists of the first campaigns and the excavations, the historic agreement of 1875 , instruments and excavation tools, documents associated with the excavations, photographs of more recent excavations, and other memorabilia.


The exhibition is housed in a small building which in the past served as residence and command house of the greek archaeologists, right next to the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity. Along with other two museums of  Olympia, it was renovated and inaugurated in March 24, 2004 in view of the Olympic Games in Athens that year.  

Wilhelm Dorpfeld
View of the sanctuary from Mount Kronos after the excavations in the 19th century. The river Alpheios can be seen in the background (Photo: D-DAI-ATH-Olympia 226: anonymos, 1899)
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