Ancient bronze figurine of bull uncovered in southern Greece

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This undated photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Friday, March 19, 2021 shows an ancient bronze bull figurine that was found in ancient Olympia . Heavy recent 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.(Greek Culture Ministry via AP)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — 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 transported to a lab and initial examination indicates it dates from the Geometric period of ancient Greek art, roughly 1050 B.C. to 700 B.C. It is believed 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.

Thousands of votive offerings are believed to have been made at the altar of Zeus. Many have been found in a thick layer of ash and are exhibited at the archaeological museum in Olympia.

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