17.02.2024 Alessandro Di Maio

Uncovered in the Mediterranean the frieze of the Temple of Zeus Olympius of ancient Akragas

In recent weeks, an important archaeological artifact has been recovered in the sea of Agrigento, in southern Sicily! It is a marble stele, probably the front part of the famous Temple of Zeus Olympius of ancient Akragas. On the stele, a rampant horse is depicted, a typical iconic element in artistic representations of the Greek period.

The recovery was carried out by the divers of the Underwater Operations Unit of the Carabinieri in the water off San Leone, not far from the mouth of the Akragas river. The artifact is made of preconnesian marble. Its dimensions are: 2m x 1.6m x 35cm. It lay about 300 meters from the coast, at a depth of 9 meters, and was known for a long time but mistakenly considered to be a basin.

According to archaeologists, therefore, it would be a frieze from the pediment of the Temple of Zeus Olympius of ancient Akragas. This temple could be the one at the center of the Olympieion complex, built by the city after the victory of Himera over the Carthaginians in 480-470 B.C., when Akragas was ruled by the tyrant Theron.

The temple collapsed during the earthquake of December 19, 1401, and its ruins were reused for the construction of the docking piers of Porto Empedocle. Congratulations to the friends of the Gruppo Subacqueo di BcSicilia for the discovery, I admire the spirit of initiative and professionalism with which they have rediscovered this pearl of Sicilian and world archaeological heritage.

Photo: Gruppo Subacqueo di BcSicilia
More info: https://t.ly/DGLcg - https://t.ly/UUqFK