The wonderful beauty and diversity of Greece was seldom fully appreciated by ancient Greeks (to whom it was commonplace). Greece has a rich flora and fauna, with many species peculiar to the country, or to one mountain or island (especially *Crete).
The land comprises six ecological zones:
In pre-neolithic times Greece was more wooded than now; in the drier east the trees probably formed savannah, with spaces between them. Crete and other islands may have differed from the mainland, owing to their peculiar faunas (nearly all extinct by the Classical period) including dwarf elephants and hippopotamuses. During the neolithic and bronze ages the landscape was increasingly affected by human activity and by a change to a more arid *climate. The date and nature of deforestation are controversial, but there is no good evidence that Classical Greece was more wooded than today.
Ellen E. Rice
Catherine A. Morgan, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth
Olympia, *panhellenic sanctuary of *Zeus located in hill country beside the river *Alpheus in *Elis.
There is evidence of extensive prehistoric settlement in the vicinity including a large EH tumulus in the Altis which remained visible into the early iron age, MH houses, and Mycenaean tombs (see
Votives (tripods and figurines) in an ash layer in the Altis indicate cult activity at least from the late 10th cent. (perhaps with an early ash altar). The first Olympiad was traditionally dated 776
Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond
Walter Eric Harold Cockle
Oxyrhynchus (Behnesa), a nome capital (see
Sculptured funeral stelae of the 1st–3rd cents.
Vladimir F. Stolba
Panskoye I is one of the most prominent and best-studied settlements in the rural territory of Chersonesus on the Tarkhankut Peninsula (north-western Crimea). Founded in the late 5th century
Richard Allan Tomlinson
Perachora, ancient Peiraion, the promontory opposite *Corinth, in Corinthian territory. At the western extremity, sited on a narrow shelf of land by a small harbour is the sanctuary of *Hera Akraia (oracular according to Strabo; see