Programme "Scientific projects"

Did the Ancient Gods ever got Cold? Defining the history of Holocene Glaciation of Mount Olympus, Greece

Independent Team


It is believed that during the Holocene glacier-free conditions prevailed on the Greek mountains. Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece; its summit reaches an altitude of 2918m a.s.l. and is distanced 17km from the Aegean Sea. Visual observations of permanent snow patches in sheltered locations during the summer at elevations as low as 2200m a.s.l., enhance the likelihood that small glaciers may have developed on Mount Olympus during the Holocene. This speculation is further supported by the existence of fresh boulder moraines. The present study aims to answer whether Mount Olympus was glaciated during the Holocene, focusing on the Megala Kazania glacial valley, the Throne of Zeus cirque and the Muses Plateau peat bog. Methods employed to resolve the question are 36Cl exposure dating of material from the Megala Kazania and Throne of Zeus boulder moraines and lithostratigraphic analyses of cores from the Muses Plateau peat bog.



Michael Styllas, Geoservice Ltd

Project's Team:

Irene Schimmelpfennig, Cerege

Matthieu Ghilardi, Cerege

Lucilla Benedetti, Cerege