This superb museum at Ancient Olympia features finds from the archaeological site. Visiting it before touring the ruins helps to put the ancient site and its buildings into perspective. The museum's exhibits span the Olympic sanctuary's history, from the prehistoric to the Roman periods. Artefacts include increasingly sophisticated ceramics, votive offerings to Zeus and Hera, sacrificial cauldron adornments and statuary from the Temple of Hera. The main hall dramatically displays the biggest highlight: reassembled pediments and metopes from the Temple of Zeus.
Among the museum's treasures, you may spot a tiny helmet (a votive offering), a bronze arm protector decorated with the face of the Gorgon Medusa, a tiny bronze figure of Silenus (tutor to Dionysis, the god of wine) featuring optimistically proportioned genitalia, and a 4th-century Parian marble statue of Hermes of Praxiteles, a masterpiece of classical sculpture from the Temple of Hera.
The pediments and metopes from the Temple of Zeus deserve some extra attention. The eastern pediment depicts the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos, while the western pediment shows the fight between the centaurs and Lapiths at the wedding feast of Pirithous (the centaurs got drunk and tried to abduct the women). The metopes depict the Twelve Labours of Hercules; half the fun is trying to work out which is which from the remains alone.