Fortification Wall

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Contents

Introduction

Reconstruction of the Fortification Walls of the Akropolis by Kronoskaf - Snapshot of the real time rendering of the prototype
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Reconstruction of the Fortification Walls of the Akropolis by Kronoskaf - Snapshot of the real time rendering of the prototype

The fortification wall of the Akropolis, demolished by the Persians in 480 BC, was soon the object of major rebuilding efforts.

North Wall

The north side was fortified between 480 and 470 BC, incorporating part of the poros triglyphs, marble metopes and poros architraves of the Old Temple of Athena, in its west part, and some unfluted column-drums from the Ur-Parthenon, in its east part. This served as a war memorial to the desecration of the Akropolis by the Persians.

South Wall

The south side of the Akropolis was refortified between 470 and 460 BC at the initiative of Kimon, for this reason it is often designated as the "Kimonian Wall". It was an isodomic poros wall. Like the North Wall, this wall incorporated some blocks of the architrave of the Old Temple of Athena. The wall was further heightened around 443 BC, at the beginning of the large Periclean building programme. These additional works were completed by 438 BC.

Cyclopean Wall

A stretch of the old Mycenaean wall that once defended the Akropolis was preserved in the southwest corner of the newer fortification. It measured some 20 m long, 6 m thick and 5 m high and was built of large unworked stones assembled in irregular courses with smaller stones filling the gaps. The southwest wing of the Propylaea rest against this wall of large limestone boulders.

Southwest Bastion

As reconstruction of the sanctuary of Athena Nike started, around 447 BC, the Southwest Bastion itself was restored with new limestone walls. In fact, it was built around an older Mycenaean cyclopean bastion. The two niches at the base of the west wall of this former bastion were carefully preserved and restored. A polygonal opening was left in its north wall showing the old Cyclopean Wall underneath. The three walls were decorated with shields captured from the Spartans.

The walls were crowned with a moulding of Pentelic marble and the entire sanctuary was paved with marble.

The bastion could be accessed from the southwest wing of the Propylaea or from a small stairway connecting it with the Monumental Access Ramp.

References

Brouskari, Maria; The Monuments of the Acropolis, Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund, 2001

Hill, Ida Thallon; The Ancient City of Athens – Its Topography and Monuments, London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1953

Hurwit, Jeffrey M.; The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004

To Do

  • Include an illustration of the North Wall with its integrated triglyphs, metopes and column drums.
  • Include an illustration of the South Wall
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