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Reconstruction of the Arrhephorion by Kronoskaf - Snapshot of the real time rendering of the prototype
Reconstruction of the Arrhephorion by Kronoskaf - Snapshot of the real time rendering of the prototype

The Arrhephorion (House of the Arrhephoroi) was probably located some 25 m on the west of the Erechtheion precinct. It is associated with what is known as "Building III" of the Akropolis. The precinct was delimited by the citadel wall on the north, the building itself on the east, a roughly rectangular walled terrace on the west. The Arrheporion was supposed to have a ball court which was probably located in this precinct.

The building was made of poros and measured 12 m by 12 m. It consisted of a single room measuring 8.5 m by 4.5 m and of a 4 m long portico of 2 columns in antis facing south. The date of its construction is uncertain and was probably somewhere after 470 BC.

A stairway in the northern part of the precinct, near the citadel wall, led to a Mycenaean underground fountain and to the cave of Aglauros. Another stairway led to the cave of Pan.

The Arrhephoroi were two young maidens, between 7 and 11 years old, who were selected each year among the Athenian nobility. These two maidens lived in the Arrhephorion. They probably help the priestess of Athena Polias in the maintenance of the sanctuary and in the weaving of the peplos. They also carried baskets, through an underground passage, to a location not far from the sanctuary of Aphrodite on the slopes of the Akropolis. They carried other unidentified artefacts on their way back. All this rite remains rather mysterious...


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

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