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on December 8, 2008 at 2:13:08 pm

Emily Dodds and Jeremy McCormick

The Erectheion is an important ancient greek temple located in Athens.The temple was to replace the Archaic Athena temple that had been raised by the Persians. It was built north of the remains and was to be a composite shrine that honored the goddes Athena .The Erechtheion was finished in 405 B.C.E. just before the fall of Athens to Sparta. It's located in Acropolis, Athens on the sight of a mythical contest said to have taken place between Poseidon, the sea god, and Athena. In this contest, Poseidon provided a salt-water well for the location by stabbing his trident into a rock, while Athena provided and olive tree and won the contest. The rock that Poseidon stabbed is now located in the North Porch of the Erechtheion. Some sources say that Mnesikles was the designer of the Erechtheion which is the second most important temple found on Acropolis during Pericles' building period. Built to conform on the slope of the hill, the Erechtheion had multiple functions including housing many shrines, like the wooden cult statue of Athena that was the center of the Panthenaic festival. This statue was placed inside the Erechtheion before the Persians attacked.  One area of the Erechtheion has a sacred spring dedicated to the Erechtheion, a legendary King of Athens. During Erehchtheion’s reign as king, Demeter was said to have helped the Athenians in the arts of growing crops and other vegetation.  The Erechtheion also contains a memorial to Kekrops, the legendary founder of Athens. Kekrops was said to be half man, half serpent and to have judged the battle between Athena and Poseidon.

The porch of maidens is on the south  side of the temple and it faces the Partheons. The porch of maidens is the most important feature of the Erechtheion in that they show the most detail and curves on the women supporting the roof from the floor. The Erechtheion has simple doric capitols and it also has caryatids.

On the Porch of the Maidens the women are standing on one leg which takes most of the weight, while the other leg is bent at the knee and laid on the ball of the foot. This in turn gives a sense of relaxed grace and gives the maidens a effortless look. Three maidens are standing on the left while the other three are standing on the right giving the porch a sense of symetry and rythm. The maidens are clothed with cloth that has a vertical fall of draperey, the maidens hair is loose but contains massive knots around the neck which makes the maidens appear natural and human the north and east  porches symbolize Ionic form on the Erechtheion. The porches were constructed using the Ionic order, which is more complex and decorative than the Doric order.  The columns build up from the bottom and end in volute capitols, or sprial capitols. On the West end of the South side, there are six female figures acting as columns that are called caryatides that support the porch.







The Erchtheion was to replace ethe Archaic Athena temple that had been razed by the Persians



it was built to the North of the remains was to be a composite shrine



Honored Athena and had some other shrines of larger gods that hads been important in the city's history



          Erchtheus, king of Athens



          Kekrops, another King



Erch built asymmetrical



     unique for a greek temple and compaired to the Doric Parthenons across the way



irregular for reflects the need to incorperate the tomb of Kekrops and other pre-existing shrines, trident mark, and olive tree into a single complex



the unknown builder had to work with the cury terrain



     couldnt terrace because it would affect the sacred sites



     each side is set on different ground levels and has different characters



has many decorative details






          given special care



          its a decorative horizon band as long as the upper part of a wall in a room



          it is made specially picked dark blue limestone of Eleusis to contrast with the white Pentelic marble of the walls and columns



          white relief figures where attached to ground



South Porch     



     caryatids replace ionic colomns



some sources say that Mnesikles desgined it. others say they dont know



second largest structure in acroplois



work began -230's ended in 405




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