The Acropolis of Athens during the Archaic period (520 BCE)
During this period the first monumental temples were built. The first was constructed at around 560 BCE in the place were the Parthenon stands today. This temple was dedicated to godess Athena, protector of the city and the pediments were decorated with statues depicting lions and other mythical creatures.
The second big temple was built around 520 BCE and is also known as “the ancient temple” (Archaios Neos – αρχαίος νεώς) and was dedicated to Athena Poliás. The pediments were decorated with marble statues depicting the Gigantomachy.
The Acropolis during the Persian Wars (480 BCE)
After the foundation of Democracy and the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE, the construction of the first marble temple was begun. This temple is known as Proparthenon or “Hekatompedon” and was constructed in the spot of the earliest temple, which was torn down for unknown reasons. This temple was never completed as the second phase of the Greco-Persian Wars begun. On its place (on the same foundations and with many of its parts) was later built the Parthenon. At the same time, the first archaic Propylaea were partially built with the first temple of Athena Nike, the foundations of which still exist under today‘s classical temple. Also the Pelasgian wall was repaired. All these buildings, along with the city, were burned to the ground by the Persian general Mardonius in 480 BCE.
For other monuments of Archaic Athens click below: