Bottom fragment of a slab that comes from the east side of the parapet constructed around the Temple of Athena Nike. It was identified during the 1970s.
Preserved are the edges of a chiton and a himation which is made of thicker cloth and its folds outline a leg. The fragment is considered to belong to the figure of Athena who must have been depicted sitting to the left with crossed legs in a similar posture to that of Athena Ακρ. 991 that also comes from the parapet of Athena Nike’s temple.
The parapet enclosed the three sides of the bastion, on which the temple was built. It consisted of slabs approximately one meter in height whose outer surfaces were decorated with relief scenes visible by those ascending the Acropolis. The holes preserved on the upper surface of these slabs indicate that there was originally a metal railing, which further raised the height of the parapet.
The theme depicted on the parapet is a celebration of the military victories of the Athenians against their enemies, either Persians or other Greeks. The narrative is not continuous; instead it is composed of separate, individual scenes which – with slight variations – recur on each side of the parapet: winged Nikai lead bulls to sacrifice or hold weapons and adorn victory trophies with Greek or Persian armour. Among them sits goddess Athena, resting after victorious battles. The carving of the temple's sculptures was carried out by many different artists under the supervision of Agorakritos. These sculpted figures are highly representative of the end of the 5th cent. BC style called by archaeologists the "Rich Style".
In 1687 the temple and the parapet of Athena Nike were dismantled by the Ottomans and the material was used for the reinforcement of a gun emplacement and the fortification of the west side of the Acropolis against the attacks by the Venetians under the command of the general Francesco Morosini. Between 1835 and 1836 the gun emplacement was demolished and the Temple of Athena Nike was restored for the first time under the supervision of Ludwig Ross, the administrator of antiquities at the time. A second reconstruction was carried out in 1940, while a third was completed in 2010.
Pallat, L., «The Frieze of the Erechtheum», American Journal of Archaeology 16, 1912, σελ. 186 Μπρούσκαρη, Μ., Το θωράκιο του Ναού της Αθηνάς Νίκης, Αρχαιολογική Εφημερίς, Αθήνα, 1998, σελ. 208-209, εικ. 60.1