When the New Acropolis Museum  is mentioned, people’s first thought is of the Elgin Marbles. It does however contain many other artefacts – some previously displayed in the old museum on the Acropolis, others never publicly on show before. Their are artefacts from well before & well after the construction of the Periclean Acropolis – as well as the finds from the site of the museum itself which are retained beneath the building.
Athens News Agency 
Tour of the permanent collections of the New Acropolis Museum
The New Acropolis Museum, which will be officially inaugurated on Saturday, contains five Permanent Collections: The Acropolis Slopes, divided into sub-categories on The Settlement, and The Sanctuary; The Acropolis during the Archaic Period, with sub-categories on The Hekatompedon, The Ancient Temple, abd The Votives; The Parthenon, with sub-categories on The Monument, The Metopes, The Pediments, and The Frieze; Other Monuments of the Classical Acropolis, with sub-categories on The Propylaia, The Temple of Athena Nike, and The Erectheion; and Other Collections, with sub-categories on The Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia, The Votives of the Classical and Hellenist Periods, and The Votives of the Roman Period. ANA-MPA takes its readers on a tour of the collections, in three parts, leading up to the official opening. The Museum opened its electronic gates (www.theacropolismuseum.gr) on Monday.
THE ACROPOLIS SLOPES
The first gallery of the Museum houses finds from the slopes of the Acropolis. The gallery’s glass floor affords views to the excavation, while its upward slope alludes at the ascent to the Acropolis. In antiquity, the slopes of the Sacred Rock constituted the transition zone between the city and its most famous sanctuary. This was the area where official and popular cults, as well as large and small sanctuaries existed alongside private houses.
Among the sanctuaries, or at a slightly lower level, archaeological excavations brought to light parts of the urban fabric of ancient Athens and gave evidence of its almost uninterrupted settlement from the end of the Neolithic period (about 3000 BC) until late antiquity (6th century AD). Houses and workshops, roads and squares, wells and reservoirs, as well as thousands of objects left behind by the local people in antiquity all provide valuable insight into the past. Most finds are made of clay, as objects made of other perishable materials have been lost to us, while the most valuable objects have been looted. The finds include tableware and symposium vessels, cooking pots, perfume holders, cosmetics and jewelry containers, children’s toys and others.
The slopes, caves and plateaus of the Acropolis hill were sacred to gods, heroes and nymphs. The south slope was home to two of the most important sanctuaries of the city, those of Dionysos Eleuthereus and Asklepios. It was also the site of several other temples, smaller in size, yet of great importance to the Athenians.
At a short distance from the Sanctuary of Asklepios was a small open-air temple dedicated to the Nymphe, who was the protector of marriage and wedding ceremonies. There, the Athenians dedicated the nuptial bath vases, as well as other votive offerings, such as perfume bottles, cosmetics and jewelry containers and symposium vases.
THE ACROPOLIS DURING THE ARCHAIC PERIOD
The period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars is called Archaic. This period is characterized by the development of the city-state and the development of democracy. It is also characterized by great achievements in the economy, art and intellectual life.
In the early 6th century BC, the cult of Athena Polias on the Acropolis continued to be pursued in her late-geometric temple. In 566 BC, the tyrant Peisistratos re-organized the Panathenaia, the greatest festival in honor of the Goddess. It is possible that at that time, for reasons of political propaganda, a large temple was erected at the site to be occupied later by the Parthenon. This temple is the Archaic Parthenon or Hekatompedon, dedicated to the military facet of Athena Parthenos, the patron divinity of the city.
The earliest building known on the Acropolis was the Hekatompedon or Hekatompedos neos – meaning 100 feet long, and comes from an inscription referring to the layout of the sanctuary. It is thought that the building was built on the site, later occupied by the Classical Parthenon. The fragments of poros architectural members and sculptures uncovered to the south and east of the Parthenon, reveal that the Hekatompedon was a Doric peripteral temple.
The lioness pediment is distinguished by its high-relief carving and its striking size. It depicts a lioness with an unusually bushy mane, rearing on its hind legs and tearing apart a calf. It is believed to have adorned the east pediment of the temple. Two compositions belong to the west pediment. The one to the left depicts Herakles on his right knee, wrestling with the Triton, a creature with a body of a man ending in the scaly tail of a sea monster. The group to the right is the Triple-Bodied Monster, a composite creature consisting of three male figures conjoined at the waist. Each figure holds an object in its left hand: the first has water, the second fire, and the third a bird (symbolizing air).
The Gigantomachy pediment belongs to the decoration of the Old Temple of Athena. It has been argued that the Temple had an earlier building phase (570 BC), involving the poros sculptures that are now assigned to the Hekatompedon, while the marble sculptures were associated with a renovation by the sons of Peisistratos. It is possible, however, that the Temple was built and given its marble sculpted decoration in the last quarter of the 6th century BC. The compositions of the pediments consist of larger than life-size statues, carved in Parian marble, which are attributed to the workshop of an important Athenian sculptor, either Antenor or Endoios.
From the time of Peisistratos onwards, the site of the Acropolis began to fill with votive offerings, offered to the Goddess, both as tokens of respect and as marks of financial and artistic development. These important offerings were mostly statues meant to please the Goddess. The human form was at the core of artistic pursuit, and its depiction resulted in technique perfection.
On the Acropolis, statues and other expensive artefacts were commissioned by members of aristocratic families and wealthy professionals, manual workers, as well as women, such as washer women and bakers. Clay plaques depicted Athena either as Promachos, fully armed and resting one foot on a chariot, or as Ergane, seated and spinning.
Athens News Agency 
Tour of the permanent collections of the New Acropolis Museum continues
With the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum just two days away, ANA-MPA continues its three-part tour of the Museum’s Permanent Collections. The Museum contains five Permanent Collections: The Acropolis Slopes, divided into sub-categories on The Settlement, and The Sanctuary; The Acropolis during the Archaic Period, with sub-categories on The Hekatompedon, The Ancient Temple, and The Votives; The Parthenon, with sub-categories on The Monument, The Metopes, The Pediments, and The Frieze; Other Monuments of the Classical Acropolis, with sub-categories on The Propylaia, The Temple of Athena Nike, and The Erechtheion; and Other Collections, with sub-categories on The Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia, The Votives of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods, and The Votives of the Roman Period. The Museum opened its electronic gates (www.theacropolismuseum.gr) on Monday.
THE MONUMENTS OF THE CLASSICAL ACROPOLIS
The main monuments that constitute the Classical Acropolis are the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. The Propylaia, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, were built in 437-432 BC, following designs by the architect Mnesikles, in order to replace the earlier gateway. In 427-423 BC, the Temple of Athena Nike was built, perhaps by the architect Kallikrates, on the bastion southwest of the Propylaia, to replace an earlier small temple on the same site. The Erechtheion is the last of the Periclean buildings. Construction began during the Peace of Nicias (421-415 BC) and ended after 410 BC.
In the Propylaia stood works of art made by great sculptors, like the statue of the Hermes Propylaios by Alkamenes.
The building consisted of a central section flanked by two wings. The main building featured five openings. The central opening was the widest to accommodate the passing of the Panathenaic procession and sacrificial animals.
The north wing had an anteroom and a spacious hall known as the Pinakotheke. This was probably a recreation area with paintings on the walls and couches with tables, where visitors could rest. The south wing had to be reduced due to the Temple of Athena Nike.
The Temple of Athena Nike
The Temple of Athena Nike is an exquisitely proportioned temple in the Ionic order, with four monolithic columns at the east and west fronts.
As the epithet Nike (victory) implies, here Athena was worshipped as the goddess who stands by the Athenians in time of war. The Temple housed a wooden cult statue of the Goddess, who held a helmet in one hand, symbol of war, and a branch of pomegranate tree in the other, symbol of peace. The temple had sculptures on the pediments and the frieze. Only a few fragments of the pediment sculptures are preserved. The east frieze represents the Olympian Gods and the other three sides of the frieze picture battle scenes.
The area around the Erechtheion was considered the most sacred of the Acropolis. The Erechtheion was a complex marble building in the Ionic order, an exceptional artwork. The eastern part of the Temple was dedicated to Athena, whilst the western part was dedicated to local hero Boutes, Hephaistos and other gods and heroes. Thus, the Erechtheion was a temple with multiple functions, housing older and newer cults, and the site of the ‘Sacred Tokens’, the marks made by Poseidon’s trident and the olive tree of Athena.
A building inscription of the Erechtheion refers to the Caryatids simply as Korai (maidens), while the name Caryatids was assigned at a later time. The second Korai from the western section was removed by Lord Elgin in 1801 and is today located in the British Museum.
The Other Collections of the Acropolis Museum include the Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia, the votives of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods and the votives of the Roman Period.
The Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia
Artemis Brauronia (Vravronia) was the goddess protecting expectant mothers and women in confinement. Her main sanctuary was located in Brauron, in Attica. The sanctuary on the Acropolis was founded at the time of the tyrant Peisistratos, who originated from Brauron (modern-day Vravronas). The cella housed the wooden statue (xoanon) of the Goddess, similar to the one in her Brauron temple. According to Pausanias, a second statue of Artemis, carved by Praxiteles, was added in 346 BC. The colossal head of that statue is on display in the Museum.
The Votives of the Classical & Hellenistic Periods
Exquisite sculptures of the Classical Period are mostly made out of copper. Most of the votives on the Acropolis of the Classical Period and of subsequent periods have disappeared. Several sculptures are identified with original works that were found on the Rock of the Acropolis. Amongst them stands the statue of Prokne and Itys, a work attributed to the famous sculptor Alkamenes. Other statues have survived in a fragmentary state, like the statue of Io or Kallisto, another work by Alkamenes, or the fragment of the statue of the so-called Aphrodite-Sosandra by Kalamis. Another exquisite work is the portrait of Alexander, possibly ascribed to the sculptor Leochares.
The Votives of the Roman Period
Throughout the Roman period, the Acropolis retained the appearance it had in its heyday. It also preserved most of its dedications, unlike other Greek cities and sanctuaries, whose artistic treasures were plundered and transferred to Italy, mostly in order to adorn public buildings. At the same time, a series of new dedications were added to the earlier ones. These were portraits of emperors, generals and other officials, portraits of philosophers, orators and priests, as well as images of individuals who benefited the city or distinguished themselves in athletic and other contests.