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The winged statues that formed the parapet of the small temple of Athena Nike, meaning victorious Athena, which you can see in the museum, date to around 410 BC. This parapet, which formed a barrier between the temple and the edge of the rock bastion of the Acropolis, was 41 meters long and was composed of numerous tablets, each one portraying a version of winged Athena.

The tablets did not tell a story; each scene was independent from the others. The winged goddess is portrayed leading a bull to sacrifice, or seated, showing weapons and trophies wrested from Persian enemies. One of the most unusual scenes shows Athena intent on carrying out an everyday task: fastening her sandal.

You’ll also notice fragments of the frieze that ran along all four sides of the small temple, measuring almost 26 meters and consisting of 14 sections. Many parts have been lost, and four blocks can be seen in the British Museum. The east frieze shows the gods of Mount Olympus, while the other three feature scenes from historical battles, such as the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

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