Brauroneion

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3D computer generated image of the sanctuary of Artemis Brauonia. To the right is the Propylaea, to the left the Chalkotheke.

The Brauroneion was the sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia on the Athenian Acropolis, located in the southwest corner of the Acropolis plateau, between the Chalkotheke and the Propylaia in Greece. It was originally dedicated during the reign of Peisistratos. Artemis Brauronia, protector of women in pregnancy and childbirth, had her main sanctuary at Brauron, a demos on the east coast of Attica.

The sanctuary on the Acropolis was of an unusual trapezoidal shape and did not contain a formal temple. Instead, a portico or stoa served that function. The stoa measured circa 38 by 6.8 m; it stood in front of the southern Acropolis wall, facing north. At its corners, there were two risalit-like side wings, each about 9.3 m long, the western one facing east and vice versa. North of the east wing stood a further short west-facing stoa. All of the sanctuary's western part, now lost, stood on the remains of the Mycenaean fortification wall. All that remains of the eastern pare are foundations for walls, cut into the bedrock, as well as some very few architectural members of limestone.

One of the wings contained the wooden cult statue (xoanon) of the goddess. Women who petitioned Artemis for help habitually dedicated items of clothing, which were draped around the statue. In 346 BC, a second cult statue was erected. According to Pausanias, it was a work by Praxiteles.

The entrance to the small sacred precinct, near its northeast corner, is still marked by seven rock-cut steps. They, and its northern enclosure, were probably created by Mnesicles during the building of the Propylaia. The date of the complex in its final shape is unclear, but a date around 430 BC, similar to that of the adjacent Propylaia, is comnonly assumed.

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This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.