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The Pnyx continued Page 7

Today little can be seen of the earliest meeting place of the 6th century BC. Archaeological investigations have shown that it consisted of an auditorium, with a speaker’s rostrum (bema) at the northern side. At the end of the 5th century BC this orientation was reversed. Remains of the retaining wall (below) and stepped entrance of the second meeting place are visible in a deep trench that was left open on the north side.

retaining wallIn the late 4th century BC, the Pnyx was remodeled once more, probably as part of an extensive rebuilding under the Athenian statesman and financial expert Lykourgos.

It was then that the auditorium reached its largest and most monumental form. It was provided with a rock-cut rostrum and a truly monumental retaining wall, built of huge trapezoidal blocks (the largest in Athens, visible when one follows the path up from the main entrance).

An information board at the western side shows the plans of the different building phases. Rock-cut niches in the wall behind the late 4th-century BC rostrum date from the Roman period, when there was a sanctuary for Zeus, here worshipped as a healing god with the epithet Hypsistos (‘the highest’)

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