This paper presents a thorough review of the physical remains and excavation history of the Athenian Acropolis from the Bronze Age to the early 20th Century.
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The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous ancient sites in the world for the Parthenon which sits at its summit, but the site is far more complicated and rich than most people are aware. This paper discusses the layers of construction on this site from the Archaic era and the Persian Wars down to the late 19th century, including the use of the Parthenon as a Turkish mosque, the Venetian occupation, and the Peisistratid Parthenon. This essay goes beyond the usual focus on 5th century Athens to give a panoramic tour of a key site of Classical antiquity using a diachronic description, diagrams, and photographs of the site in excavation before the modern restorations re-erected large portions of the buildings, creating the site as it appears today. Not only is this a useful document for introducing the rich history of the Athenian Acropolis, but it also represents a snapshot of a key moment in the site's archaeological history.