• THE ERECHTHEUM OF THE ATHENIAN ACROPOLIS A SACRED SPACE

      Cozart, Kelly (2012-12)
      Ancient Greeks and their ancestors, like most cultures of prehistory, sought to make sacred their surroundings in an effort to control their existence via the creation of a site and a vehicle of return, spiritually and physically, to a time of communion and interaction between the gods I creators and man. The physical results of these spiritual desires were evident in the choices of sites for sacred and domestic structures, their orientation, and even the composition of the buildings and altars. Few places on this earth embodied this saturation of spirit into a site, structure and sculpture more than the ancient remains of the Greek Athenian Acropolis and, more specifically, the Erechtheum. Widely accepted bodies of research have concluded that the Peloponnesian peninsula, and the Athenian Acropolis, have been inhabited by Greek speaking tribes who migrated southward from Anatolia around 6000 B.C.E.1 However, most researchers admit that no exact date or period can be pinpointed as to when the transformation from profane space to sacred space took place or when the shift from the matriarchal to patriarchal deities occurred. Many researchers and scholars do agree that while the earliest structures were habitats and fortifications, they were also sacred sites of ritual and worship, and the deities were distinctly female.