Sneak Preview of Flyover Zone’s New Reconstruction of the Acropolis in Athens
Over the past two years, we at Flyover Zone have been reconstructing the Acropolis in Athens with the help of a team of archaeologists led by Dr. Jenifer Neils, Director of the American School in Athens. The reconstruction will be used as the primary visual resource for our virtual tour of the site, which will be released later this year. We are devoting our February 2022 newsletter to a sneak preview of some of the highlights of this tour.
Freestanding Sculptures
Readers of the ancient travel writer Pausanias will know that many sculptures stood on the Acropolis. As an example of the dozen or so you will see on our virtual tour, we cite Myron’s (lost) bronze statue group of Theseus fighting the Minotaur. Theseus was the mythical figure who ruled as king of Athens. He was famous for slaying the Minotaur, a fearsome half-human, half-bull monster who dwelt in the Labyrinth commissioned by Minos, the king of Crete. This heroic deed spared Athens the sacrifice to the monster at regular intervals of seven young men and seven young women. Before Theseus sailed from Athens to Crete, he promised his father, king Aegeus, that he would hoist a white sail on the homeward voyage if he had been successful; otherwise, a black sail would be used. When returning home, Theseus forgot this promise, and when king Aegeus saw the black sail, he committed suicide. Afterwards, Theseus succeeded his father to the throne. Mohamed Abdelaziz, Flyover Zone’s talented Director of Historical Art, digitally reconstructed the bronze statue by the great sculptor Myron. He was inspired by illustrations of the myth on Attic pottery and also by a fragmentarily preserved Roman copy of a statue that may have been the lost original.
Many virtual tourists will doubtless make a beeline for our stops presenting the Parthenon. There will, indeed, be lots to see! As an example, we present here our restoration of the central portion of the west pediment showing the contest of Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of the city of Athens.
Temple of Athena Nike
This gem of classical architecture stands next to the Propylaia and is dedicated to Athena in her guise as the goddess of victory. Except for the pedimental sculpture and cult statue, the remains are extensive enough to permit us to offer a detailed reconstruction. Here, to whet your appetite we show a detail of the west frieze showing a scene showing the Athenians in battle against a Greek foe. We are not certain who the sculptor was.
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