Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 4.1885-1886

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THE ATHENIAN PNYX.

with the thicker blocks in the portion opposite the bema. If these
two courses that have disappeared were in place, the height of the
wall would become 8.55 metres; i.e. on the supposition that the
courses which have disappeared consisted of blocks of the same,
thickness as those now to be seen, it would be but 4.55 metres lower
than the base of the bema. The difference of level between this
middle point and a point (near W) due north of the bema, which
is near one end of the wall, is shown on Section AA', which accom-
panies the survey. The attempt of the builders seems to have been
to bring the top of the wall along its entire length to a level by
placing the thicker blocks of the course at the lowest points

Below this wall, a little to the west of the middle point A, are a
few shallow steps cut in the rock. They are older than the wall1
itself, as is shown by their disappearance under it. A few paces east
of the steps is a square hole in the wall, probably caused by the falling
out of a small block of stone. Through it the rubble which fills the
space above the wall can be seen.

The next question in order, and the one of greatest importance, is
that in regard to the nature of the floor of the enclosure. If this
place was arranged for people to assemble in, and all are agreed that
it was, did they assemble on the earth that now covers the rock, or
on the rock itself, or on neither of these ? When the topography of
Athens began to be studied carefully, the enclosure was covered with
earth and rubble as it now is. Since that time the condition of the
Pnyx has changed but little. At the points marked B and C on the
survey, ledges come to the surface. Below these the covering of the
rock at once becomes deeper.

H. The angle of earth-slide, indicated upon the Section AA1, is uniform along
the crescent. It is of particular importance as indicating the existence of a much
greater height of earth within the retaining wall at a period anterior to the
removal of its stones by Christian or Turkish builders. Much of the earth which
originally raised the auditory to the requisite level has been washed down upon
the low-lying tract between the eastern front of the Theseum and the houses of
the present town. This is proved by the excavations recently (February, 1887)
made in this region by Dr. Dorpfeld, for the purpose of determining the site of
the ancient Agora. All the remains of Roman, and even of early Christian date,
were found to be deeply buried by gravel and earth, which can have been carried
down upon them only from the enormous terrace of the Pnyx auditory. —■ J. T. C.
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