South foundations of altar, from NW, Athens, Altar of the 12 Gods

Southeast corner of altar foundations, from N, Athens, Altar of the 12 Gods

Foundations of Altar of the 12 Gods, from W, Athens

Detail of statue base from altar (with cuttings on top), from W, Athens, A...

Foundations of Altar of the 12 Gods, from SW, Athens

Plan, Athens, Altar of the 12 God

Context: Athens
Type: Altar
Summary: Altar enclosed in a peribolos wall; near the north end of the Agora.
Date: ca. 522 BC - 425 BC
Region: Attica
Period: Archaic/Classical


Rectangular altar. Peribolos wall of stone posts and slabs supported by a poros sill. Entrances on east and west.


Identified by an inscribed marble statue base found in situ on west side of the peribolos wall. Original altar was built in 522/21 B.C. by Peisistratos. Rebuilt ca. 425 B.C. to repair damage suffered in the Persian invasion of 480/79 B.C. The altar was used as the central point for measuring road distances. From the 5th century B.C., the altar became associated with the Goddess of Pity, probably because the enclosed area served as a place of asylum. A round marble altar of the 4th century B.C. may also have been in the sanctuary.

Other Bibliography:

Travlos 1971, 458