Acropolis, North Slope, North Slope Long Rocks

Detail of the northwest slope -- the area known as the "Long Rocks". Towards the left side of the picture you can see the Erechtheion just above the citadel wall. Directly below it, note a narrow crevice in the rock. This opening is the western entrance to the Mycenaean Fountain. Just to the right of the crevice, you can see a small green tree marking the location of a rock-cut stairway (called the Northwest Descent) leading from the Acropolis. Although this pathway is sometimes called the "Kimonian stairway", many scholars think that it might date from Mycenaean period and was designed to give access to the rocky ledge and the northwest caves visible here. Between this small tree and a larger tree a little farther to the right (in just about the very center of the shot), is Cave D (actually THREE caves -- called D, D1, and D2), which is thought to be a shrine sacred to the god Pan. Immediately to the right of the large tree, in shadows, is a shallow rock shelter designated Cave C. (This "cave" is sometimes said to be sacred to Olympian Zeus, but the evidence for this attribution is very weak). Immediately right of Cave C is Cave B (seen as a tall, dark, and narrow opening). This cave was sacred to the god Apollo, who was worshiped here under the titles Hypo Makrais (Under the Long Rocks) or Hyp' Akrais (Under the Heights). The back of the cave is covered with rock-cut niches for the insertion of dedicatory marble plaques, many of which were found during exavations in 1897. A short distance to the right of Cave B is another very shallow rock shelter (Cave A). Finally, at the right side of the picture is a part of the northwest bastion of the Propylaia. The small "window" cut into its northern face was constructed in medieval times. Below this "window" is part of a stairway leading down to the Roman-period version of the Klepsydra Springhouse.