The site has gone through at least two major rebuilds during its active period, and was neglected for many long years. As a result what you see now is not the same as it would have looked during the time when it was actively in use.
If there were benches, or boundary fences, nothing remains of those.
The picture at left is taken from the Areopagus with a telephoto lens.
The stepped structure in the center-left is the speaker's platform from the third era of construction.
The map at right shows the geographical relationship of the Pnyx to other sites. The overall area shown is not large - perhaps a few hundred feet on a side.
Initially, the site was oriented with the natural shape of the hill. The speaker's platform was at the lower end. This is the configuration the site was in at the time of Pericles in the early and middle part of the classical period.
The second phase began about 400 BC when the orientation was turned around and fill brought in to raise the north end. The reason for this change of orientation is not known.
The third phase began, perhaps, about 330 BC when the massive wall seen above and speakers platform was constructed and the site expanded and the retaining wall to the north increased in size.
At about this time stoas were started on the upper area to the south of the speaker's platform.
Later the site fell out of use and was effectively abandoned. It wasn't until the 1800's that the site began to be excavated with systematic excavations occurring 1910-1939.
he two panoramas above are taken from the east side and show the overall layout of the site.
|Last modified 2/24/12; posted 1/31//10. Original content © 2012, 2010 John P. Nordin|