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The Parthenon Frieze. Block N VI
Here is shown the file of four hydriaphoroi (water-carriers). They are young men with short curly hair, and with their himatia wrapped around them.Three (16-18) bear their water jars on their left shoulders. The weight is so great that the fourth (19) had rested his jar for a moment on the ground and now prepares to lift it up again. According to the literary sources, hydriaphoroi were usually the daughters of metoikoi (settlers) and they bore their vessels on their heads. Perhaps shown here is an earlier phase of the procession and they carry the vessels on their shoulders rather than on their heads so that the figures coincide with the height determined for the frieze. E. Simon has given yet another interpretation of the male hydria bearers. She believes they may be victors of the lampadedromia (torch-race) that took place the evening before the procession and that the hydria was the victor’s prize. Be that as it may, it is generally believed that the water in the vessels was destined for sprinkling on the altar and for watering the animals.

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Frieze Side
North Frieze
Subject Category
Sacrificial procession
Acropolis Restoration Service
Pentelic marble
N 16, N 17, N 18, N 19
Acropolis Museum
Stone Number