The structures along the west side of the Athenian Akropolis have long delighted visitors approaching the site and have challenged scholars for generations. By happy coincidence a variety of different studies has recently been published which emphasized different aspects of the approaches to the citadel and once again remind us of the many problems still remaining to be solved.
Ira S. Mark concentrated on the shrine of the Athena Nike. He dealt primarily with the Mycenaean bastion enclosed within the later ashlar masonry of the classical podium, the various early remains of the shrine, which lie roughly 1.30 m. below the floor level of the classical temple, and the historical background of the temple itself. He published a few of the many early drawings of the bastion made by Nikolaos Balanos and his associates and re-examined the early walls crowning the archaic bastion, which he divided into various stages. Although, in my opinion, his chronology needs adjustment, his division of the walls built along the edges of the basion into different phases helps us to understand in more detail the history of the site and is a welcome addition. One of these earlier walls, which had long been considered to be Mycenaean, was dated by Mark to a much later phase (Fig. 1, 15). He suggested that the wall was a post-Mycenaean addition built in this position to enclose the east side of the shrine. This wall lies parallel to the West Cyclopean Wall and had been thought to represent the eastern limit of the bastion. The fragmentary remains of this wall, which are no longer visible, were originally recorded by Panagiotis Kavvadias and Georg Kawerau and its existence has bedeviled all attempts to restore a Mycenaean gate in this area.