This sculpture is a full-sized, draped female figure, known as a Caryatid, sculpted out of marble between 421-406 B.C. during Athens' Golden Age. It originally served as one of six supporting figures for the south porch of the Erectheion located on the Athenian Acropolis. This sculpture stands at approximately 7.5 feet indicating the emphasis on majesty and symbolism within Ancient Greek culture.

This Caryatid showcases her peplos, a traditional wool garment, enveloping her form in meticulously rendered folds which imply movement and life. Her hair is a sequence of carefully carved braids and curls.

The figure's pose, slight bending at one knee, subtly suggests balance, as if weight is distributed equally across both legs. Her arms are crossed and elevated towards her torso, potentially indicating she is holding an invisible object. Subtle carving defines her expression as one of solemn dignity.

Functionally, Caryatids replaced regular columns in Erectheion architecture, a unique innovation in a period favoring aesthetic homogeneity. Each of the Caryatids was distinct in posture and drape. The statue's survival through centuries of natural and man-made disturbances speaks to the resilience of Ancient Greek civilization.

The Caryatids symbolize the maidens of Caryae, Laconia. Their etymology lies in these maidens' betrayal of Greece during the Persian Wars; their eternal penance symbolized by the perpetual burden of supporting the building.

Acropolis Museum