West Pediment
Reconstruction of the West Pediment of the Parthenon at the Acropolis Museum
The west pediment sculptures depict the contest between Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, and her uncle Poseidon, God of the Seas, to see who would become the patron god of Attica and its capital city. Both Athena and Poseidon would give a gift, the patron god would be chosen. Poseidon struck his trident, a three-pronged spear, on the rock of the Acropolis and created a hole from which poured salt water. This water symbolized his gift; a good navy for protection of the city, and prosperous trade through their port system. Athena struck the rock with her spear and an olive tree sprang up. The tree was an excellent gift: olives and olive oil were used for cooking; the oil was a prime fuel for lamps, a beauty liquid for body and hair, and was used in making soap and medicines. Athena's gift was considered better and the city was named Athens in her honor.

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