In antiquity people honoured their gods by making offerings and sacrifices to them. They followed a special rite and they used special sacred vessels and implements. During the sacred ceremony, they offered the gods wine, the first and most valuable fruit and they sacrificed animals.
The sacrificial procession is shown on the eastern part of the long sides of the Parthenon Frieze, north and south, and continues on the east end.
On the north side the sacrificial animals are shown, four bulls and four rams, walking along with their drivers. The drawings of J. Carrey contribute significantly to the restoration of the sacrificial procession on the north side.
The horizontal axes formed by the bodies of the bulls and the vertical lines formed by their drivers, especially the youth whose himation conceals his entire body, make an interesting composition. The bull rebelling against the procession, with the movement of its head and legs, throws into relief a new perception of freedom on the part of the artist.
Depicted on the south side are ten bulls accompanied by three drivers each.
Some of the bulls proceed quietly…
one bends its head down struggling…
another tosses its head…
The sacrificial procession continues on the east side, where the two lines of the procession meet over the entrance to the temple. The east side of the frieze is the most sacred and therefore no animals are portrayed. It is, moreover, the only side on which women are participating.
and six figures at the left. These are the ten eponymous heroes of Attica, the mythical primogenitors of the ancient Athenians. They are clad in himatia and appear to be conversing with each other, some supported on staves.