The Temple of  Aphaia at Aegina (the island just south of Salamis) is a pivotal piece for Greek sculpure.

The West Pediment shows the Second Trojan War, complete with such heroes as Ajax (?), and his brother, the archer Teucer. It was completed sometime before 490 and clearly shows the prevailing features of that era: rigid, 2-dimensional figures, artificially posed, without much credible sense of motion or tension. Perhaps the most striking example of this style are the traditional kouroi, or young male figures,

Cleobis and Biton (familiar from Herodotus). Note the almost impassive face of (the better preserved) Biton.

The East Pediment (which shows the earlier war at Troy with Heracles & Co.) was evidently completed rather later and clearly shows advances in technique.


Here from the West Pediment is a glimpse of the central grouping. At the center is Athena herself, standing in flat, rigid pose, flanked by an archer and other warriors,


Perhaps the most revealing figure is the Dying Warrior, tucked into the corner of the pediment. Here on the West side the figure is almost absurdly posed, like a reclining dinner guest, as he wrenches the spear from his chest, with the archaic smile on his face.