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Terracotta statue of an ancient Greek woman (second century BC)

A peplos (Greek: πέπλος) is a body-length Greek garment worn by women before 500 BC]. The peplos is a tubular cloth folded inside-out from the top about halfway down, altering what was the top of the tube to the waist and the bottom of the tube to ankle-length. The garment is then gathered about the waist and the open top (at the fold) pinned over the shoulders. The top of the tube (now inside-out) drapes over the waist providing the appearance of a second piece of clothing (an exception is the statues of the Caryatid).

This Classical period garment is represented in the vase painting since the fifth century B.C. and in the metopes of the Temples in Doric order.

On the last day of the Pyanopsion, the priestess of Athena Polias and the Arrephoroi, a troop of girls chosen to help in the making of the sacred peplos, set up the loom on which the enormous peplos was to be woven by the Ergastinai, another troop of girls chosen to spend approximately nine months making the sacred peplos. They had to weave a theme of Athena's defeat of Enkelados and the Olympian's defeat of the Giants. The peplos of the statue was changed each year during the Plynteria.

The Peplos played a role in the Athenian festival of the Great Panathenaia. Nine months before the festival, at the arts and crafts festival titled "Chalkeia", a special Peplos would begin to be woven by young women. This Peplos was placed on the statue of Athena during the festival procession. The peplos had myths and stories woven within its material and usually consisted of purple and saffron yellow cloth.

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