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Hephaestus was the patron-god of metal working. Athena Ergane was the patron-goddess of pottery and crafts in general. There were numerous potter shops and metal working factories in the vicinity of the temple, justifying the dedication of the temple to these two deities. The archaeological evidence suggests that there was no previous building located on top of the hill, except for a small sanctuary which was burned when the Persians occupied Athens in 480 BC. The name Theseion or Temple of Theseus, was erroneously attributed to the monument under the assumption it housed the remains of the Athenian hero Theseus, brought back to the city from the island of Skyros by Kimon in 475 BC.

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