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When the city of Karyae betrayed Athens, all its men were slaughtered and its women were enslaved as a public mark of shame. The Caryatids – female figures who act as architectural pillars or supports – were first seen at the Erechtheum temple, at the Acropolis in Athens. They symbolized the humiliation of the women of the city, who carried the burden of the betrayal, with the whole world upon their heads.