The Acropolis in Athens has been in use by humans since the Neolithic period. In the late Helladic age, a Mycenaean settlement built a wall there, later to be called the Cyclopean wall on account of its large stones. Various Mycenaean buildings stood atop the Acropolis, including the tomb of Cecrops, supposed founder of the Athenian dynasty.

During the Archaic period, the Peisistratid Temple of Athena was built circa 529 BC. Some consider this temple to have been a precursor to the Parthenon, though the exact details of this building are as yet unknown. A new phase of building was begun after 490 BC (the battle of Marathon). The Acropolis' terraces were enlarged and the building of a new temple (now called the pre-Parthenon) was begun. However, the Persian sack of 479 halted the construction of this temple permanently.

The Acropolis