Greek Temples were decorated with sculpture and reliefs, often brightly painted. These releifs, first made out of terra-cotta and later stone, depicted stories from mythology and religious rituals and festivals that were important parts of Greek life. Scultpure can be found adorning many places Greek temples. The column shafts were sometimes replaced with female figures called caryatiids, as in the Erechthion.
Relief sculpture could also be found in the friezes above the colonnades. Doric friezes consisted of alternating trygliphs and metopes. The metopes, which contained the relief sculptures, were small and could therefore only hold a few figures. Ionic friezes however were uninterrupted bands, and therefore often depicted religious processions or battle scenes.
The pediment, the triangular section sections under the eves on both ends of a temple, frequently held larger, more detailed figures, in high-relief or free-standing.
Inside the Parthenon, the well-known temple built on the acropolis at Athens circa 440 B.C., a frieze of low-relief sculpture runs around the inside of the building. The annual procession of the festival of the patron goddess Athena is portrayed in this work. The depictions of the festival of the goddess found in the Parthenon have allowed us to infer many aspects of the festivities of the event. Early on, marble was the most commonly used sculptural media. Marble was plentiful in Greece, and valued for it's beautiful color, grain, and texture. Bronze was later utilized by sculptors. The bronze-casting methods allowed for works to be created more quickly, and was also a stronger and lighter material.