A caryatid is a sculpted female figure used as an alternative to a column or pillar in architecture. They were developed by the Ancient Greeks with known examples at Delphi going back to the 6th Century BC. The best known caryatids are found at the Acropolis in Athens, on the porch of the Erechtheion. Replicas have been positioned on the actual site, but five of the originals are in the adjacent museum. One of them is in the British Museum, as part of the Elgin Marble collection. The word 'caryatid' comes from the Greek 'Karyatides' and means 'Maidens of Karyai'. Karyai was a town in Laconia in the Peloponnese, where there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis Caryatis, an aspect of the goddess Artemis.