The deity might have been a local version of Artemis, though her mythological background is a variation on the story of Zeus and Leda. According to this local version, the egg hatched by Leda, from which Helen of Troy and her twin brothers, the Dioscuri, were born, was originally conceived through the union of Zeus, in the form of a swan, and Nemesis, in the form of a goose. The cult of a rural goddess is consistent with the surroundings of the settlement, as her responsibilities included the just division of pastures and the preservation of the status quo in the agricultural community.
This focus on justice, combined with her chthonic attributes and the parallel cult of Themis (deified justice) at the same site, compose the profile of a punisher against hubris quite conveniently, the hubris committed by the Persians in their campaign against Greece.
The first sanctuary dedicated to Nemesis, however, was probably built in the 6th century BC, quite some time before the Persian Wars, in the midst of a small but crowded settlement teeming with houses and auxiliary buildings. Today, visitors can only see the verdant flora and the ruins of two temples: the older, smaller one, and the larger one. Monumentally-built and destined for glory, the latter covered more than 220 square metres and was decorated with a famous statue of resplendent Parian marble, made by Pheidias' disciple Agorakritos. The advent of Christianity saw the statue smashed to pieces, and the sanctuary abandoned, until its extensive repair in the 1st century AD, probably by Herodes Atticus.