2007-2009 Surface Survey

2011-2016 Excavation


The Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP) is a synergasia of the Ephorate of the Antiquities of Boeotia at Thebes and the Canadian Institute in Greece. The project is currently co-directed by Alexandra Charami (Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia), Brendan Burke (University of Victoria), and Bryan Burns (Wellesley College). The long-term goals of EBAP are to document and interpret the evidence for the land use, settlement patterns and burial practices resulting from the human occupation of eastern Boeotia over an extended chronological period. We are currently excavating the site identified as ancient Eleon in the village of Arma.

Eleon in Boeotia

Fig. 1 Map of eastern Boeotia. Google Earth

Our survey fieldwork focused on the plain between the ancient centers of Tanagra and Thebes. Our permit covered an area measuring 16 by 10 kilometers, bounded by the Hypaton Mountain to the north and the Soros range along the south. Over three years (2007-2009) we evaluated 1453 units of land that comprise a 20% sample of our permitted survey region around the modern villages of Tanagra, Arma, and Eleon.

Fig. 2 Areas surveyed 2007-2009

In June 2011 we began excavations on the Eleon acropolis at Arma village. Work concentrates on the Late Bronze Age levels of the site with some research devoted to the Late Archaic polygonal wall. We conducted a trial excavation in 2011 for 4 weeks, and three full, six-week seasons in June and July 2012-2015. Our work at the site identified as ancient Eleon (38°21'21.17"N  23°28'54.17"E), within the village of Arma, refines our knowledge of eastern Boeotia in a fertile territory between Thebes and Chalkis (Fig. 1).  


Fig. 2 Topographic map of Eleon Acropolis. Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project

The most extensive and longest sustained activity at the site spanned the Late Bronze Age, beginning with significant deposits of Middle Helladic – early Mycenaean Minyan and Matt painted wares. Evidence for the Mycenaean settlement in Late Helladic periods is not surprising since the site of Eleon appears as e-re-o-ni on two Linear B tablets from Thebes (Ft 140.5 and X 155.1). Occupation extends well into the LH IIIC phases, possibly suggesting a period of vitality at Eleon, somewhat different from that of the major palace sites such as Thebes, Mycenae, and Pylos. In addition, we have a range of evidence indicating renewed activity at the site during the Archaic and Classical periods, including artifacts indicative of cult activity and the construction of the site’s most prominent feature, the curved polygonal wall that creates an eastern boundary (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Curved polygonal wall at ancient Eleon. Photo: B. Burke