Unlocking a New Season at Ancient Eleon

By Trevor Van Damme

On May 30th, we officially returned for the 2022 campaign at ancient Eleon. This season promises to be an exciting one–our first with undergraduate students from the University of Victoria, since 2019!

Our season began with unlocking the site (Fig. 1), removing the tarps that have protected the excavated architecture, and cleaning the site in preparation for a new, more accurate, digital model.

Figure 1: Unlocking the gates to the excavation trenches on the acropolis of ancient Eleon (Courtesty of the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project).

The focus of our work this season, however, will not be on the acropolis of ancient Eleon, but rather to the west of it. Here we aim to document the existence and extent of the lower town of ancient Eleon, first noted by Colonel William Leake in his travel diary from 1806(!), in order to better assess diachronic changes in the use of space over time. We also hope to refine the sequence of occupation and perhaps even fill in some of the current gaps in the history of settlement, as revealed by our limited excavations on the eastern edge of the acropolis. A cleaning and geophysical permit will allow us to document and protect the remains of an impressive fortification wall around the lower town for future generations.

In the apotheke, conservation of finds from our final campaign of excavations in 2018 will, at last, be completed and specialists continue their work towards final publication. In tandem with the work in the lower town, we are also revisiting the survey material collected from 2007-2009 for publication with the results of the present campaign of work in the lower town.

Check back at this blog soon for debriefs from the students enrolled in GRS 495: Practicum in Archaeology: Ancient Eleon and learn about our work in real time.

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