Arma Acropolis

acropolis from south
View of the Eleon acropolis from the south.

The archaeological site identified as ancient Eleon is located atop a natural outcrop of limestone, just outside the village of Arma in Boeotia. Inhabitants of this acropolis, with a high point of 265.5 m above sea level, looked out over the plain in all directions, including north to the Ipatos mountain range and the routes linking Thebes to the Euboean Gulf and Attica.

The most impressive built feature at the site is a well preserved stretch of Lesbian polygonal masonry that follows an unusual, curved path. The wall measures over 70 meters in length and is preserved in some parts to a height of 5 meters. Given the relative absence of Archaic ceramics and the high concentrations of black-glazed pottery with highly articulated profiles, this major construction project was most likely carried out in the later Classical period.

Ancient texts preserve little detailed information about Eleon, though its position is described by geographers such as Strabo and its mythic status is secured by mentions in the Iliad and Plutarch’s account of local cults and heroes.