Project History

The Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP) is a synergasia (collaboration) of the Ephorate of the Antiquities of Boeotia (EAB), based at the Archaeological Museum of Thebes, and the Canadian Institute in Greece. The project is currently co-directed by Alexandra Charami (EAB), Brendan Burke (University of Victoria), and Bryan Burns (Wellesley College) and focused on the excavations at ancient Eleon. This site, located by Arma in eastern Boeotia has evidence from the Mycenaean Age, the Archaic-Classical periods, and Medieval times – fascinating periods of Greece’s past.

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. The most significant discoveries of the project thus far are the Early Mycenaean tombs within a funerary monument known as the Blue Stone Structure, Late Mycenaean settlement architecture that shows the endurance of the settlement after palatial desctructions of ca. 1200 BCE, and after a hiatus of activity, the fortification of Eleon through the construction of a complex polygonal wall during the late Archaic period (ca. 500 BCE). These finds are presented in a volume of preliminary studies from the 2011-2015 seasons (Mouseion) and a comprehensive report of work at Eleon 2011-2018 (AJA)A new campaign of excavations at Eleon is currently being planned for 2023-2027.

EasternBoeotiaSurveyMap of Eastern Boeotia, adaptation of base map provided by American School of Classical Studies at Athens

The project began as a surface survey co-directed by Brendan Burke, Bryan Burns, Susan Lupack (Macquarie University) and Vassilis Aravantinos, Ephor emeritus of EAB. 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.


Units of surface survey investigation, 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 Classical polygonal wall. We conducted a trial excavation in 2011 for 4 weeks, and then full, six-week seasons from 2012 to 2018.


Topographic plan of Eleon Acropolis, after survey by D. Bhatia, and N. Edwards