Anastasia Dakouri-Hild

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199873609
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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The citadel of Thebes, also known as the Kadmeia, is a pear-shaped, large (800 meters long, 500 meters wide) and relatively low (maximum of 224 meters) plateau, which is in part the outcome of ancient and modern earthworks. It appears to have been narrower and northwest-southeast oriented in prehistory. Access from the west and to some extent the north slope remains arduous to this day and bespeaks the naturally defensive quality of the Theban landscape. The central east, southeast, and south slopes provide easier access to the citadel and connect it to the main routes leading to east and south Boeotia and beyond. The settlement on the Kadmeia seems to have been established in the Early Bronze Age, whereas earlier habitation is attested in the plains nearby. The settlement spread as far north as the Museum hill and Gourna but seems to have been more concentrated at Ayios Andreas and the southeast slopes.

Keywords: citadel; Thebes; Kadmeia; Boeotia; Early Bronze Age; habitation; settlement; Museum hill; Gourna; Ayios Andreas

Article.  9644 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Greek and Roman Archaeology

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