Cape Artemision, famous for the naval battle between the Greeks and the Persians in 480 BC, is located on the northern tip of Euboea, opposite Mount Pelion. Named after the sanctuary of Artemis Proseioas, which stood on the shore, where the Greek naval forces anchored during the battle, the cape largely owed its prosperity to its privileged location, which allowed control of the entrance from the Aegean Sea into the Pagasitic, Maliakos, and northern Euboean gulfs towards Chalkis. Because the area has not been properly excavated, most of our information comes from the identification of surface remains, from randomly discovered antiquities, and from the little literary evidence referring to the sanctuary and the naval battle of 480 BC. Important information is also provided by the Artemision inscription, which mentions the names of seventeen Euboean municipalities, whose exact location in northern Euboea, however, has not been identified.
Surface finds indicate that Cape Artemision has been occupied since the Neolithic period (approximately 4000 BC). Pottery sherds from the Neolithic, Helladic, and Geometric periods were found on the low hill of Divouni, but superficial architectural remains of the Archaic and Classical periods suggest that the area at Ellinikon was more important in later times. Settlers obviously chose to establish their communities near the shore, and in the Classical and Hellenistic periods settlements developed in areas that were more or less convenient for mooring. These were small, fortified towns, which formed a vast network of seaside forts, whose purpose was to control the seaways in that region. A similar network was created, possibly by the Athenians, after the defection of Istiaia from the Delian League in 446 BC and the establishment of Athenian settlers in the region of Oreos. It is also possible, however, that this network developed at the end of the fourth century or during the third century BC, when Alexander the Great's successors were at war over the control of southern Greece. The limited and sporadic archaeological finds from the Roman period show that the area was in decline by then.