The sanctuary of the Kabeiroi is situated 8 km west of Thebes. It was devoted to 2 deities, Kabeiros and Pais, both of unknown origin, to which Demeter revealed mysteries aiming at reinforcing the fertility of nature animals and human beings. The Kabeiroi were worshiped as protectors of wineyards and animal fertility; associated are 1400 representations of bulls found at the site. The cult in the sanctuary began in the archaic period (700-500 B.C.) and continued unil late antiquity (4th c. A.D.). The pots on the sanctuary bear typical decoration with grotesque carucaturated figures. Some neolithic (6000-3000 B.C.) sherds from beneath the temple attest an earlier occupation of the site, before its use as a religious center.
In 1887 the Kabirion was discovered due to a chance find of bronze statuettes. It was exclusively excavated in 1888-9 by the German Archaeological Institute (P. Wolters, W. Dorpfeld, W. Judeich, H. Winnefeld, F. Winter) and G. Bruns continued in 1956, 1959,1962 and 1964-6. A supplementary excavation took place in 1971. (G. Bruns and P. Wolters, Das Kabiren-Heiligtum bei Theben, Berlin 1940 - W. Heyder - A. Mallwitz, Die Bauten und Kabiren-Heiligtum bei Theben 1978).
In 1993-94 restoration works were undertaken in the enclosure wall of the cavea which was endangered due to rainwater.