© Ministry of Culture and Sports
Alai and the gulf of Atalanti.
Initially, the site was inhabited in the Neolithic period (6000-5000 B.C). The settlement includes rectangular buildings which surrounded by circuit stone-wall. halai of Classical times was established about 600 B.C. The site had a small fortified acropolis, while in Hellenistic times an outer circuit wall with towers enclosed a wider area. The temple to Athena Poliouchos ("Guargian of the city"), relogious and civic buildings have been excavated. Outside of the akropolis the cemeteries of the city have been identified and investigated. See level has risen since antiquity and therefore part of the town now lies in the shallow water beside the acropolis. Halai flourished in the Hellenistic period, when, as it is considered, it became part of Boeotia and a member of the Boeotian League. The archaeological record has tended to confirm the report of Plutarch (Sulla 26) that Halai was destroyed by the Roman general Sulla in 85 B.C. as a panishment for providing a habour for the ships of his opponent Mithridates of Pontus. Sporadic occupation continued in the Roman period. In the 5th and 6th century A.D. Halai again became a flourishing town. An Early Cristian basilica church was built on the acropolis almost on top of the ruins of the old shrine of Athena. Remains of many houses and tombs of the same era have been investigated. The town was probably abandoned for the last time about the end of the 6th century A.D. Subsequently a small church, likely of Crusader times (13th century A.D. was built within the ruins of the 6th century basilica.
Eleni Zachou, archaeologist