Project Intro

Halai, a small ancient town in East or Opuntian Lokris, is situated hard by the sea on the eastern shore of the bay referred to by Strabo (9.4.2) as the Opuntian Gulf and called in modern times the bay of Atalanti. The site falls within the boundaries of the modern town of Theologos, a former fishing village which has become a popular family vacation spot. Earlier excavations by a team representing the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have shown that Halai had a fortified acropolis in Classical times which continued to be occupied until Late Roman or Byzantine times and that extensive Neolithic deposits underlay the Classical ones. Two hundred and eighty tombs of Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic date were also excavated near the outer boundaries of the town to the north and east of the acropolis.

The earlier excavations were carried out from 1911-1935 by Hetty Goldman and Alice Walker (later Alice Walker Kosmopoulos). Annual campaigns took place from 1911 until 1914; these were described in a preliminary report and the inscriptions discovered were published separately. Goldman and Walker also both completed Ph. D. dissertations on finds from the tombs excavated in the first four campaigns. Further campaigns took place in 1921, 1923, 1931 and 1935. In 1931 Goldman and Walker were assisted by Virginia Grace. No preliminary reports for these campaigns were issued, although Goldman published a few finds from the acropolis.

Although the work of 1911-1935 was never published in full detail, Goldman eventually produced a long and invaluable article summarizing the Greek and Roman finds on the acropolis and co-authored another on the terracotta sculpture from the tombs. The Greek and Roman finds from the earlier excavations were deposited in the Archaeological Museum in Thebes and the Neolithic finds in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

In recent years Dr. Robert Bridges, current Secretary of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, has been studying the Neolithic finds from the earlier excavations and he expects soon to publish them. He has kindly put the results of his study to date at the disposal of our expedition. In 1988 and 1989 the Greek Archaeological Service excavated several dozen further tombs to the east of the acropolis.

Last modified 2.5.98