Excavation in the Sanctuary
of Ismenion Apollo: Thebes, Greece

Herodotus and Pindar, two of ancient Greece's most famous writers, praised the sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo at Thebes in their writing.

The sanctuary sits on a large hill in the southeast area of Thebes and boasts not only a three-phased temple to Apollo but also significant remains from other periods of Theban history, from the second millennium BCE through the 19th century CE.

To date the hill has only been partially and sporadically investigated, the last major expedition dating to the 1910s.

One of the goals of the Ismenion Excavation Project is to systematically explore and document the continued life of the hill from Antiquity to the present.

Project Seasons 1 (2011) and 2 (2012)

Two groups of select Bucknell students have enjoyed the opportunity of participating in the excavation at the Ismenion Hill in Thebes during the summers of 2011 and 2012. They have worked directly alongside the Primary Investigators, Bucknell professors Kevin Daly and Stephanie Larson, who also work together with their Greek colleagues from the 9th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 23rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.

Learn more about Seasons 1 and 2

Project Season 3 (2013)

June 17 through July 26, 2013

Historical Significance

Ancient Thebes, a major Greek city located halfway between Athens and Delphi, was the largest city-state in Boiotia, one of the main regions of ancient Greece. Thebes gave rise to legendary kings, timeless myths, and great military leaders: Oedipus, Dionysus, Herakles, and Epaminondas, to name a few.

The importance of the Ismenion hill as a site for exploration cannot be overestimated. Ancient sources from a wide range of chronological periods attest to the hill’s continued presence as a main site of use in ancient and medieval Thebes. Without question, the site is of monumental architectural, literary and cultic interest for periods from the second millennium B.C.E through the end of the second century A.D.


The project is being funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Bucknell University, the Gladys Delmas Foundation, the Loeb Library Foundation, Randolph-Macon College, and individual contributions.

Donations to this project are welcomed and appreciated. || Learn what even a small donation can do: Supporting this Excavation.


Please contact Stephanie Larson or Kevin Daly for further information.