Swiss archaeologists have been carrying research in Eretria since 1964, but clearly much remains to be discovered: only a tiny part of ancient Eretria has been excavated, while the materials deposited in the Museum and the documentation of older excavations have not yet yielded all the information they hold. Moreover research issues have considerably evolved during the last 40 years. In this Section are presented the main research and excavations the School is currently carrying.
The birth of the polis (9th-7th c. BC)
The Euboeans, including the Eretrians, were pioneers in the Greek colonization. These active traders between the East and the West took a major part in the circulation of techniques and ideas, such as the alphabetic script. Eretria was an important center from which innovations spread into the Greek world in the 8th c. BC and it is one of the rare sites in continental Greece where one can still try to understand the logic that presided over the emergence of the polis and its evolution, since modern urbanization has not completely obliterated ancient strata.
The territory of Eretria
The Swiss School has been mainly active on the site of ancient Eretria and it is only recently that it has launched several projects outside the city wall, in the territory of Eretria. The Eretriad, as it was called, covered at the end of the 4th c. BC a vast territory of some 1300 square kilometers. It's political organization is well studied thanks to several inscriptions that give us the names of some 50 demes together with some 2000 citizen names of Eretrians. The landscape, however, remains a terra incognita to be explored.
The Sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in Amarynthos
Artemis Amarysia was worshipped as the main divinity of the Eretrian state, as we know it from inscriptions and coins. But despite its fame the Artemision has so far not been located. Evidence suggests that it should be located near the modern village of Amarynthos, some 10km east of Eretria. Geophysical surveys as well as test trenches are currently conducted at the foot of the Paleoekklisies hill by the Swiss School together with the XIth Greek Ephorate in order to discover the sanctuary.
The Roman Eretria is still little known. Few gravestones, ceramics and coins were discovered, suggesting that the site was occupied during the first centuries AD. Recent excavations have brought to light the center of the Roman town, located at the foot of the acropolis, where a temple dedicated to cult of the emperors, a Sebasteion, was erected at the end of the 1st century BC. A monumental building, probably a gymnasium, dated from the 2nd-3rd century AD, is investigated since 2009.