The location of Plataia
The ruins of ancient Plataia, near the modern village are quite extensive, but apart from some pieces of wallwork from different periods, there is not much to be seen. The city has long been the object of a quarrel between Athens and Thebes. The city supported the Athenians in Marathon, was destroyed by the Persians and Thebans, it has been rebuild after 479 B.C., was captured by the Spartans in 427 B.C., who massacred the entire population and destroyed the rebuilt city. Rebuilt after the peace of Antalkidas (387B.C.), Plataia was again destroyed by the Persians in 373 B.B., to be finally rebuilt by Philippos V after the Battle of Chaironeia.
The American excavations of 1899 uncovered the remains of an ancient Doric temple; the temple with presumably 6 x 18 columns was unusually long. The excavators identified the temple as the temple of Hera, which according to Herodotos was in front of the city, but according to Pausanias in the city. To reconcile the two statements, it has been assumed that the classical city (from 429 B.C.) was located on the higher parts of the hill (the walls between ΕΖΗΙΘΕ), while the later city (ΑΓΔΘΙΚΑ) from the time of Alexander the Great had also taken the lower parts. An older piece of wallwork (ΚΛΘ) probably dates from the early 5th century BC.
Above: the classic walls of Plataia. Right: the plan of Plataia with the course of the city walls in the different periods (from Papachatzis). Bottom left: the temple of Hera (also from Papachatzis) and below: Greek hoplites.