Only poor remains of the classic Tanagra are visible, partly because no excavations have yet been carried out on site. A few remains from the archaic period testify that the city existed already from 800 B.C. on . The city was a member (along with Thebes, Koroneia, Haliartos and Thespiai) of the Boiotian League and coined his own money. The site is cut in half by the modern aqueduct that transports water to Lake Marathon. Already in the 4th century B.C. the city was divided into a pattern of straight streets and blocks of houses. The northern half corresponds to the “upper town” of Pausanias, where the public buildings and sanctuaries stood (today only dib hole of the theater can be seen), while the southern half mainly contained the residential districts. The agora lay in the middle. Of the eight gates present, 3 have been identified with certainty.
The prehistoric (Mycenaean) city, from which several beautifully painted coffins (top left) have been excavated, was probably closer to modern Tanagra. The chamber graves of the excavated cemeteries often contain several larnakes, elaborately painted ash boxes in Mycenaean style. Some fine finds have been exhibited in the (small) museum of the city (Schimatari), but most of them are in the museum of Thebes.
The archaic, classical and Hellenistic cemeteries are scattered around the old town, near the towns of Balí, Kokkáli, Gélezi. From the beginning of the 4th century B.C. until the end of the 2nd century B.C. Tanagra is the main center of production from small terracotta figures of Boiotia with a influence on Attic production, but also on Egypt and Asia Minor, and exports throughout the Mediterranean. These Tanagra dolls mainly represent children and young women, with colorful clothes and elaborate hairstyles, but also young men, Erotes, Afrodite and Nikè. The dolls were mainly given in graves. After widespread looting of graves in the 19th century, few Tanagra dolls are left in Greece. A recently excavated grave with no less than 17 dolls (!) Showed that these were sometimes many decades old, before they were buried in a grave.
Right: photo of two coins with the Hermes Kriophoros, the “Ram bearer”. Under from left to right Mycenaean ashbox13th century BC), 6th century idols from the museum of Tanagra, and Hellenistic “Tanagra statues”.