The Acropolis of Thebes

On the site of the Museum, which was once the north edge of the acropolis of ancient Kadmeia, a monument from the age-old habitation and history of Thebes survives.

In the Early Bronze Age (c. 2500 BC) a large building, unusual for its time, was constructed there; it was long with a narrow, apsidal western side. It was surrounded by a high enclosure of mud bricks built on a stone base course (socle). The building itself also had a mud-brick superstructure over a stone socle. It was roofed by wood beams overlaid with reeds (dorose) and covered by layers of clay. Inside, it had three contiguous rooms and a sheltered space for outdoor tasks. It was provided with hearths and suitably arranged spaces in which large storage jars containing grains and pulses were kept. This building seems to have been the dwelling of a rather prosperous family, perhaps one of the most important in the settlement.Around 2300/2200 BC the building was destroyed. On the mounds of earth and scattered mud bricks of its ruins, a group of at least twelve individuals, both adults and children, was buried. They were accompanied by characteristic vases of the period. Later, the entire area in and around the once monumental building was sealed by a large tumulus of layers of mud bricks.

In the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1700 BC) the tumulus area was used as a cemetery. Cist graves and pit graves were dug, possibly in an effort to retain relataions with the distant ancestors.

Several centuries later, in the Mycenaean Palace years (14th-13th c. BC), part of the fortification wall that surrounded Kadmeia was used to lay foundations on the same site, thereby destroying part of the tumulus.