Abstract: The Borders of Attica

Athens’ borders, like those of most of Greek city-states, underwent numerous changes as a result of state formation, military expansion and political alliances. The records of these changes offer much information to the scholar of antiquity. Unfortunately, the borders of Attica are not well known; that is, while some segments of the borders have attracted critical attention, the region as a whole has never been the object of a thorough geo-historical study. My research project seeks to fill this gap by offering the first comprehensive study of the successive delimitations of the territory of Attica. But borders are much more than a political line. Therefore, part of the project focuses on the border landscape, as I try to understand how the presence of the borders influenced the populations living near them.

This short paper will offer an overview of the methods and sources used in the project, focusing on the microregion of the Mazi plain and the ancient sites of Oinoe and Eleutherai in the Early Hellenistic period. I will show how landscape archaeology can contribute to borderland studies, by offerings methods for fixing theoretical borders, by assessing the regional productivity of the borderlands, and by examining how the settlement patterns found near the borders differ from those found in other regions of Attica.