A fragmentary inscription found at Thebes casts new light on the abortive invasion of Athens in 506 by Kleomenes, the Boiotians, and the Chalkidians. On the one hand, it provides valuable confirmation, soon after the event, of the general drift of Herodotos' account of events; on the other, even in its incomplete state, it adds one important detail lacking in Herodotos. And, of course, it tells the story from the Boiotian point of view.
The excavation took place in the winter of the year 2001–2 in the property of Evanghelia Madhis at Thebes following her application for the construction of a new house. The plot is situated in the suburb of Pyri, in the north-west periphery of Thebes, about 800 m from the city centre of Thebes, and just beyond the Athens–Thessaloniki railway line (FIG. 1). In it was unearthed a well-built tomb-like cist, made of three rows of large conglomerate stone blocks in regular masonry; similar blocks form its pavement. No traces of covering stones or other relevant materials have so far been discovered. However, since the contents of the cist—including objects such as the bronze inscribed sheets found at the bottom—were probably thrown there when it was abandoned, it may never have been properly covered: no trace of a superstructure or roofing system is preserved on the upper surface of the walls of the cist.