The large island of Euboea, which lies along the north coast of Attica and Boeotia, was little known archaeologically until recent years (FIG. 1). Nor, apart from its involvement in the Persian Wars, then as a victim of Athenian imperialism and later as a step in the expansionism of Philip of Macedon, does it play any prominent role in the accounts of ancient historians. Yet, they have left hints of its former greatness in an early period of which little was remembered. The island was known to have sent out the first colonies to Italy and Sicily in the eighth century BC and to have settled the region of North Greece, still known as Chalcidice, after the name of one of Euboea's main cities, Chalcis. They remembered something, too, of a war between Chalcis and Eretria, the other major city of the island, in which their respective allies took part, and it is this conflict which seems to have exhausted both sides and led to the eclipse of the island's pre-eminence.