E or Opuntian Lokris, Greece.
Located near Haghios Theologos, on a deep sheltered bay
on the E side of the gulf below Atalandi (Opus). Like
many other coastal sites, Halai was evidently heavily
damaged by the great earthquakes of 426-425 (Thuc.
; Diod. Sic. 12.59
). In Late Classical or Early Hellenistic times it passed into the Boiotian orbit, and was
sacked by Sulla in 85 but immediately resettled (Plut.
26.3ff). The city area beside the sea, and the cemeteries to the N and E, were excavated between 1911 and
1935. The lower levels of the site yielded Bronze Age and
Iron Age Halni may have been one of the strongholds
of the notorious Lokrian pirates. The sheltered deepwater harbor would have been an excellent pirate's nest,
the existence of which would account both for the modest
size of the settlement and for its having been heavily
fortified at quite an early period.
The fortified area is not an acropolis in the normal
sense, for it lies on virtually level ground right on the
seashore, with the highest point only a few meters above
the ancient sea level. As a result of the rise in sea level
since antiquity, the preserved lower courses of some of
the walls are now under water. Clearly the natural
strength of the site was less important than ready access
to the sea. The wall circuit in its final form was approximately a rectangle, measuring about 325 m E-W and 160
The main entrance was always at the NE corner; there
was also a secondary gate towards the W end of the N
wall. Two distinct styles of construction are represented.
The first circuit seems to have been built in the early 6th
c. and remodeled towards the end of the century. The
second wall, of massive ashlar with internal cross walls,
is probably early Hellenistic work; it had additional towers, of square plan except for the S tower of the NE gate,
and enclosed additional territory at the SE corner. The
NE gate was rebuilt on a much larger scale.
From this gate a street always led W towards the
Temenos of Athena Poliouchos, located just inside the
W wall of the citadel (identified by votive inscriptions).
The first temple and altar were built soon after the first
wall circuit. The temple was quite small, with very flat
archaic Doric capitals. Abundant deposits of pottery, terracottas, sculpture, and other objects came to light, including an inscribed base in the form of an archaic Doric
shaft and capital.
The second temple, built ca. 510, was apparently destroyed in the earthquakes of 426-425. The surviving elements were broken up and spread over the temenos as
part of a new pavement, and a third temple then constructed. Unlike its predecessors, which were rather rough
provincial work, Temple III was built in good late 5th c.
style and technique.
Also excavated were the E and W buildings, on either
side of the street leading in from the N gate. The latter
building was built in the late 4th c., and remodeled in the
early 2d. In late Roman times a small bath was built over
the ruins of the NE corner defenses.
The N and E cemeteries probably flanked roads leading out from the N and NE gates. The graves yielded a
long series of terracottas ranging in date from the late
6th c. to ca. 200 B.C.
A. L. Walker & H. Goldman, AJA
, and 438ff (inscriptions—Goldman); K.
Lehmann-Hartleben, Antike Hafenanlagen
9 (1940) 381ffMPI
; Goldman & Jones,
11 (1942) 365ff (terracottas).
F. E. WINTER