Toumba Serron

Éveha International is associated with the Toumba Serron Research Project, a prehistoric site being excavated under the direction of Dimitra Malamidou (Ephorate of Antiquities of Serres, Greece), Nicolas Zorzin (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan) and James Taylor (University of York, UK).

The excavation campaigns
(by years)


Dimitra Malamidou (Greek Ministry of Culture)
Nicolas Zorzin (National Cheng Kung University, Taïwan)
James Taylor (University of York, United-Kingdom)

Location and historical summary

In the heart of the Strymon Valley, which links the Aegean Sea to the Balkan mountainous hinterland, lies the prehistoric site of Toumba (Τούμπα) Serron. Named after the present-day village to which it is attached, 20km south-east of Serres in the inland basin of Central Macedonia, the site occupies a vast hill overlooking part of one of the most important plains in northern Greece by some 30 metres. The estimated size of the site (approx. 10-12 ha) and its central geographical position suggest a major role for this settlement in the northern Aegean during the Late Neolithic (5300-4500/4200 BC).

Interest in the pre- and protohistoric periods in northern Greece and the southern Balkans has grown considerably over the last three decades. From an archaeological point of view, the site, discovered and included in the list of archaeological sites and monuments of Greece by the Greek State in 1980, was known until now only through the study of surface material covering most of the Neolithic period, and more sporadically the Early Bronze Age and certain historical periods (work by M. Fotiadis and D. Grammenos).

Research history

The Toumba Serron Research Project began in 2021, as part of a collaboration between the Antiquities Department of Serres (Greek Ministry of Culture) and the British School of Athens, under the direction of Dimitra Malamidou (Director of the Antiquities Department of Serres, Greek Ministry of Culture), Nicolas Zorzin (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan) and James Taylor (University of York, United Kingdom).
Given the results of the geophysical surveys carried out in the early years, the material collected to date and the conservation of the structures uncovered during the excavation campaigns, Toumba Serron can be ranked as a major Neolithic site in Northern Greece, alongside other well-known sites in the region such as Sitagroi, Promachon-Topolnica and, of course, Dikili Tash, providing new data on the form of settlements and the structuring of Neolithic societies and territories in the 5th millennium BC.
The Toumba Serron research programme is made up of three components, making it a highly original project: an archaeological component, a component focusing on landscape dynamics, and an ethnographic and socio-cultural component involving the current inhabitants of the village – in 2023, for example, the presentation of the discoveries at the end of the campaign was accompanied by an artistic and theatrical performance inspired by the remains and the excavation.
In 2023, Éveha International contributed to the archaeological aspect of the project through the work of one of its members, a scientific collaborator and sector manager.

Given the initial surveys, which revealed a number of clues suggesting the existence of a structured Late Neolithic occupation inside a palisade, the scientific project is based on three main lines of enquiry. The first concerns the site’s communal facilities (storage areas, production areas and a palisaded enclosure), the organisation of the dwellings and the social structure of this agrarian community. The second looks at the connectivity of the site to its hinterland. Finally, the third looks at the site as a central or nodal point, in relation to other neighbouring sites. While the recording of field data is crucial to any archaeological operation, it is taking on an innovative dimension as part of the Toumba project, with the development of a 3D GIS as the campaigns progress, thanks to the use of the AIR (Archaeological Interactive Report) recording system, a web platform combining archaeological data and 3D visualisation, currently being developed by researchers at the Laboratoriet för Digital Arkeologi (DARK) Lab at Lund University in Sweden.