According to the literary evidence and the scale of Athenian coin production during the 5th and 4th century BC the Laurion mining “industry” boomed during the classical period. This view is strongly supported by the archaeological record. The classical mining landscape in South Attica is preserved to this day in an astonishing number and diversity of sites: mines, workshops, furnaces and many more. In contrast, the Archaic period is hardly visible in the material remains. Consequently, the mining history of archaic Laurionhas has been primarily on the basis of a handful of inconclusive literary sources, and the results of metal analyses which identified Laurion deposits as the source of the Archaic “owls” of Athens. This paper re-examines and revies the existing evidence, including archaeological. It discusses to which extent the latter can contribute to our understanding of Athenian mining during the Archaic period.