ABSTRACT:Recent archaeological investigations indicate that the ancient polis Tegea was a planned city with an orthogonal grid already in the second half of the sixth century B. C., on a location not previously inhabited due to a difficult hydrological situation. The presence of the monumental temple of Athena Alea, constructed at the end of the seventh century, implies that Tegea existed as a political community many generations before the city was built. This present study investigates how the political community and the city of the Tegeans emerged. Firstly, the Greek colonies of the West are utilised as analogies to support the notion of city planning and water management in the Archaic Period. Secondly, using theories on landscape, identity and invented tradition, this project analyses how Tegea became a state strong enough to embark upon such major building programs. The myths, monuments and landscape were employed in the construction of Tegean identity. The reoccurring theme in ancient Tegean myth-history was the enmity with the powerful neighbour Sparta, and this relationship was heavily utilised in the creation of the community of the Tegeans. Lastly, it will be investigated how the development seen at Tegea adheres to current theories on the rise of the Greek polis.