Golden crown and wreath presented for first time by Lesvos Archaeological Museum in Greece

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Golden crown and wreath presented for first time by Lesvos Archaeological Museum in GreeceRoman Aqueduct in Mytilini

The Antiquities Ephorate of Lesvos in the context of the cultural action "Unique finds at the Archaeological Museum of Mytilene" will present on Wednesday at 20:00 the fourth archaeological find within this series of event entitled "Eternal light. Golden wreaths and crowns from the necropolises of Mytilene".

Speaking to Athens Macedonian News Agency the ephor of Lesvos Antiquities Pavlos Triantafyllidis said "important finds of ornament metallurgy from workshops of Macedonia with strong reference to the Lesbian culture of the post classical and Hellenistic era have been unearthed in the ancient necropolises mostly those of Mytilene but also of Mythimna. The fourth exhibit of this series that was selected and  presented for the first time is a golden olive wreath deriving from the second half of the 3rd century BC which was handed over to Mytilene Archaeological Museum in 2002 and a golden crown dated back to the last quarter of the 4th century BC".

Mytilene is an ancient city founded in the 11th century BC. It is the capital and port of the island of Lesbos and also the capital of the North Aegean Region. 

The writings of Homer

As an ancient city, lying off the east coast, Mytilene was initially confined to a small island just offshore that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. According to the writings of Homer, the island of Lesvos has been an organized city since 1054 B.C. The early harbor of Mytilene was united during ancient times with a channel 700 meters long and 30 meters wide. The Roman writer Longus speaks of white stone bridges linking the two sides. The Greek word Εύριπο or Euripus is a commonly used term when referring to a strait. The strait allowed ancient sail boats called Triremes, with 3 tiers of rowers or more. The boats that passed were ca. 6 metres wide plus oars and had depth of 2 meters.

The areas of the city that were densely populated connected the two bodies of land with marble bridges. They usually followed a curved line. The strait begins at the old market called Apano Skala. It was also close to Metropolis Street and ended at the Southern Harbor. One could argue that the channel transversed what is now called Ermoy Street. Over time the strait began to collect silt and earth. There was also human intervention for the protection of the Castle of Mytilene. The strait eventually filled with earth.

Mytilene contested successfully with Methymna in the north of the island for the leadership of the island in the 7th century BC and became the centre of the island’s prosperous eastern hinterland. Her most famous citizens were the poets Sappho and Alcaeus and the statesman Pittacus (one of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece). The city was famed for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid-4th centuries BC. Mytilene revolted against Athens in 428 BC but was overcome by an Athenian expeditionary force. The Athenian public assembly voted to massacre all the men of the city and to sell the women and children into slavery but changed its mind the next day. A fast trireme sailed the 186 nautical miles (344 km) in less than a day and brought the decision to cancel the massacre.

Rich necropolises 

The most significant monument of Mytilene was the theater, built in the natural cavity of the south incline, near the top of the hill, in the 3rd century B.C.. Another significant technical work was the aqueduct of the Roman period. It carried water to a distance of approximately 30 km to the city of Mytilene.

Excavations in Mytilene uncovered stone-paved streets that led outside the city through the rich cemeteries by the roads. Inside the walls of the later Hellenistic city, the water supply system with its clay ducts and the sewage system with its built drains were uncovered. The windward sea walls of the ports, namely the archaic and later wall, built according to the opus testaecum technique with poros, surrounded the oldest part of the city along Euripus. From the 3rd century on, it surrounded the later part of the city, ending up at the large sea walls of the ports, where large jars have been preserved.

The necropolises of Mytilene were rich. The archaic necropolis was near the banks of Euripus on the part of the land, around the north commercial port. For the burials of this time, cist-graves or large jars were used. From the 5th century B.C. up to the end of the Roman Rule, cemeteries were built along stone-paved roads starting from the north, western and south exits of the city, in a distance of up to 2 km from the city walls. Sarcophagi, cist-graves and small cinerary urns were used for burials. Almost all burials, even those outside cemeteries, had rich funeral gifts, in order to certify the affluence of the residents of ancient Mytilene, which had glory, wealth and power almost throughout its historical course.

Mytilene is directly connected with lyric poetry and philosophy. According to literary sources, inscriptions and excavation data, there was a sanctuary of Demetra and Kore at the Castle, a sanctuary of Cybele near the north commercial port, a sanctuary of Apollo Maloeis near the north port outside the archaic city walls and a sanctuary of Zeus near the ancient theater. The worships of Asclepius, Dionysus and Hera are also attested.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Jonathan Lundqvist License: CC-BY-SA

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

 

 

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