Byzantine gate and Ottoman baths discovered under Mytilene Castle on Lesvos island

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Byzantine gate and Ottoman baths discovered under Mytilene Castle on Lesvos islandGate of the Early Byzantine fortifications in the Kato Kastro, Mytilene Photo Source: Lesvos Ephorate of Antiquities

Recent excavations undertaken by the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Greek island of Lesvos, have discovered Byzantine structures and baths dating to the Ottoman era in Mytilene.

The findings are of particular importance for the defense architecture of the Castle of Mytilene during early Byzantine history, according to Pavlos Triantaphyllides, the head of the Ephorate.

In fact, Triantaphyllides pointed out that it has now been established that the pre-Byzantine gate of the Castle is connected to the hitherto-unknown Byzantine settlement of Melanoudi.

Triantaphyllides said that Melanoudi must have had around 1,000 inhabitants in its heyday. He states the medieval inhabitants of the city of Mytilene “had to contact from the northern port through the port that still exists today. If you remember, some remains of the Hellenistic wall are still preserved in the sea today, which seem to have been used during the Middle Ages."

“Certainly there are some Christian temples that we have not identified at the moment,” the archaeologist explained. “For the early phase of the city in the 6th and 7th century the excavation research which we hope to continue in the next period of time with other funds will give us a lot of information.

“It is very impressive as a find and unfortunately in Greece we do not know many similar examples with the early Byzantine fortifications because it is an extremely difficult period, this is the period of transition from paganism to Christianity where archaeological evidence is usually scarce,” he noted Triantaphyllides.

Entering the castle from Epano Skala, an Ottoman bath from the 16th century was unearthed, which is in “very good condition.”

This is the earliest bath that has ever been found on the island of Lesvos and it belonged to Hayreddin Barbarossa, who was originally from Mytilene.

16th-century Ottoman bathhouse in the Kato Kastro, Mytilene Photo Source:  Lesvos Ephorate of Antiquities

The most important finding, nevertheless, lies beneath the foundations of the bath- the early Byzantine gate of the 7th century AD.

“This gate is made of amazing marble from an ancient material, being recycled from previous use. It has a total height of 3.20 meters (10.5 feet), and a width of 2.05 meters (6.7 feet), and a depth of two meters (6.5 feet),” Triantaphyllides said.

“A total of nine slabs of local gray-white marble were used for its construction, while cavities in the lintel indicate the existence of a wooden door, adapted with swivels,” the archaeologist added.

According to the recent findings, the Byzantine city was situated four meters down from the current surface where people walk today inside the castle.

Moreover, in the lower castle area, a new bicycle path will be created as part of the co-financed European program of Sustainable Urban Regeneration.

Two Ottoman-era homes are also being restored:

One will serve as a center of information for the entire history of the island

The other will offer space for educational programs for children, who will be also able to tour the ancient and medieval-era ruins, led by archaeologists.

“We will explain to the children how they were built, how the houses, the temples, the walls were built. And the children will be given a complete picture of what this medieval castle of Mytilene was like,” Triantaphyllides concluded.

Tornos
  1. 26/05 00:02

    IATA and ICP join forces to promote air cargo security in the UAE

  2. 25/05 21:46

    Face masks mandate lifted in Greek schools and universities as of June 1

  3. 25/05 21:32

    UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili delivers message on Africa Day 2022 (video)

  4. 25/05 20:13

    United States Ambassador to Athens visits Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki

  5. 25/05 19:23

    4,141 new Covid-19 cases and 17 fatalities recorded in Greece on Wednesday

  6. 25/05 18:57

    18th Athens Digital Arts Festival takes place at Kotzia Square on May 25-29

  7. 25/05 18:18

    UNWTO: World Commitee on Tourism Ethics issues statement on war in Ukraine

  8. 25/05 13:53

    Greek Tourism Minister urges Emirates to add direct flights from Thessaloniki to NY and Dubai

  9. 25/05 10:08

    Greek tourism sector brings down joblessness

  10. 25/05 09:26

    Cyprus aims at more than two million tourist arrivals this year

  11. 25/05 00:10

    US ambassador to Athens: Greece can expand its role as an energy hub

  12. 24/05 23:17

    Greek PM meets with investors at the World Economic Forum at Davos

  13. 24/05 22:56

    Athens and Izmir mayors meet in Greek capital as part of city diplomacy

  14. 24/05 21:48

    IATA: Canadian government must reduce delays at local airports

  15. 24/05 21:37

    Greece includes new €1.7 billion projects to Recovery & Resilience Fund

  16. 24/05 20:59

    UNWTO: International code informs efforts to promote tourist confidence in Americas

  17. 24/05 20:22

    Delta Airlines offers more travel options between the US and Greek islands

  18. 24/05 19:44

    Filming to begin in Greek city of Thessaloniki on film starring Robert De Niro

  19. 24/05 19:13

    Underwater Museum in Greek island of Alonissos is “the Parthenon of Shipwrecks”

  20. 24/05 18:05

    Greece prepares for first heatwave of this summer

  21. 24/05 17:02

    5,588 new Covid-19 cases and 11 fatalities recorded in Greece on Tuesday

  22. 23/05 19:05

    InterContinental brand to debut in Greek siland of Crete

  23. 23/05 18:57

    Greek Prime Minister to address 146th Boston College graduation ceremony

  24. 23/05 18:54

    No monkeypox virus in lab examination of suspected case sample in Greece

  25. 23/05 18:42

    Europe Union Commission approves disbursement of €748 million to Greece

  26. 23/05 18:38

    Delphi AHEPA Chapter 25 organizes backgammon event at New York Athletic Club

  27. 23/05 17:49

    EC greenlights €890,000 to support Cypriot halloumi producers

  28. 23/05 17:45

    2,235 new Covid-19 cases and 21 fatalities recorded in Greece on Monday

  29. 23/05 16:34

    Greek National Tourism Organisation chief at World Economic Forum in Davos

  30. 21/05 21:36

    George Papaeleas AHEPA Chapter 367 marks AHEPA Sunday in New York

  31. 21/05 17:38

    3,424 Covid-19 cases and 21 fatalities recorded in Greece on Friday

  32. 21/05 15:41

    Foreign Ministers discuss close coordination between Greece and Cyprus

  33. 21/05 12:32

    Minister: Greece has entered dynamically the international academic map

  34. 21/05 11:47

    European Commission: Greece plays key role for independence from Russian gas

  35. 20/05 22:31

    Boxing champion Alvarez strolling around in Greek island of Mykonos (video)

  36. 20/05 21:12

    Events in Athens to present theater, literature, and music of Israel to public

  37. 20/05 21:01

    SNF cancels Greek Culture Ministry grant for ancient mass graves museum in Faliro

  38. 20/05 19:58

    World Tourism Organization members in the Americas advance common goals

  39. 20/05 19:18

    UNWTO enjoys high-level meetings with American tourism sector leaders

  40. 20/05 18:25

    Italy returns Parthenon Marble fragment to Greece setting precedent

  41. 20/05 17:51

    Greek Tourism Minister continues meetings in Serbian capital of Belgrade

  42. 20/05 17:08

    3,708 Covid-19 cases and 16 fatalities recorded in Greece on Friday

  43. 20/05 14:28

    Greek PM announces allocation of €171 million to support organic livestock farming

  44. 20/05 12:21

    Nobel Foundation returns to Greece Mycenaean gold ring from necropolis in Rhodes

  45. 19/05 22:34

    Archbishop of America announces the Centennial Pilgrimage to Pontos

  46. 19/05 19:24

    Minister: Joist Innovation Park another step in Greece's turning into innovation hub

  47. 19/05 18:29

    3,928 Covid-19 cases and 23 fatalities recorded in Greece on Thursday

  48. 19/05 17:33

    Return of Parthenon Marbles to Greece discussed at UNESCO meeting in Paris

  49. 19/05 16:37

    The President of Hellenic Republic continues her official visit to Vietnam

  50. 19/05 15:43

    AEGEAN airways will operate twice-weekly flights between Athens and Eindhoven

  51. 19/05 14:52

    Greek Tourism Minister: 900,000 visitors from Serbia expected in Greece this year

  52. 18/05 22:44

    Athens British Embassy virtual event on Asia Minor Catastrophe available to view

  53. 18/05 22:11

    Greek Tourism Minister visits Serbia on Thursday

  54. 18/05 20:06

    Covid-19 mandatory masks scrapped indoors and outdoors in Greece from June 1st

  55. 18/05 20:02

    10th Syros International Film Festival to take place on July 28-31

  56. 18/05 19:10

    Survey: Most Americans still plan to visit Europe this year despite war in Ukraine

  57. 18/05 18:23

    Greece records 4,626 Covid-19 cases and 19 fatalities on Wednesday

  58. 18/05 17:48

    Ukrainian refugees in Athens can board public transport for free for 90 days

  59. 18/05 17:15

    Media report: Greek PM praises Diaspora during US Congress speech (video)

  60. 18/05 15:51

    Greek PM is honored by community and honors Greek-Americans in turn

  61. 18/05 13:40

    Greek-US strategic cooperation dominate Dendias-Blinken meeting in DC

  62. 17/05 23:04

    Greek PM delivers historic address at joint session of US Congress (video)

  63. 17/05 21:16

    Biden and Mitsotakis deliver common statements at the White House (video)

  64. 17/05 21:14

    Jewish inscriptions exhibition opens in two museums of Greece

  65. 17/05 20:32

    World Tourism Organization launches digital futures program for SMEs

  66. 17/05 19:27

    International Air Transport Association urges to accelerate Asia-Pacific sector recovery

  67. 17/05 19:01

    Greek islands of Crete, Zakynthos and Kos favorite for Dutch summer 2022 

  68. 17/05 17:22

    6,252 Covid-19 cases and 21 fatalities recorded in Greece on Tuesday

  69. 17/05 16:38

    Rain and a drop in temperature forecast in Greece

  70. 17/05 15:41

    Blue Flag 2022: Greece ranks second in the world

  71. 17/05 15:35

    Almost 9,000 temporary asylum permits issued to Ukrainians in April 2022

  72. 17/05 13:30

    Wallpaper magazine lauds Tinos, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini as ideal destinations for wine tourism

  73. 16/05 23:52

    Media report: Spike in demand for Greece-Turkey ferry services

  74. 16/05 23:24

    Greek Prime Miniser meets US President at the White House (video)

  75. 16/05 22:40

    Free Athens Acropolis Museum entry on Wednesday

  76. 16/05 22:04

    Horror of Ukraine War seen in outdoor photo exhibition in the center of Athens

  77. 16/05 20:18

    President of Hellenic Republic welcomed by Vietnamese counterpart in Hanoi

  78. 16/05 19:58

    Greece records 3,066 Covid-19 cases and 24 fatalities in Greece on Monday

  79. 16/05 19:32

    Greek Tourism Minister meets with 7 ambassadors about Greece's travel market

  80. 16/05 18:47

    Passenger traffic in Greek airports soared 383% during the first four months of 2022

  81. 16/05 18:14

    “The Evzones Collection” marches into Sydney for Greek show

  82. 16/05 17:09

    PM: US tourists to arrive on a record number of direct flights to Greece (video)

  83. 14/05 21:38

    Migrant numbers in Greece have dropped by 70.5% since 2019

  84. 14/05 18:50

    Greece records 4,324 Covid-19 cases and 15 fatalities on Saturday

  85. 14/05 15:08

    Elon Musk’s fast Starlink Internet satellite service comes to Greece

  86. 14/05 11:01

    Bahrain to enhance bilateral relations in tourism with Greece

  87. 13/05 22:41

    Local government digital transformation programme unveiled in Greece

  88. 13/05 22:22

    NATO fighter jet planes and helicopters flew over the Athens Acropolis

  89. 13/05 22:10

    The Hellenic Initiative launches "Plant a Tree" initiative in Greece

  90. 13/05 21:57

    First cruise ships arrive in Cypriot port of Larnaca

  91. 13/05 21:56

    Greece to host Odesa Classics International Music Festival from June 9-13

  92. 13/05 21:46

    Study: Mediterranean diet helps fight depression in young men

  93. 13/05 20:26

    Cyprus applies new relaxations on COVID-19 restrictive measures as of Sunday

  94. 13/05 19:33

    Greek Energy Minister discusses energy collaboration with Albania

  95. 13/05 18:51

    TrainOSE: National train schedules change in Greece as of May 15

  96. 13/05 18:14

    Greece records 4,388 Covid-19 infections and 29 fatalities on Friday

  97. 13/05 18:04

    7th Greece-Sweden Business Forum on Climate Action in Athens on May 19

  98. 13/05 17:37

    Google hiring six different specialties for its Athens offices - how to apply

  99. 12/05 23:15

    Minister: Cyprus-Greece ferry link could be extended to include one more country

  100. 12/05 23:06

    European Union drops mandatory masks on planes and airports