Researchers just unearthed a lost island in the Aegean

The site of ancient battles.
The site of ancient battles.
Image: Google Earth
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An ancient island where the Athenians and the Spartans battled in 406 BC has been discovered by an international group of geo-archaeologists.

The scientists, led by researchers from the German Archaeology Institute, examined underground rock layers from an Aegean Sea peninsula near Bademli village in the western Izmir province of Turkey and discovered that it was once an island, according to reports from Doğan News Agency. Based on archaeological remnants and ceramics in the village, the archaeologists believe they have discovered the lost city of Kane, where the ancient Battle of Arginusae took place. Kane was an ancient city on one of three Arginus islands; the other two islands still exist and are today called the Garip islands.

“It was not clear that these lands were actually the Arginus islands that we were looking for until our research,” Felix Pirson, from the German Atcheological Institute, told Turkish newspaper Zaman. “By examining the geological samples obtained through the core-drill method, we recognized that the gap between the third Arginus island and the mainland was indeed filled with loose soil and rock, creating the existing peninsula.”

Güler Ateş, archeologist from Celal Bayar University, told Doğan News Agency that the harbors on the island would once have been major ports.

“It is understood that this place was like a way station among important routes such as Lesbos and Adramytteion [today Edremit] in the north and Elaia [Zeytindağ], the main harbor of the ancient city of Pergamon, in the south,” he said.

The Battle of Arginusae took place towards the end of the 27-year Peloponnesian war. Though the Athenians won the battle, the crews of 25 Athenian ships were left stranded and several of the battle commanders were tried and executed for their poor leadership, according to a book on the battle by historian Debra Hamel.