Legendary Arginusae battle island unearthed in Turkey

German team finds ancient Kane, now an Aegean coast peninsula

19 November, 18:13

    The archeological museum in Izmir The archeological museum in Izmir

    (by Cristoforo Spinella) (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 19 - So far, its existence had been known only through the tales of Aristotle, Xenophon and Diodorus Siculus, who located here the historic Battle of Arginusae in 406 BC.

    The battle was one of the most well known ones of the Peloponnesian War, in which the Athens fleet achieved a historic victory against its Sparta counterpart. No one, however, had been able to identify the exact location of it in the Aegean, near the Dikili district in Turkey's Izmir province. The lost island on which the ancient city of Kane was found was recently discovered thanks to the work of a team of geo-archaeologists led by experts from the University of Cologne and the German Archaeological Institute. And it is no longer an island. Analyzing some samples of the underground stratum of the area, scholars found that the Karadag peninsula, where the Bademli village is found, was in antiquity an island that over time was joined to the rest of the coast after stratification of alluvial sediments. Conducted with the support of archaeologists from the local University of Izmir and the British University of Southampton - as well as geographers, topographers and geophysical experts - the study led to the rediscovery of the lost island of Kane. ''Since the beginning of our research, whether or not these islands were the Arginusae was an issue of debate,'' said archaeologist Felix Pirson, one of the heads of the research.

    ''But we discovered that the ancient Kane was on an island in the past. Later a strait between the island and the ground was filled with detritus, thereby forming the peninsula.'' The find is only the latest of many archaeological ones on the Aegean coast of Turkey, which covers part of the ancient Asia Minor. The area is still one of the main tourist attractions for the country, but in recent times it has also become known for the departure from the coast of tens of thousands of refugees an migrants for Greek islands, as a staging point on the way towards the rest of Europe.

    The research showed the strategic role of the Kane port in antiquity.

    ''It was like a transit station between important routes such as Lesbos and Adramyttium in the north and Elaia - the main port of the ancient Pergamum - in the south,'' said Guler Ates, from the Archaeology Department of the Celal Bayar University in Manisa. (ANSAmed).

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