Lost Ancient Greek Island Has Been Found
By Toni Aravadinos -
Archaeologists believe they may have discovered the lost city of Kane, the site of the epic sea battle of Arginusae, which saw Athens crush Sparta in 406 BC. Archaeologists weren’t exactly sure where this island was located, until now.
An international team of archaeologists working with the German Archeological Institute think they may have found Kane in the Aegean Sea, just off the coast of Turkey. The ancient sea battle between the Athenians and Spartans is estimated to have happened towards the end of the 27-year Peloponnesian War.
It was a bittersweet win for the Athenians. Due to a storm the commanders abandoned thousands of their shipwrecked men after the war, something that was considered very dishonorable in the ancient times, as punishment six of them were executed and two were sent into exile on their return to Athens.
The Battle of Arginusae got its name due to its close proximity to the “Arginus” islands, which are now called the Garip islands. Ancient texts always cited the Arginus islands as having three land masses, though they are only two located where the Garip islands are today. What happened to the third island has been a mystery.
Researchers wondered if a nearby peninsula was perhaps the missing island, so they drilled into it and they made an interesting discovery, they found evidence that what is now a peninsula was once an island.
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(NOTE: The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas. The battle was precipitated by a Spartan victory which led to the Athenian fleet under Conon being blockaded at Mytilene; to relieve Conon, the Athenians assembled a scratch force composed largely of newly constructed ships manned by inexperienced crews. This inexperienced fleet was thus tactically inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders were able to circumvent this problem by employing new and unorthodox tactics, which allowed the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory.
The news of the victory itself was met with jubilation at Athens, and the grateful Athenian public voted to bestow citizenship on the slaves and metics who had fought in the battle. Their joy was tempered, however, by the aftermath of the battle, in which a storm prevented the ships assigned to rescue the survivors of the 25 disabled or sunken Athenian triremes from performing their duties, and a great number of sailors drowned. A fury erupted at Athens when the public learned of this, and after a bitter struggle in the assembly six of the eight generals who had commanded the fleet were tried as a group and executed.
At Sparta, meanwhile, traditionalists who had supported Callicratidas pressed for peace with Athens, knowing that a continuation of the war would lead to the re-ascendence of their opponent Lysander. This party initially prevailed, and a delegation was dispatched to Athens to make an offer of peace; the Athenians, however, rejected this offer, and Lysander departed to the Aegean to take command of the fleet for the remainder of the war, which would be decided less than a year later by his total victory at Aegospotami.)