Researchers Discover Lost Island Where Athenians and Spartans Once Battled

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A group of scientists, led by researchers at the German Archaeology Institute, have discovered a lost island in the Aegean Sea. The site of a major battle between the Spartans and Athenians during the Peloponnesian War and home to the ancient city of Kane, the island is mentioned in numerous ancient texts—but its exact whereabouts were unknown until now.

According to Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman, scientists found the ancient island on an Aegean Sea peninsula near Bademli village in Turkey. After taking geological samples of underground rock in the area, researchers confirmed that the peninsula was once an island, and that the strait separating island and mainland had simply filled with silt over time. Based on archaeological artifacts found around Bademli, the team of researchers is reasonably certain the peninsula was once the city of Kane, where the Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BCE. 

“It was not clear that these lands were actually the Arginus islands that we were looking for until our research,” Felix Pirson of the German Archaeology Institute told 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.”

The find is an important one for historians and archaeologists. The Peloponnesian War was one of the most important events in the history of Ancient Greece, fought between Sparta and Athens—two of the ancient world’s greatest powers—and spanning 27 years. According to Quartz, though the Athenians won the Battle of Arginusae, "the crews of 25 Athenian ships were left stranded and several of the battle commanders were tried and executed for their poor leadership."

[h/t Quartz]