An international team of archaeologists has rediscovered an entire island on a Turkish peninsula, and have identified it as the ancient city of Kane, near where the Athenians crushed the Spartans in the Battle of Arginusae back in 406 BCE.
The ancient settlement was rediscovered when researchers examined samples of underground rock layers near the western Izmir province of Turkey. They determined that more than 2,000 years ago, the region formed one of the three Arginus islands - two of which still exist, and are now referred to as the Garip islands. The island of Kane is referred to multiple times in ancient sources, but until now, archaeologists have been at a loss as to where it actually is.
An analysis of pottery shards, architecture, and other historic remnants in the nearby Bademli village helped the team identify the island, which linked up to the mainland to form the tip of the peninsula thanks to thousands of years of sediment build-up. The team drilled down into the filled-up gap that once separated Kane from the Turkish coast to discover that it was made up of loose soil and rock.
"It had been a matter of discussion if the islands here were the Arginus Islands or not until our research began," one of the team, archaeologist Felix Pirson from the German Archaeology Institute, told the Doğan News Agency.
"But then we revealed that the ancient Kane was located on an island in the past. The strait between this island and the land was filled with alluviums and created this peninsula. We will get more evident information after examining the geological samples."
It’s not every day you locate a long-lost ancient city, and it’s even rarer that the city in question played a vital role in human history, as Kane once did. "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 harbour of the ancient city of Pergamon, in the south," said one of the researchers, Güler Ateş from Turkey's Celal Bayar University.
The city’s privileged location puts it on the doorstep of the famous Battle of Arginusae, which took place southwest of the ancient city in 406 BCE during the Peloponnesian War.
While the Athenians defeated the Spartans - they're said to have lost 25 ships, while the Spartans lost 75 - the victorious commander was arrested and tried upon returning home, and eventually executed because his troops did not help wounded soldiers and bury the dead.