Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Theopompos of Myndos - Take Two

The Remaining Blocks of Lysanders' Monument at Delphi
Jona Lendering CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0

Back in April last year I added a new page Myndians in History  which included Pausanias’ reference to a monument at Delphi in honour of Theopompos of Myndos, who sailed with Lysander at the battle of Aegospotami in 405 BC.

To paraphrase a North Staffordshire expression I was like a dog with two appendages having found mention of a Myndian trireme captain which predated Mausolus’ synoecism of the Lelegian towns in the 4th century BC.

However it now appears that I may have been a little premature, after a little more reading there are two other suggestions:

Xenophon states that Theopompos was a Milesian buccaneer who was dispatched to Sparta with the news of Lysander’s  victory,

The second and most recent hypothesis is that Theopompos was a Melian (Theopompus, son of Lapompus of Melos).  I came a across a few footnotes which cited  A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century BC edited by Russell Meiggs and David M Lewis who reviewed the inscriptions on the thirteen surviving blocks of limestone which still bear the prints of the feet of the bronze statues erected by Lysander.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Basilica Mosaic on Asar Island at Myndos

A 23 page article from the Journal of Mosaic Research JMR Vol 8  2015 is available to view and free to download from academia.edu

The article (in English) contains a detailed description of the mosaic and also includes a comprehensive summary of the excavations in area between 2009 and 2011

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Myndos Excavations and Research 2004 – 2013: The Coins

One for the numismatists, a summary of the coins found during the excavations.

Geç Antik ve Bizans Çağina Ait Myndos Sikkeleri

Myndos Coins Dated to Late Antiquity and Byzantine Era

Prof Mustafa Şahin


This study is the preliminary examination of resilience and edition of total 106 coins found in the excavations between 2005 and 2010 in Myndos ancient city located in the Gümüşlük town of Bodrum district of the Muğla city. Ayça Güzelsoy, post graduate student, is contributed to this project as scholarship student. 14 of the coins found in the Myndos are dated 4th or 5th century AD, and 72 of them are dated to Early Byzantine period. The earliest coin found in the Myndos Ancient city excavations is the Kos Island coin dated 2nd-1st century BC. The latest coin is the Middle age crusader coin dated 13th century AD in the settlement stratigraphy. The latest finding in Myndos is a Greek lepton dated to 1878. Thereby, we find that the housing in Myndos is continued till 13th century AD with the help of the coins found during the excavations


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Myndos Excavations and Research 2004 – 2013 – Two More Papers

Two more links to papers published in Myndos Kazı ve Araştırmaları, Myndos Excavations and Researches 2004-2013.

Both a co-written by Dr Oktay Dumankaya, Dr Serkan Gündüz and describe the research into the two ancient harbours.

Myndos Antık Kenti’nin Doğu Limanı ve Yapıları

The Eastern Harbour of Myndos Ancient City and its Structure

Dr Oktay Dumankaya, Dr Serkan Gündüz


Myndos was one of the important coastal settlements in the region of Caria, which had kept its importance through every era with its large scaled and sheltered harbors. It was one of the eight Lelegian settlements in the Bodrum peninsula. While, later it appears to be one of the cities in the Delian League. At the period of Mausolus, it became an important gathering-place in the region. During the underwater archaeological research, some harbor structures dating back to different ages, were detected at the east harbor area. Mole, hagiasma and quay structures are some examples of the featured archaeological remains. Archaeological evidence found both in the excavation and underwater excavations shows that the harbor functioned uninterruptedly from the Ancient Period to the Modern Era.

Myndos Sualtı Araştırmalarında Yeni Bir Keşif: Batı Limanı 

A New Discovery in the Myndos Underwater Research: West Harbour

Dr Oktay Dumankaya, Dr Serkan Gündüz


Myndos was one of the important harbor settlements of the Caria Region and according to many ancient writers it had only one harbor. However, during the researches carried out by us in 2012, it was discovered that it had a second harbor. At this second harbor, many stone blocks, which belonged to the citadels and harbors structures, could be observed. As a result of the researches, a harbor, a breakwater for protecting harbor structures and a wreck dating back to Roman period was found. This wreck had given a lot of important information about the harbor.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Myndos Excavations and Research 2004 - 2013

A collection of Myndos related papers titled Myndos Kazi ve Araştirmalari, Myndos Excavations and Researches 2004-2013, edited by Dr Derya Şahin, was published in 2016 and a number of the authors have been posting their papers over the last few weeks on academia.edu

All of the papers are in Turkish, below are links to two of them

Myndos Asar/Tavşan Adasi Geç Antik Dönem Kandilleri

Myndos Asar Island Late Antique Lamps

Dr Sinan Mimaroğlu of Mustafa Kemal University.


Myndos ancient city which was one of the ancient Caria cities in the ancient geography, is today located in Gümüşlük town of Bodrum district in Muğla province in southern Turkey. Locating right across Myndos ancient city Asar/Tavşan Island has a crucial place to protect the harbor of the city. Structural layers came to light as a result of the excavation digs belong to early Hellenistic period in Asar Island. Some settlement relevant to the topography of the island had been located around the church that built on the hill in the late antiquity and dates back to A.D. 5th. It is determined that new settling had been planned in a new placement settlement pattern on the old layers. It is considered that these unearthed place-ments settlement was were not for civil uses but directly related to the church and it is a monastery complex. historical findings empower the idea of the monastery complex. The last layer is composed of the fortification walls that date back to Late Byzantine period. Terra-cotta lamps dealt in this essay were found during the excavation carried out between 2009 and 2013 in Myndos city on Asar/Tavşan Island that protects the ancient city harbor. The most of lamps are Asia Minor type (Ephesos). There are only two African Red Slip type lamps. Terra cotta lamps indicate the presence of a trade in the Myndos/Asar Island. It is suggested that the lamps were in use between A.D. 6-7. th century depending on their analogy.

Asar / Tavşan Adasi Ekmek Mühür Kalıbı ve Hacı Pulları

The Bread Stamp and Pilgrim Tokens from Myndos Asar / Tavşan Island

Dr Derya Şahin and Dr Emine Tok


The subject of the study is the bread stamp and the two pilgrim tokens found at Myndos Asar/Tavşan Island during the excavation campaign of 2013. As a result of the evaluations made, it is determined that the descriptions on the bread stamp mold and the pilgrim tokens belonged to the saints martyrized for religion and they were used during the Eucharistic Liturgies. These findings, which also made the architectural pattern of the island more meaningful, indicate that the island was used as a cult center during the Early Byzantine Period.

The latter is a direct link to a PDF and requires no login details.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

73 Years Ago Today

It was 73 years ago today, during WW2, that two allied destroyers, HMS Hurworth and HHelMS Adrias sailed into a recently laid mine field between Gümüşlük and Kalymnos.

Adrias was the first casualty; Hurworth sank with the loss of over a hundred men while coming to the aid of Adrias.

Adrias, with some of the survivors from Hurworth, made her way to Gümüşlük.

Below are a number of links to eye witness accounts of the fateful events and Adrias’ time in Gümüşlük.

Adrias - Hitting the Minel

Adrias at Gümüşlük

Hurworth - The Sinking

Adrias Arriving in Alexandria

Sunday, 12 June 2016

A Day at the UKHO Archives

Back in 2009 when I purchased a copy of the Chart L1573 from the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) in Taunton I was advised that there were a number of original documents that might also be of interest.

L1573 was the original chart titled “Plan Of Port Gumishlu and Remains of the Ancient Myndus” plotted by Lt Cdr Thomas Graves in 1938. The chart was received by the Hydrographic Office on the 30th of Mar 1839 and published in 1844 as Admiralty Chart 1531 “Gumishlu the Antient Myndus”

With Francis Beaufort, who in circa 1811 – 12 first suggested that the harbour and remains at Gümüşlük could be those of Myndos, then being the Hydrographer for the Navy at the time of the survey, I was hoping to find some correspondence between Graves and Beaufort, which may have included a description, or reference to, some of the features shown on the chart e.g. theatre, temples, stadium etc.

Two weeks ago I finally managed to arrange a visit to UKHO to view the surveyor’s letters.

Within the first hour I had found a letter from Graves, on board HMS Beacon in Malta dated 21st Dec 1837, addressed to Capt F Beaufort, which included the following:

“...the site of Baigylia we have determined beyond a doubt and have a ground plan of it - Port Gumishlu has so many ----- in the neighbourhood that I intend giving it a more particular examination, and from the extent of walls and other remains, I have no doubt of it having been the ancient Myndus.”

However four hours later and despite assistance from the research staff who went out of their way to help identify and present several other files and collections of letters, I found no other references to the survey.

Today, while drafting this post, I’ve found an entry in Vol 8 of the Royal Geographical Society that contains a short report from Graves, which was communicated to the society by Beaufort

“At Patmos, where we commenced this year’s survey of the islands and coast of Asia Minor, we made a plan of Gumishlú, which I can with great confidence assert to be the ancient Myndus, from the extent of ruins and a colonnade of fifty two columns of which the pedestals all remain, tombs, &c. The plan of them shall be forwarded as soon as we have time to copy it.”

Graves, Lieutenant, and Brock Lieutenant. "Brief Notice of the Gulfs of Kos and Symi." The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 8 (1838): 428-29. Web.

This suggests that somewhere in the bowels of the UKHO archive there still could be further correspondence between Graves and Beaufort. The search goes on.