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.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Myndos Excavations to Recommence, Maybe.

A piece in Friday’s Haberler reporting on a meeting of representatives from across Muğla with the Deputy Minister for Culture & Tourism, appears to suggest that the recommencement of the Myndos excavations along with a number of other archaeological projects in the province, including the Bodrum Hippodrome, are under review.

I wouldn’t expect to see any activity this year; by coincidence I received an email, on Friday, from one of the archaeologists who has worked on the Myndos project and as far as they were aware the excavations were still suspended.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Myndians in History

A new page has been added that lists some of the people of Myndos whose names have been recorded in history,

There are no great surprises as all the references were found online, but the reason we started the blog was to try and bring together all of these snippets.

There are a few which I hadn’t come across before, Theopompos who sailed with Lysander in the 5th century BC, an unnamed Myndian also from the 5th century whose covert activities are described on a piece of papyrus found at Oxyrhyncia, two Myndians mentioned on fragments of marble stelae held in the British Museum and the involvement of a bishop of Myndos in the one of the early rifts in church doctrine.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Die Haefen von Myndos und ihre Handelseziehungen im Speiegal der Amphorenfunde. Ein Vorbericht

For those who read German, Professor Mustafa Şahin has posted a copy of a paper presented at workshop in Hamburg Feb 2014 titled Die Haefen von Myndos und ihre Handelseziehungen im Speiegal der Amphorenfunde. Ein Vorbericht on

There is an abstract in English which reads:

Between the Asar island and Kocadağ-Aethusa the archaeological excavations succeeded finding the port structure of ancient Myndos. The entrance was protected by these natural structures. As a member of the Dealian League, Myndos had a fleet of 200 ships. In the 5th century BC the harbour was mostly used for military service. Strabo remarks only one port of Myndos. Later surveys during the 2005/6 campaign showed several new buildings. These structures seemed to belong to a second harbour. Remaining breakwater-structures were also discovered, lying beneath two newly discovered shipwrecks with Egyptian amphora. The expansion of the port-structure until late antiquity prove the importance of the harbour. Myndos seemed to be one of the important trading partners Mediterranean Sea.

I’m assuming the comment regarding a Myndian “fleet of 200 ships” is a typo, or error in translation. In the body of the text there is a reference to Herodotus 5.33, which, in the translations I’ve seen, only mentions a single ship from Myndos being a part of Megabates fleet.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The "Myndos" 1996 Hoard

One for the numismatists.

In 1996 a hoard reported to consist of coins from Myndos & Halicarnassus appeared on the German market, at around the same time two packages of coins, again from Myndos and Halicarnassus, appeared in commerce in London.

A copy of the report by A R Meadows and B Zabel The “Myndos” 1996 Hoard (CH 9.552) which formed part of Coin Hoard 9 (2002) Numismatic Society Special Publications 35 is available on You may have to be a numismatist to appreciate the finer detail of the report but it does include a list of the c. 2nd century BC magistrates who issued the coins.     

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Report on the Ancient Dock at Koyunbaba Quarry

An article by Asst Prof Oktay Dumankaya on an ancient dock associated with the Koyunbaba Quarry was published in the International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics 2(3) 38-46 (2015).

Stone from the Koyunbaba quarry was used extensively at Myndos and was also used in the foundations of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.

The article is now available to read or download from

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Theopompos of Myndos

While running a series of web searches in preparation for a new page for the blog I came across a reference to Theopompos of Myndos who fought with Lysander at Battle of Aegospotami in 405 BC.

Several of the books and websites associated with the area mention Alexander of Myndos, Apollonius of Myndos, Botryas of Myndos, and Eusebius of Myndos but this is the first time I had come across Theopompos.

A statue of Theopompos is listed as being a part of Lysander’s monument at Delphi dedicated to the victory of the Spartans over the Athenians in the last battle of the Peloponnesian war (Stuart Jones, H, Pg 136)1

The dedication is mentioned by Pausanias, a Greek traveller and geographer from the 2nd century AD. (Pausanias 10.9.7)

What I find interesting is that Theopompos is the second recorded seafaring Myndian who predates Mausolus’ synoecism of the Lelegian towns and the rebuilding of Myndos at what is now Gümüşlük. With the absence of any obvious evidence of a harbour associated with the original Lelegian hill top settlement of Myndos on Bozdağ, Prof Mustafa Şahin (Uludağ University), who has excavated finds predating the synoecism at Gümüşlük, has proposed that the harbour and surrounding area may have been inhabited prior to the construction of Mausolus’ Myndos.

Stuart Jones, H. 1895. Select Passages from Ancient Writers Illustrative of the History of Greek Sculpture. London: Macmillan and Co

Sunday, 17 January 2016

TINA Maritime Archaeological Periodical No 4 available to read online

Not Gümüşlük or Myndos related but worth a read for anyone interested in Turkish underwater archaeology

You can also see what Professor Şahin and Asst Prof Dumankaya, who would normally have been working in Gümüşlük, were doing during the 2015 excavation season