Dig unearths Mycenaean 'Homeric capital'

Athens, Greece - An archaeologist thinks he may have found the ancient Mycenaean capital of Salamis, the island where one of the greatest recorded battles of antiquity took place.

Archaeologist Yannos Lolos said on Tuesday that he found two buildings and uncovered several small hamlets scattered around the ancient acropolis of old Salamis, now known as Kanakia.

The ancient town is on the south-western part of the island, located in the Saronic Gulf.

Lolos, assistant professor of archaeology at the University of Ioannina in northern Greece, has been digging at the Kanakia site since 2000, and said it will take more time to find out who ruled the urban centre.

If the finds can be proven, they could indicate that Salamis had a thriving culture dating back to the 13th century BC, coinciding with Homeric accounts of the island.

Lolos has not yet published the results of his finds.

Salamis, about 15 km south-west of Athens, was the site where the Greeks sank a much larger Persian fleet in 480BC.

The finds uncovered by Lolos date back to the 13th and 12th centuries BC, the late Mycenaean Era when the Trojan War was said to have been fought.

"I have no doubt that this is the urban centre of the island in the late Mycenaean," said Lolos.

A large copper plank that originated from Cyprus was also found, which indicates the two islands had contact during the period.

"This is one of the most important finds from our excavation at this site because it gives a good connection with Cyprus," he added. "This town may have had substantial involvement in the international maritime trade."

Lolos said there were hints that the two buildings may have been part of a larger complex, and that one may have been used for industrial purposes.

Clay vases along with stone and bronze tools were also found at the site, said Lolos. - Sapa-AP

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