A third century BC wall extending from the city of Mytilene out to the sea was revealed during an excavation in Lesvos. It consists of massive ashlar blocks from local stone and carries repairs of both the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Sections of the wall have been found elsewhere in the main town of Lesvos, particularly at the site of the modern waste recycling plant, during excavations to lay pipes.
The discovery is deemed as of great significance by Archaeologists, who claim that it will allow for further understanding of the island’s history and specifically the cityscape of Mytilene as it was 2,000 years ago.
The island has been at the focus of archaeologists since the late 1800s, but significant excavations did not start until after WW1, starting with the discovery of the famous city’s theatre, considered to be the model of the theatre of Pompeii. In the decades that followed, archaeologists have managed to reveal the island’s continuum from the Bronze era to the classic antiquity to Roman times to the Genoan and the Ottoman rule – and proven that the city of Mytilene itself was built on a grid plan, preceding a Roman planning practice.
The city’s two arcaheological museums have been showcasing this rich history, but the classical city wall remains act as a link to its history. A section of it runs across the site which was close to the channel that divided the mainland from the off shore island part of the city. Considerable remains of the two moles that protected the large North Harbour of the city are still visible just below or just breaking the surface of the sea; it functioned as the commercial harbour of the ancient city although today it is a quiet place where a few small fishing boats are moored.