A recent excavation near the foundations of the Byzantine gate of the castle of Agioi Theodoroi near Antissa on Lesvos has historians revisiting the island’s history.
Antissa, was one of the ancient Aeolian city-states in Ancient Greece that played a big role in the late Byzantine history.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Culture, the lintel was found during the excavation of the southeastern part of the medieval sea wall of the castle of Agioi Theodoroi, also known as Ovriokastro.
The lintel bears the heraldry of the Genoese House of Gattilusio, as well as that of the Palaiologos dynasty, which until today were only known from their equivalents in the medieval castle of Mytilene and indicate the handover of the governance of Lesvos, as well as its castles, from the Byzantines to the Gattilusio dynasty.
This Byzantine gate is next to the heraldry of the Palaiologos, instead of the double-headed eagle, a symbol of Byzantium.
It is noted that the written sources and testimonies to date do not preserve any depiction of the Byzantine castle of Aghioi Theodoroi.
The marble lintel is the first representation of it and gives evidence of its form, unknown to us until today, as it had undergone substantial reconstruction during the 15th century by the House of Gattilusio.