Goddesses, Whores, Vampyres and Archaeologists: uncovering ancient Mytilene
March 5, 2023 @ 2:00 pm PST
1201 9th St.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Los Angeles County
Lecturer: Hector Williams
Mytilene was one of the most famous and wealthy cities of the northeastern Aegean and the most important city on the island of Lesbos. Home to the great lyric poets Sappho and Alkaios, it flourished down to the end of antiquity. The talk will present two areas of the city that we have excavated: a sanctuary of the fertility goddesses, Demeter and Kore, on the acropolis, with its many altars and hundreds of votive dedications and a multi-period site near the large North Harbour. This site contained material ranging from an 18th century Ottoman cemetery with a vampire burial down to a rich range of imported fine painted pottery from just after the time of Sappho. Later on it became a Hellenistic industrial district and then a Roman villa that in the late Roman period seems to have become a tavern/brothel.