(ORDO NEWS) — Greek archaeologists, while conducting research on the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea, discovered a marble lintel from the gate with an interesting engraving.
The study showed that the only image of the medieval castle of Agios Theodoros known to science is carved on it.
According to The History Blog, a unique artifact was discovered during the excavation of the foundations of the Byzantine gate.
Once they were part of the southeastern wall of the castle of Agios Theodoros, which is mentioned in many chronicles.
However, so far no one has seen a single illustration by which one could judge the appearance of this castle.
The marble slab dates from the 14th century. This is important because the castle of Agios Theodoros was extensively rebuilt in the 15th century.
He has changed beyond recognition. Therefore, the found image is of great value to historians. This is the only drawing so far that shows the castle in its original form.
The length of the white marble lintel is about 3.5 meters. It is also carved with a special cross, which was the hallmark of the Byzantine imperial dynasty of the Palaiologos.
Nearby is the coat of arms of the Genoese house of Gattilusio. As for the image of the castle, the engraving shows the main gate and three rectangular towers on the acropolis.
This image corresponds to the descriptions of Agios Theodoros preserved in written sources.
Archaeologists know of only one such marble slab, on which the symbols of the ruling dynasties of Lesvos were carved.
Such a bas-relief was previously discovered in the castle of Mytilene. It is also decorated with the regalia of the Palaiologos and the coat of arms of Gattilusio, but only the Byzantine eagle is depicted on it, and there is no image of the castle.
As follows from historical data, representatives of the influential Genoese house of Gattilusio ruled Lesbos as vassals of the Byzantine emperors of the Palaiologos from 1355 to 1462.
According to one version, they came to their power thanks to piracy, and initially the family was not noble.
They helped John V Palaiologos regain his throne and Constantinople in 1354. In gratitude, the emperor made Francesco Gattilusi Lord of Lesvos and married him to his daughter.
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