Ancient Mill Discovered on Lesvos

The mill, discovered during the construction of a local road, was in use from the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD.

Sep. 12, 2016
By Ivana Simic

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An Ancient olive oil mill was dis­cov­ered dur­ing con­struc­tion work on the Thermi-Pigi-Lambou Mylon provin­cial road on the island of Lesvos, Greece. It was found next to a farm­house from the 5th cen­tury AD and it was intact. 

During the restora­tion, it was dis­cov­ered that the oil mill was a part of a large com­plex asso­ci­ated with the pro­duc­tion and uti­liza­tion of the local prod­ucts such as cere­als, oil or wine and it was in use from the 2nd to the 6th cen­turies AD.

The whole work with trans­porta­tion and restora­tion has lasted for two months before the ancient oil mill was shown to the pub­lic. The project was funded through European Structural and Investment Funds of European Union (ESPA), remind­ing that cul­ture should be sup­ported even in dif­fi­cult times for the country. 

The Ancient olive oil mill was trans­ferred unchanged. We’ve set it up again in the court­yard of the new Archaeological Museum where we did the whole restora­tion work, said Paul Triantaphyllides head of the Antiquities Office of Lesvos at the July open­ing cer­e­mony at Mytilene’s new Archaeological Museum.

The dis­cov­ery of the ancient mill will sup­port local efforts to pro­mote the island of Lesvos as an impor­tant olive oil pro­ducer in Greece. Lesvos has around 28 per­cent of its ter­ri­tory under olive trees and the pro­duc­tion of oil comes mainly from the small pro­duc­ers. The island’s aver­age annual pro­duc­tion reaches about 25,000 to 30,000 tons of olive oil and its qual­ity has been rec­og­nized not only in Greece but in the for­eign mar­kets, espe­cially South America and Asia.

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While the island is already well known for its Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production, with the Ancient olive oil mill dis­cov­ery Lesvos will try to inte­grate the archi­tec­tural, social and cul­tural con­texts of its indus­trial her­itage, both in the olive sec­tor and in the wider field of technology.

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