Palaeolithic findings of prehistoric communities that lived on Lesvos half a million years ago.
Rodafnidia is a massive olive grove at the western foot of the Lisvori village, close to the hot springs of Ai-Giannis and only a kilometre from the southeastern shore of the Kalloni Gulf, where Palaeolithic finds were brought to light, left behind by the prehistoric communities that had lived on Lesvos half a million years ago, making the archaeological site of Lesvos the most ancient archaeological site in the Aegean. The Rodafnidia Site has been under systematic excavation since 2012 by the University of Crete, with head archaeologist and professor Nena Galanidou, in collaboration with other universities and research institutions in Greece and abroad. Research aims to explore the essentials of prehistoric activity of at least the past 500,000 years.
Archaeological excavation unveils a lithic industry having Acheulean affinities. Lower Palaeolithic cores, flakes and
tools, among which a great number of large
cutting tools, have also been discovered
along the axes connecting Vasilika – Lisvori –
Nifida and Polichnitos – Vatera. They are testimonies to the wide spatial range of hominin activity strategicall located around the thermal springs of Lisvori and at a very near distance to the Kalloni basin and southern Lesbos. The project adds a new piece to the still incomplete puzzle of the early Palaeolithic world, at the heart of Eurasia, at the very point where Asia meets Europe, the northeastern Aegean.
During periods of lower sea level the two large basins of the island, the Gulf of Kalloni and the Gulf of Gera, were disconnected from the sea. Palaeogeographic evidence suggests that throughout the Middle Pleistocene the gulfs were transformed into huge lakes of brackish and progressively fresh water, attracting animals and hominins. As a result, the Rodafnidia site offers invaluable findings regarding the daily habits of hominins, depicting that they had a preference for volcanic landscapes, wetlands and the biodiversity of the western region of Lesvos.
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