Apotheke (Lesbos) Apothiki
Apotheke, polygonal wall related to an Archaic to Roman sanctuary near Apotheke, monument and fort in Lesvos Aegean
- IDAI gazetteer ID
Further south at Apothíka (23km) the road comes close to the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Kalloní. Beside a creek, approximately 400m north of the tiny harbour, are the remains of buildings and the sunk, conical, stone-lined pits of an alum processing workshop dating from Late Antiquity. Alum (which is a complex sulphate of potassium and aluminium) is not commonly found in nature, but it is a fundamental element in the fixing of dyes in textiles.
The large markets of Late Roman and mediaeval Europe obtained alum principally from Phocaea in the gulf of Smyrna and from Lesbos, from where it was shipped to the main centres of western Europe. When Cyriac of Ancona visited Lesbos in the 15th century, he noted the extent to which the wealth of his Gattilusi hosts depended on their monopoly of the lucrative trade of alum.
Info: McGilchrist's Greek Islands
(From McGilchrist’s Greek Islands, © Nigel McGilchrist 2010, excerpted with his gracious permission. Click for the books)