Cecil Harcourt-Smith, in his last year of office as Director, joined the steam yacht Rona belonging to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, a major donor to the BSA, in the early part of 1897. Clearly one of the objects was to identify a possible major site for excavation after the work at Phylakopi on Melos.
The cruise took Harcourt-Smith to Salonica and through the Aegean. He was particularly interested in the site of Colophon to the south of Smyrna. Hamdi Bey, Director of the Imperial Museums in Constantinople, was approached for a firman. However due to the outbreak of war in Thessaly and on Crete, the excavation never took place.
The American School also considered Colophon a suitable site to excavate though the work did not start until after the First World War in 1922 and quickly came to a halt due to events in Anatolia.