Homer's ancient Ithaca may not be Ithaki

Jan 10, 2007

The home of Greek king and Homeric warrior Odysseus may be a peninsula of Kefalonia, not Ithaki, as previously thought, British history sleuths said.

Robert Bittlestone, a management consultant, and two professors of classics and geology offered rock from Kefalonia as proof of the ancient Greek's home, the Telegraph said. Scholars debated for centuries the whereabouts of Ithaca, the lost kingdom of the hero of the Trojan War.

Based on core samples, sea depth surveys and satellite imaging, Bittlestone and the others determined bands on the rock may have resulted from seismic activity that filled in the channel to the Paliki peninsula, Bittlestone said.

Bittlestone said he developed an interest after a vacation to the area. He was struck by how Homer's description of ancient Ithaca did not match modern-day Ithaki, and began scrutinizing literary, geological and archaeological evidence.

"Unlike many historical speculations, our answer to the age-old mystery of Ithaca's location makes a prediction that can be tested by geological techniques," Bittlestone said.

Team members said they hope to raise money to continue their explorations that could lead to excavations to search for Odysseus's city and palace.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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