Archeological discovery backs myth of Odysseus
Archeologists have found what may be the real-life home of Odysseus
A palace from the eighth century BC that Greek archeologists claim was the home of Odysseus has been discovered in modern-day Ithaca, supporting theories that Homer's epic hero was real.
Nearly 3,000 years after Odysseus returned from his journey, archeologists from the University of Ioannina said they found the remains of an extensive three-storey building, with steps carved out of rock and fragments of pottery.
The complex also features a well from the eighth century BC, roughly the period in which Odysseus is believed to have been king of Ithaca.
The location "fits like a glove" with Homer's description of the view from the palace, the archeologists claim.
The layout of the complex, where Thanassis Papadopoulos and his team have been digging for 16 years, is similar to palaces found at Mycenae, Pylos and other ancient sites.
The claim will be greeted with scepticism by the many scholars who believe that Odysseus, along with other key characters from the Homer's epic such as Hector and Achilles, were purely fictional.
"Whether this find has a connection with Ulysses or not is interesting up to a certain point, but more important is the discovery of the royal palace," said Adriano La Regina, an Italian archaeologist.
Further complicating the identification of the site is the doubt over whether the ancient kingdom of Ithaca was located on its modern day namesake, Ithaki.
A British researcher, Robert Bittlestone, has said Homer's descriptions bear little resemblance to the island and that ancient Ithaca was in fact located on the Paliki peninsula, on the island of Cephalonia.
He believes that Paliki was once an island, separated from the rest of Cephalonia by a marine channel that has since been filled in by rock falls triggered by earthquakes.
Enlisting the help of geologists and ancient historians, he documented the controversial theory in a 2005 book, Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer's Ithaca.
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