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Author Topic: Odysseus/Ulysses  (Read 4501 times)
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« on: March 17, 2009, 05:13:03 pm »


             Amateur scholar Robert Bittlestone says that the valley forming an isthmus on Cephalonia was once a sea channel dividing the island in two. "Across that valley," he says, "lay the ancient island of Ithaca," home to Odysseus.

Jeffrey Aaronson
/Network Aspen

                                            Odyssey's End?: The Search for Ancient Ithaca

A British researcher believes he has at last pinpointed the island to which Homer's wanderer returned and a new wealth of data supports his thesis

By Fergus M. Bordewich
Photographs by Jeffrey Aaronson
Smithsonian magazine, April 2006

Editor's Note, Sept. 3, 2008:

For more than 2,000 years, scholars have been mystified—and intrigued—by a question central to our understanding of the ancient world: where is the Ithaca described in Homer’s Odyssey? The descriptions in the epic poem do not coincide with the geography of the modern island of Ithaca, one of the Ionian islands off the western coast of Greece.

Since 2003, an interdisciplinary team of geologists, classicists and archaeologists has proposed a paradigm-shifting answer to that longstanding mystery. Their breakthrough thesis—that the peninsula of Paliki on the Ionian island of Cephalonia is the site of ancient Ithaca—was revealed in Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Ancient Ithaca, published to acclaim by Cambridge University Press in 2006.

Today, in the journal Geoscientist, the team of pioneering scholars releases detailed results and photographs from research conducted during the first year of sponsorship by FUGRO, the global geotechnical, survey and geoscientific service company. The wealth of new data provides dramatic support for the thesis that Paliki is indeed the site of ancient Ithaca.

According to the Odysseus Unbound project, “The new research shows that [Paliki], this 6 kilometre-long and up to 2 kilometre-wide isthmus contains no solid limestone down to at least 90 metres below today’s surface. The fill is loose material, some of which originated through catastrophic rockfall from the earthquake-prone mountain range to the east.”

The newly released data provide significant support for the theory that the peninsula of Paliki, today connected to the island of Cephalonia by an isthmus, was once separate, low-lying island of Homer’s Ithaca. As scholar Gregory Nagy of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., told Smithsonian Magazine in 2006: “We’ll never read the Odyssey in the same way again."
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 05:18:56 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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