Peninsula Believed To Be Homer's Ithaca, Odysseus' Home
The long-lost city of Ithaca, home of the legendary hero Odysseus in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," is on the island of Cephalonia off the western shore of Greece, three British researchers said Thursday.
The original contours of Ithaca have been distorted over the millenniums by a series of earthquakes that raised land levels, converting it into a peninsula of Cephalonia called Paliki.
The researchers said the topographic changes hid Ithaca's identity from generations of historians and archeologists who traced Odysseus' epic journey around 1200 BC.
The team, led by Robert Bittlestone, chairman of management consulting firm Metapraxis, has identified the locations of 26 sites in Ithaca mentioned by Homer, they said.
" 'The Odyssey' fits Paliki like a glove," Bittlestone said at a London news conference for "Odysseus Unbound," a new book describing the discovery.
His co-authors are historian James Diggle of the University of Cambridge and geologist John Underhill of Edinburgh University. The next step is to dig for traces of Odysseus' castle and city as soon as the group can secure sufficient funding.
The search for the location of Ithaca has been in progress at least since the time of the 1st century Greek historian Strabo, who placed it east of Cephalonia (Kefallinia in Greek), on the modern-day island of Ithaca (Ithiki in Greek).
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