Friday, October 13, 2006

More on Ithaca quest

Drill hole begins Homeric quest

By Jonathan Amos
Science reporter, BBC News

A UK-led team is challenging cherished ideas on Greek mythology by proposing an alternative site for Ithaca.

The island was said to be the home of Odysseus, whose 10-year journey back from the Trojan War is chronicled in Homer's epic poem the Odyssey.

Most people think the modern-day Ionian island of Ithaki is the location.

But geologists are this week sinking a borehole on nearby Kefalonia in an attempt to test whether its western peninsula of Paliki is the real site.

The scientists hope to find evidence that the peninsula once stood proud, separated from Kefalonia by a narrow, navigable marine channel. It is only in the last 2,500-3,000 years - and after Homer's time - that the channel has been filled in, the team contends.

"We can't prove the story of the Odyssey is true, but we can test whether Homer got his geography right," said Edinburgh University geologist Professor John Underhill, who is supervising the drilling operation. READ FULL STORY

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