Geologists seeking Ithaca

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Category: News

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007

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Robert Bittlestone, a British management consultant turned amateur archaeologist, claimed to have settled the disparity between the Greek island of Ithaca and Homer’s legendary Ithaca. Joining him in his efforts were geologists who aimed to succeed in this hypothesis by using advanced oil-and-gas drilling techniques to sample rock formations.

It has long been believed that the modern island of Ithaca is Homer’s Ithaca, home to Odysseus. Bittlestone disputed this belief mentioning the differences in Ithaca’s location and that of Ithaca’s location in Homer’s epic Odyssey. He alternatively suggested that the peninsular region of Paliki that is connected to Kefalonia by a slender strip of land was once an island and possibly Homer’s fabled Ithaca. 

According to Bittlestone, massive land upheavals caused by earthquakes joined the island of Paliki to Kefalonia. Geologic and historic evidence showed that sometime in the remote past, Paliki was indeed separated from Kefalonia by a narrow channel of water. Furthermore, a professor of stratigraphy, that is the study of rocks, from the University of Edinburgh, John Underhill, has found the presence of rock debris along the strip of land connecting Paliki to Kefalonia, fueling thus the validity of Bittlestone’s theory.


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