Results of geologic tests released on January 9, 2007, by British businessman Robert Bittlestone, Cambridge classicist James Diggle, and University of Edinburgh geologist John Underhill suggest further evidence to support the hypothesis that Homer's Ithaca can be found on western Kefalonia as reported in the January 2007 issue of Geotimes magazine, published by the American Geological Institute (AGI).
This hypothesis, fully explained in Geotimes, suggests that the western peninsula of the modern-day Greek island Kefalonia, called Paliki, was a separate island 3,000 years ago. Landslides and rockfalls from earthquakes filled in the valley between Kefalonia and Paliki, thus disguising the ancient landscape that was described by Homer in the Odyssey.
Underhill and colleagues have conducted extensive geological and geophysical studies on the southern end of the isthmus between Kefalonia and Paliki where the team drilled a 122-meter borehole. The team never encountered bedrock but instead bored through unconsolidated rockfall and landside material even below sea level. The absence of bedrock and presence of very young marine fossils in the reworked borehole sediments confirm that rockfalls and landslides could have filled in the ancient sea channel to create the isthmus between the once separate islands. If this hypothesis holds true, Paliki likely matches Homer's description of Ithaca.
To read more about the latest results and further evidence that Paliki could be Homer's Ithaca, go to http://www.geotimes.org/current/WebExtra010907.html.
Geotimes is the popular voice of the earth sciences. Each month, the magazine offers clear and engaging coverage of earth, energy and environment topics for readers interested in understanding the science of the planet and the impact it has on society.
The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in mankind's use of resources interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at http://www.agiweb.org. The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site, http://www.earthscienceworld.org.
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