Homeric Ithaca

Professor of ARCHEOLOGY I. Papadopoulos Confirms


Interview to Kostas Agoris

• sixteen years of excavations and investigations had the archaeological mission of the University of Ioannina in Ithaca, until the head of the prominent archaeologists and teachers of Prehistoric Archeology Thanasis Papadopoulos and Litsa Kondorli, issue the recent announcement for the discovery of the palace of the legendary Ulysses made literally around the world!

In difficulties MAP-englishencountered by the lengthy investigation, except that the same has as its object the buildings of the 13th century BC, with all that implies for the current situation, this also includes the occasional lack of funds necessary for the continuation of the bureaucracy that created the whole process delays and obstacles similar to those experienced and the… Odysseas in the return journey from Troy!

The exception throughout this time was, as he says in an exclusive interview “professor of Archeology and of the most important researchers of the prehistoric culture of our country Mr. Thanasis Papadopoulos, the University of Ioannina, which was always alongside excavation of Ithaca.

Mr Papadopoulos in the interview the following refers, inter alia, to argue in favor of the view that the building which has been disclosed in the so-called “Homer School” is the palace of the legendary king of Ithaca Ulysses, the problems faced and continues to find ever in front of the investigation of the group, while at the same time underlines once again the need to protect and highlighting the excavation works which today are literally at the mercyof smugglers.

The Interview

• How important is the discovery of the palace of the legendary Ulysses?

– we feel it is very important, because it is the epic center of the hero of the ithaca, Odysseus (Ulysses). The importance of this discovery will be the judge and the scientific community and people interested in classic education and have experienced the Epics of Homer.

• Υou announced with great attention that you find the Palace. Its like you are keeping as a scientist second thought

– Is Right because that is imposed by the scientific ethics. We do not have the… infallible Pope, not fundamentalism. But we have enough evidence on the basis of which we make in this case. Fit many things. Our findings dating back to the age it should be lived the hero of Ithaca, approximately the 13th century BC and say it and believe.

• Be certified at some point with absolute confidence that what you found is indeed the palace of Odysseus?

– this is no longer certified. Unless you find somewhere else the palace and tell us that it has all the elements which connect to the Ulysses, which is unlikely. In such a case, if a mycenean palace is situated in another part of the ithaca or in Kefalonia, there is no doubt the possibility of King Odysseus had two palaces. Why could say, have a in the North and in the South of the island, to better monitor the situation?

I will say something relating to this. In the Argolida and a short distance between them we have three Mycenean acropolises (citadels and now said that there is another in Argos. In an area so there are four palaces. We are not ivory tower and not saying that only where there is a palace, but at the moment only found there. If in the future excavations elsewhere and found something, we will discuss.

• All this years there were many foreign archaeologists who have argued that the palace of Odysseus may be elsewhere, outside Ithaca, as Lefkada.

-Anyone can make its own assessment. But let me remind you that they have written very negative reviews for this kind of speculation.

• From the so far findings what is the most important thing in favor of the view that this found is the palace of Odysseus?

First of all, the architectural vestiges. It is arranged in two levels, One above and one below, on the model of the MYCENEAN palaces, which is consistent with the descriptions of Homer who wrote that the staff of the palace of Odysseus heave constantly steps. These levels communicate with stairwells which really are the “School of Homer”. There is a difference in height 11 meters from one level to another and they communicate via two staircases which is carved in the rock. Also at the bottom level there is a large rectangular tripartite building with three rooms, i.e. the games, the prodrome and the road sloping down, identical in size and shape with the palaces of the palace of Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos. At the same time, in the upper level have a room and a bath room machining laboratory, which fit in a palatial complex.

Even more powerful element is an underground artificial fountain (water source). For this we we brought a premium throughout the world professor for ancient hydraulic engineering of the University of Munich, who testified that the fountain is from the 13th century, without in any way tο knows from the beginning. In fact, published by the conclusion of an international conference.

We also have a bull’s heads adorned and plates from a tomb monument to the tank east underground krinis. We have mobile findings, mycenaean ceramics, which is a few but, as this area was inhabited because of its strategic location from the prehistoric to Roman years.

• Was and youngest settlement at this point

– the area where it was found the complex with two levels it was inhabited, and this fact is that we do not have many prehistoric findings, because the next coming cleaned and have gotten what valuable already existed. I must tell you that happened at Mycenae. The Mycenaean buildings were found after cleaned by on the Hellenistic times. It was the same in the Nea Tiryntha.


• Which are no longer the immediate priorities? Will Continue the excavation?

– First we have an immediate need to be fenced and to protect the luggage. Today, anyone can join in it. At times we had some operations when they did this, but we could not φραξουμε space because it was private. Just last year was compulsory purchase, with generous funding of the University of Ioannina and received at the public. Now, after the announcement, the risk even more. It can even be destroyed monuments.

• Who is responsible for the protection of the excavating?

– Primarily the Ministry of Culture, the local tax authorities of Antiquities, but always in collaboration with the University of Ioannina, under the auspices of the excavation. We are ready to cooperate with any authority of the state, in order to protect the monuments.

In second place is the financial assistance to continue the excavation, which is also important, because we have a large area that still has not been investigated.

• University of Ioannina was patron, as you said all these years in the effort…

– Continued! And from time to time we bore and the Ministry of Culture and local bodies, including the Ithacans Club everywhere and the Friends of Homer Club in Ithaca, the Municipality of Ithaca, while from last year gave us a considerable amount and the Département Ithaca. Even last year was awarded by the University of Ioannina for the effort.

• Wait corresponding support and from the new rector, Mr Albanis, now that changes the rector authority;

– we have seen yet, but I think that at some point, although he certainly wishes, will visit and will inform you of the excavation.

• Excavations in the “School of Homer” when will continue?

Still have not received a license from the ministry of culture, while we are waiting for the money Prefecture of Ithaca, which may be given in the University, but requires the entire bureaucratic process until arriving at our hands. From the University went to the Ministry of Culture, in order to be approved, that he wrote again to the prefecture to be introduced and resend and this whole circle holds about two years. We still have not received nor euros, which means that getting permission, to take, we will not be able to continue the excavation.

• In excavating in Ithaca have found some funerary monuments…

– we found some Roman graves. This is what I said earlier, that this area was inhabited over time. The last period of occupation was the roman years, so we found something κεραμοσκεπεις graves.

• Maybe if these were the Mycenaean times, there was some connection with ulysses.

– There is a tomb monument, tomb pens, as we say, who has an entrance with stone performances and there is an empty box-shape tomb, but no ceramic or other findings, when we say that it is a prehistoric, but we cannot be absolutely sure that is why…

• let us talk a little and the difficulties of the ‘Profession’ ARCHAEOLOGIST. For example it took so many years of effort and fight from you in Ithaca, in order to reach today in the notice of the palace of Odysseus…

– each profession has its own problems. But these problems and difficulties are treated when she loves the job they do. I say this to my students.: “If you love the your work if you love science, you are not going to have success in your life.

We are dealing with the archeology over 40 years and we are still, in spite of our age, to make this work, moving today, outside the Ithaca programs excavations in areas such as the Achaia and Jordan. In this last country our is the only Greek archaeological mission and it is important that the University of Ioannina, Greece give the “present” in such excavations.

What I mean to say is that problems exist but the fight against one, and this is also the satisfaction to bother us. If not insist moreover though none back to the difficulties do not going on and that is the rule for each profession.

• These days are imported into that part of history – Archeology, here at the University of Ioannina young students. What would you say to those who have dream to become archaeologists?

– The problem is that many of these children to finish the Archeology or have already finished, as are many of my colleagues, is brilliantly and a love of science. Unfortunately, however, remain unemployed.

• Professional providing a graduate archaeologist is therefore not easy.

– This is a matter which should ensure the State and I say this because i am archaeologist. Archeology together with tourism and the beautiful nature we have is the heavy ‘industry’ of our country. What we have, nice sea, the sky, the ancient and our people who are willing to do miracles when there are conditions. That is why when you leave our country and go abroad shine!

This provision by the State for vocational rehabilitation of young children is the worst thing one can imagine. And I repeat that there are children who are a glorious archeologists, but they live with the anxiety of whether it will be possible to survive.


• appeal to all stakeholders, local and non-support of excavations in the ithaca made in a recent statement, which announced the discovery of the palace of Odysseus, the archaeologists professors Prehistoric Archeology Litsa Kondorli-Papadopoulos (head of the excavation) and Thanasis Papadopoulos. In detail, the statement reads as follows:

“the disclosure of the Ulysses Palace is the result of 16 year research and excavating a group of scientists and partners, thank them all separately. The Important findings in the ithaca confirm that culture we deserve every opportunity can have, especially in these days of the place we strives for good and promising new. This is why we should support these monuments and the continuation of the excavation, maintenance and accommodation, to surrender the School hostage in the historic island of Ithaca as visitable archeological site. The agents involved, the University of Ioannina, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Local Government, the establishments of the country and individuals who are interested and love Homer and the homeland of Odysseus, Ithaca, must not leave the excavated program of the ithaca”.


• In Agios Athanasios -School of Homer, the foothills of the Exogis North Ithaca, where it was visible building residues and had done so in the past piecemeal inquiries by Greek and foreign archaeologists detected and recognized the prehistoric Acropolis with cyclopean wall and four gates.

At the bottom of the building complex ανδηρο detected tripartite rectangle building-Palace, identical to corresponding palaces from the Mycenean palaces Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos.

The upper level revealed prehistoric buildings warehouses, socks, laboratory treatment of metals, and auxiliary rooms.

Of the two carved into the rock stairway the large west is divided with landings in two parts to mimic perhaps minoan standards.

The Mycenaean underground fountain, east and a short distance from the main building complex, kept in good enough condition, is built with the known Mycenae way and looks with respective fountains of Mycenae and Tiryns acropolis.

To the northeast of the Palais is a small square of tomb full desecration. To the east of the underground water source, investigated large wall in circle prehistoric monument with a stepped entrance to the east from the Backfilling of which are derived at least two bull’s heads adorned, bones primitive oxtail (bos primigenius), prehistoric ceramic and earthenware furi signs linear literacy.

Source: www.friendsofhomer.gr