Clay slab writing could be oldest Odyssey excerpt
This undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 shows a slab inscribed with 13 verses from the Odyssey's Book 14 that was found near the Olympia sanctuary, dating to the Roman period, possibly before the 3rd century. (Greek Culture Ministry via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:47AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:41PM EDT
NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Greece's Culture Ministry says an inscription on a clay slab unearthed at the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games could be the oldest written excerpt from Homer's epic poem the Odyssey ever discovered.
The ministry says an initial estimate dates the slab, inscribed with 13 verses from the Odyssey's Book 14, to the Roman period, possibly before the 3rd century.
If this estimate is confirmed, the slab could be a "magnificent archeological, epigraphical, literary and historic item," the ministry says.
The slab was found near the Olympia sanctuary during digs carried out under the direction of Ilia Antiquities Ephorate Director Kolia Erofili-Irida in co-operation with a team of archaeologists from German universities.
The Games were held at Olympia in southern Greece from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D.