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Inscribed Brick found in Olympia (Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipta Fund & Ephorate of Antiquities of Olympia) Inscribed Brick found in Olympia (Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipta Fund & Ephorate of Antiquities of Olympia)

Inscribed Brick in Olympia in the Top Ten Archeological Discoveries of 2018

12 December 2018

A Roman-era plaque engraved with 13 verses of Homer’s Odyssey, found last July in Ancient Olympia, was included in the list of the ten most important discoveries of 2018, according to the authoritative American journal Archaeology.

When an inscribed brick was first found amid a heap of discarded building material in a village outside the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, it appeared to be nothing special. Now, to researchers’ great surprise, they have learned it contains an excerpt from the Odyssey, the epic poem that tells of the Greek hero Odysseus’ 10-year journey following the Trojan War. The poem, which relates events of the twelfth century B.C., is thought to have been composed in the eighth century B.C. and was first written down in the sixth century B.C. Based on the style of its lettering, researchers have dated the newly discovered excerpt to the third century A.D. at the latest. They believe it is likely the oldest inscribed section of the Odyssey ever found in Greece.

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