First results

Compelling new evidence announced about the location of Homer’s Ithaca

Odysseus Unbound results announcement
London, January 9 2007: Results were announced today of new geological work which supports the Odysseus Unbound theory.

Download the full results report.

  • New scientific evidence closes in on western Kefallinia as Homer’s Ithaca
  • Catastrophic rockfalls and landslides triggered by earthquakes believed to have filled in ancient sea channel and created a landlocked isthmus
  • 122 metre (400 foot) borehole at isthmus meets no solid limestone bedrock
  • Greek Geological Institute survey pinpoints submerged marine valley
  • Bulgarian scientists locate microscopic marine fossils caught up in the rockfall
  • American ground-penetrating radar confirms channel contours
  • Ancient roads interrupted by landslides still visible on the surface
Test borehole
Drilling the test borehole
Microscopic marine fossil
Microscopic marine fossil
Rockfall above the Thinia borehole
Rockfall above the Thinia borehole
Inside the borehole
Closeup of the 122 metre borehole
Marine survey
Prof. John Underhill (right) examines seismic data during a marine survey

The new geological work involved the drilling of a 122 metre (400 foot) borehole at the southern end of the isthmus between Kefallinia and Paliki, to see whether the drill-bit would encounter solid limestone bedrock or loose rockfall and landslide material. The borehole penetrated to well below sea level and as the theory predicted, no solid limestone bedrock was encountered.

Professor John Underhill commented:
“We drilled down to a depth of 122 metres, which is almost 15 metres below today’s sea level, and we didn’t meet any solid limestone strata at all. Although this is only a first step in testing whether or not this whole isthmus was once under the sea, it is a very encouraging confirmation of our geological diagnosis.”

Download the full results report.
Download the associated press release.

Channel 4 News Science Correspondent Julian Rush filmed the drilling operation and the resulting 8-minute news film was broadcast on UK Channel 4 News.

Watch the Channel 4 News film