The Palace of Odysseus

Finding somewhere on Paliki that matches Homer’s description of Odysseus’ palace and where there is archaeological evidence of significant Late Mycenaean structures and human activity is crucial.

Kastelli lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Livadi.  There is something of a clue in the local name: Kastelli means ‘castle’.

250m high, the summit offers a superb view all around, essential for defence, and archaeologists agree that most citadels of the period were built on hilltops for that reason.

Kastelli matches many of the clues about the palace and the city in the text of the Odyssey.

  • Just as Homer describes, Kastelli overlooks the Livadi Marsh that is a prime candidate for the location of Odysseus’ harbour.
  • There are three plateaux on the side of Kastelli that could be the nearby sports ground where Homer says the suitors exercised with javelin and discus, as well as potential sites for the city and fields for crops.
  • Homer writes of a fountain close to the city.  Kastelli is well-watered, with springs and stream beds to irrigate the crops to feed the city’s population.
  • It is relatively close to where we suggest Odysseus landed on Paliki (Ithaca) at Atheras Bay (Phorcys Bay) in line with Homer’s text that says it took less than a day to make the journey.
  • Importantly, there is evidence of historic human occupation and ancient walls on the hill suggesting that it was a significant location.