News & Opinion | July 12, 2018 9:00 am

Clay Tablet May Contain Oldest Written Record of Homer’s “Odyssey”

It was found during an archaeological dig in Greece.

Homer, The Odyssey. Ulysses (Odysseus). (Culture Club/Getty Images)
Getty Images

A clay tablet discovered by archeologists near the ruined Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Olympia may have the oldest written record of Homer’s the Odyssey. The tablet has been dated back to Roman times and is engraved with 13 verses from the poem recounting the adventures of the hero Odysseus after the fall of Troy, reports BBC. Experts think the tale was written by Homer in the late 8th Century BC and would have been handed done orally for hundreds of years, until the tablet was transcribed. The Odyssey, which spans for some 12,000 lines, is widely considered to be a widely influential piece of work in Western literature, and tells the tale of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, as he spends 10 years trying to get home after participating in the fall of the kingdom of Troy.

The exact date of the tablet has not been confirmed, but the Greek culture ministry said the discovery was “a great archaeological, epigraphic, literary and historical exhibit,” according to BBC.