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  • 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)

  • 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)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:50 am

Greece: clay slab writing could be oldest Odyssey excerpt

Associated Press

 

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 archaeological, 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 cooperation 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.