The Field Museum, Ward Theater
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605-2496
For thousands of years the Iliad has remained the classic tale of love, honor, and war. In the past century archaeological work in major sites like Mycenae, Pylos, and Troy has helped us put Homer's epics into historical perspective and has shown that many of Homer's tales were rooted in reality.
This lecture will present the exciting discoveries at Iklaina, one of the capitals of the legendary King Nestor, who figures prominently in Greek mythology and Homer's Iliad. The excavation, situated in Messenia and funded by the National Geographic Society, has brought to light remains of a palace or mansion from the period of the Trojan War. This site represents a unique case where archaeology meets mythology and ancient texts. Moreover, the impressive find (which includes Cyclopean walls, frescoes, and Europe's oldest inscribed tablet) challenges current knowledge about the origins of states, bureaucracy, and literacy in ancient Greece.