Archeologists have announced this week that they think they have found remnants of the 3500-year old palace of the mythical hero Ajax. Ajax was the Greek warrior-king who according to Homer's Iliad was one of the most revered fighters in the Trojan War.
More than thirty years ago, the then so-called Ajax B team visited the Greek island Salamis. The team went there on invitation by Ajax Salamis. Via Athens and Piraeus the team sailed to the island of Salamis. The Dutch Ajax players hardly knew what they saw; on arrival a large, enthousiastic crowd had gathered to welcome Ajax B. Applauding, shaking hands and chanting: ‘Ajax! Ajax!’
A visit to the place where the Greek hero Ajax was born visited the next morning. The football players from Amsterdam could have been standing on top of the ruins of the recently discovered palace. ,,Where the myth says that Ajax was born, is now a small ruin. A place that makes you quiet, does something to you'', an emotional André Kraan wrote in the club magazine of July 1973.
When the Amsterdam team arrived at the stadium two hours before the match, all 5000 seats had been taken. Music, folk dancing, the minister of sport and many speeches filled the time to kickoff. The match itself had become irrelevant. Ajax Amsterdam defeated the little brother from Salamis thanks to two goals by Johnny Rep: 2-0.
Fast forward to 2006, 33 years later, and a group of archeologists led by the Greek Yannos Lolos discover a big palace that once was four storeys high with more than thirty rooms. They are certain that is was Ajax's home.
According to the Iliad, Ajax was involved in the ten-year Trojan War. The city of Troy is believed to have fallen, after a cunning trick, around 1180 BC. Lolos believes the palace to have been abandoned and left to crumble around that same time. Ajax would have been the last king to reside there.
It is one of the few cases in which a Mycenean-era palace can be almost certainly be attributed to a Homeric hero, said Lolos in the British newspaper The Times.