Troy (World Heritage)

By | September 12, 2021

Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The town, already described by Homer, with its almost 4,000-year history of settlement, was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870 and has been continuously excavated since then. At the intersection of the Anatolian and Mediterranean cultures, strategically located near the Dardanelles, the city developed an outstanding importance, which even after its fall in the 12th / 13th centuries. Century had an impact in many ways.

Troy: facts

Official title: Archaeological site of Troy
Cultural monument: according to Homer’s “Iliad” under King Priam a flourishing trading metropolis; Archaeological sites of 46 building phases in Troy, including South gate, theater, east wall and tower, east gate, megaron house, forecourt of the Athena temple, propylon, megaron buildings and Roman odeion
Continent: Asia
Country: Turkey, Northwest Turkey
Location: Troy, entrance to the Dardanelles, south of Çanakkale
Appointment: 1998
Meaning: one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world

Troy: history

3500-3000 BC Chr. Founding period of Troy
2500-2300 BC Chr. Troy II and “Priam’s Treasure”
1700 BC Chr. City with an area of ​​18,000 m²
334 BC Chr. Incorporation into the empire of Alexander the Great
85 BC Chr. almost complete destruction
1871-94 Excavations by the archaeologists Heinrich Schliemann and Dr. Wilhelm Dörpfeld
1890 Heinrich Schliemann dies
1932-38 Excavations by the American archaeologist Carl William Blegen
1988 Resumption of excavations under Prof. Dr. Manfred Korfmann (University of Tübingen) with a focus on the Bronze Age and archeobiology
1998 Excavation campaign with 70 scientific employees
2005 Manfred Korfmann’s death
2006 In Troy, digging is taking place again under the direction of Korfmann’s successor, Ernst Pernicka
2012 The Tübingen excavation campaign in Troy will expire at the end of 2012

Which is not what Gustav Schwab says

Homer’s “Iliad” at hand, Gustav Schwab’s “Classical Heroic Legends” in the “marching pack” and a fixed idea in your head of the place where the mythical Troy can be found – this is how, or at least something like that, one has a certain Heinrich Schliemann to imagine: believing, almost fanatical of the letters of his ancient Greek reading. But is Homer a serious historical source?

Schliemann, the pastor’s son from Mecklenburg, in the course of his life an agile, extremely linguistically gifted and heavily rich merchant of the industrial early days, who increased his fortune through risky and dubious business, firmly believed in his mission to discover Homer’s Troy. It was not just the myth of the Trojan War that impressed him – no: with the same admirable vehemence, including a frightening portion of criminal energy, Schliemann “knitted” his own myth. “Troy” is only one milestone in a “heroic life” filled with privation and sensations, which ostensibly had one sensational success after another, but was built on talent, tremendous diligence and downright unscrupulous enthusiasm.

In 1869 the legendary Troy had not yet been officially found, let alone excavated, and the established ancient scholarship did not take Schliemann’s first publication “Ithaca, the Peloponnese and Troy” very seriously. How should she! A presumptuous cream puff with money and charisma, on top of that a scientific dilettante, questioned just about every principle to which the relatively young science clung to since Johann Joachim Winkelmann. Fore more information about Turkey and Middle East, please visit handbagpicks.

Treasure hunter and scientist at the same time, Schliemann always proved to be a man of extremes: within a very short time, the ridiculed outsider was responsible for gold, sensations, mysteries and scandals. By the way, he also developed a “scientific conscience” disguised by himself and his “assistant”, the archaeologist Dr. Wilhelm Dörpfeld, represented excavation method, which should revolutionize archeology thoroughly. However, in a diary note from June 17, 1873 he also had to admit: “As a result of my earlier erroneous idea that Troy was only to be found on the primeval soil (…), a large part of the city was unfortunately destroyed by me in 1871 and 1872 (…) «.

When the “gold treasure of Priam” emerged from the depths of that mound of rubble that was once Troy, incorrectly dated and brought to light under more than strange circumstances, the world bowed in fascination at the elegance of the photographic image of the beautiful Sophia, Schliemann’s wife, who wore the original golden tiara with truly regal grace. The picture was created, so to speak, at night and in fog, and it helped her to become immortal as a “beautiful Hellenin”. Meanwhile, also at night and in fog, the gems of the supposed “gold treasure of Priam” were smuggled out of the country, past the impotent bureaucracy of the ailing Ottoman Empire.

The “Trojan War” over the newly stolen gold from Priam is raging on changing fronts to this day. Homer would have been delighted – or maybe Schliemann after all? In the end, the Trojan War may not have taken place at all – at least that is a thesis to be taken seriously, since the excavators unfortunately lacked relevant evidence. The “cartridge cases of antiquity,” the inevitable bronze arrowheads, which, along with blackish discoloration of the ground and split skull fragments, are indispensable indicators of a military catastrophe, are more than few and far between on the hill of Hissarlik (Troy) in the period in question.

Troy (World Heritage)