Troy – Canakkale

We first find the words Troy and Troad in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey written in the 9th century B.C. Among other writers who subsequently disputed the question of Troy mere Lycurgus a contemporary of Horner, Anaximander of Miletus, barn towards the end of the 7th century B.C. Hecataeus of the some town writing in the 6th 1 century, the historian Scylax and the geographer Helianicus, Thucydides, historian of the classic age, Pliny, Strabo of the 1st century B.C. arid Polemon. Their works kept Up interest in this city, and Homer’s drama has lived throught the ages. Xerxes, King of Persia, while going to capture Greece in 480 B.C. sacrificed a bull to the lion of Minerva in remembrance of the heroes of Troy, Alexander the Macedonian, devotee of Homer paid a visit to Troy before the Battle of Granicus, crossing the Hellespont at the south end of the Gallipoli peninsula carrying his copy of the (Iliad which he always kept beside him. Following the victory at Granicus, he returned to Troy and wandered in the graveyard of the heroes killed In battle there. During a ceremony he left votive offerings on this spot. The temple dedicated to Minerva which he caused to be built became very famous. Later Lysimachos, one of Alexander’s generals, destroyed the towns round about thus leaving Troy in isolation.

troy mapIn the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus, the Romans and the Trojans were in close association. Troy had become a sacred city for the Romans, and Augustus even considered making it the capital of his empire. Whenever they had the opportunity, Roman emperors called at Troy, arranged religious ceremonies and donated works of ort to the town on every occasion. Most of these works dote from the Hellenistic period. Troy was a famous center during the Byzantine era; also Justinian built fortresses on either side of the Straits as the region was of considerable military importance.

Learned men and writers of the Renaissance visitée) Troy and, writing of these visits, they kindled interest once more in the Homerian period. In the 19th century people such as Lechevaller (1802), Rertnel (1814), Choiseul-Gouffier (1820), Charles Texier (1835) and P.W. Porchhammer (1842) traveled and carried ouf research in the region. Despite their motives having been political, they rendered great service to archaeology. As a point of departure for visits to Troy, they selected the place stil bearing the Homeric name of Tenedos (Bozcaada of today), and at the beginning they thought that the island seen from this spot, was Troy itself. With its classical architecture and majestic view, these travellers considered It the most worthy spot for the heroes of Homer.

But where was this Troy? It was Schfiemann who made reality out of the legend. When he visited the site of Troy in 1868 the Iliad was a fable. During this visit he was assisted by the brother of the American Consul at Çanakkale (Dardanelles), Frank Calvert, excavations in the fields which were part of his own farm had yielded rich additions to his collection of antiquities. It was he who aided Schliemann to discover the true site of Troy. Schliemami’s excavations at the Hisarlık mound resulted in controversy all around the world. Most authorities insisted that this was not the site af Troy. A number of these suggested that the pfoce Schliemann had found was of no importance, or If it was an Acropolis, that the town to which it belonged should lie underneath.

Opponents of Schiemann were obliged to show another spot as the site of Homer’s Troy. Some of them suggested that it was to be found at Pınarbaşı, 10 kms to the south of Hisarlık, others at Balli-dağ Hill, 13 km to the southeast or at Old Hisarlık, and there were some who favored Karatepe, S kms to the southeast of Hisarlık. They were unaware that Homer had not been a geographer and topographer In the modern sense.

He had placed his Odyssey and ¡Iliad, taken from the oldest known legends of the tribes living in Anatolia and the Near East, in a setting created by his own imagination.

Whether the site of the excavations was Novum ilium or the Troy of Homer or some other city, what was of interest from a historical and archeological point of view were the objects found there and the history to be deduced from them, There Is no doubt that Homer’s poems are important in as much as they reflect the older realities of history. They had value in that they called attention to the places where the events took place. However, the most important thing is the light thrown on reality by methodicl excavations Before beginning diggings at the actual site of Troy. Schliemann spent the years from 1863 to 1883 in digging to find the cities, places and graves mentioned by Homer and other old writings. However, at nowhere else but the mound near Hisarlik did he find a number of prehistoric cities one upon the other which fitted the description of the city of Troy in Homer’s epic.

A devoted admirer of Homer, Schliemann looked upon the mounds he was excavating as a sacred book relating the epic of heroes rather than as a mere pile of earth. Even from the first stage of the diggings which he carried out with such difficulty, Schliemann believed that he had found Homer’s Troy and made his find known. In 1873. when at a depth of 8.5 meters he found the collection of gold crowns, wreaths, bands, ear-rings, decorative ornaments, silver bars, gold and sliver piates, copper sheets, copper and bronze helmets, copper dishes, pots and shields, known as the «Treasure of King Priam», he no longer had any doubt that he had found Homer’s Troy-the seat of King Priam. Overjoyed, he hurried to send word do the Greek King that he had found the «buried treasure of the ancestors». ’ In 1874. Schliemann took the whoie of this treasure away with him, and began work at Mycenae, in the west of the peninsula of Mora, site of the golden city of Agamemnon of which Homer had written with the some excitement as he wrote of Troy. The Turkish government brought o court case against Schliemann for having removed the treasure. The case was heard in Athens, and the treasure was valued by two experts. Schiiemann was requested to pay 10,000 francs compensation and also to work at Troy for the benefit of Turkish museums for a period of three to four months. Schliemann responded magnificently, paying fifty thousand francs and doing all in his power to retain his friendship with Turkey. Excavations carried out in 1378 and 1879 yielded two new treasures. Two thirds of the find were left to Turkish museums.

As Schliemann’s diggings at Troy were very hurried and lacking in method, note was not made of where the cultural objects were found, and in consequence the period of the various layers was not clear. For him, every line of the liiad contains witnesses to the geographical sites, and Homer is a guide and instructor. But Schliemann’s writings have not provided adequate drawings and plans.

Subsequent to the death of Schliemann in 1891, the archeologist Alfred Brukner, prehistorian Max Weigel, and architect Wilhelm Welbert continued the excavations with a new program under the leadership of Dorpfeld. During this period excavations, were effected in a more up-to-date manner and the German Kaiser, Wilhelm If, took interest and provided financial qslstance. Dorpfeld’s infinite patience and intuition reawakened interest in the subject of Troy. Despite this, the chronology of the various layers found at Troy was not defined with the required precision.

However, the honor of bringing to light and establishing the chronology of the then mosi ancient settlement of Anatolia, even of the Near East, as a result of years of excavation, lies., with Schliemann and Dörpfeld.

One of the most Important points which held the interest of the world of learning, centered an the Troy excavations, and their result was the relationship of objects found during research at Boğazköy (Hattusas) in Egypt and Mesopotamia, with cultural objects discovered at Troy, brought to light on comparing them.

As a center of different civilizations, Troy had the opportunity of establishing long lasting relations with her surroundings. Her geographical position at the meeting place of a number of routes caused her to became a great center of commerce. However, the early diggings and research having been carried out without method, this aspect of the city has remained in the dark. It wjil only be passible to throw light on this subject if Troy is excavated by modern methods,

In 1932 the aim of excavations carried out with up-to-date methods under the direction of Prof. Blegen was:

(1) To ascertain with which ages the layers uncovered by Schliemann relate to other cultures and their connections with them,

(2) To learn of differences in. religion and tribes by excavating the graves in the mound and round about and examining methods of burial,

(3) To obtain detailed information ‘ on the origin and nature of the civilization producing the architecture and cultural objects by finding the graves and dwellings of the people of this period,

(4) To establish the true chronological sequence of Troy by comparing cultural layers found there with those of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions and Central Greece.


Schuemann’s  Excavayions : To the south,on the road going from Hisarlık to Akçaköy, this place is now known as Pasha Tepe. In the llliad this is mentioned as the observation point of Polites of Troy, During excavations, rock was reached at 4.5 meters and pieces of protohistoric and Archaic Greek vessels were found, but the inner tomb was not discovered. It appeared that this place had been the site of a small settlement…>>

Troy Culture Layers : The investigations of Schliemann and Dôrpfeld and the modern, well-planned excavations of the Cincinnati Group under Professor Biegen proved that Troy-consisted of 9 different culture layers...>>

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