The image is from Wikipedia Commons
East tower and cul-de-sac wall before the east gate of Troy VI, considered the floruit of Bronze Age Troy. The complex would have been surmounted and augmented by mud-brick structures.
|Location||Tevfikiye, Çanakkale Province, Turkey|
|Periods||Early Bronze Age to Byzantine Empire|
|Website||Troia Archaeological Site|
|Official name||Archaeological Site of Troy|
|Criteria||ii, iii, vi|
|Designated||1998 (22nd session)|
|Region||Europe and Asia|
Troy (Ancient Greek: Τροία, Troía, Ἴλιον, Ílion or Ἴλιος, Ílios; Latin: Troia and Ilium;[note 1] Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 Wilusa or 𒋫𒊒𒄿𒊭 Truwisa; Turkish: Truva or Troya) was a city in the far northwest of the region known in late Classical antiquity by its Roman provincial or regional names, Asia Minor ("lesser Asia"), or Anatolia ("place of the rising sun") now Anadolu in modern Turkey, just south of the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida. The present-day location is the hill of Hisarlik and its immediate vicinity. In modern scholarly nomenclature, the Ridge of Troy (including Hisarlik) borders the Plain of Troy, flat agricultural land, which conducts the lower Scamander River to the strait. Troy was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion);[note 2] this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa.
A new capital called Ilium (from Greek: Ἴλιον, Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric and declined gradually in the Byzantine era, but is now a Latin Catholic titular see.
In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlik, and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale. Schliemann had been at first skeptical about the identification of Hisarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert. After negotiations with Calvert, Schliemann resolved to excavate the whole mound, beginning with Calvert's excavations on the eastern half of the Hisarlik site, which was on Calvert's property. The inital deep trench across the mound is still called "Schliemann's trench." These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Schliemann at first identified the earlier cities with Homer's Troy, but subsequent archaeologists believed it to have been Troy VII. In the last few decades it has been identified with the city called Wilusa by the Hittites (the probable origin of the Greek Ἴλιον).
Today a small village near the ruins, Tevfikiye, supports the tourist trade visiting the Troia archaeological site. It lies within the province of Çanakkale, some 30 km south-west of the provincial capital, also called Çanakkale. The current map shows Ilium a little way inland from the Scamander estuary across the plain of Troy. Due to Troy's location near the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea, it was a central hub for military activities and trade.
Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.
Ancient Greek historians variously placed the Trojan War in the 12th, 13th, or 14th centuries BC: Eratosthenes to 1184 BC, Herodotus to 1250 BC, and Duris of Samos to 1334 BC. The major school of modern classical archaeology associates Homeric Troy with archaeological Troy VII.
In the Iliad, the Achaeans set up their camp near the mouth of the River Scamander (modern Karamenderes), where they beached their ships. The city of Troy itself stood on a hill, across the plain of Scamander, where the battles of the Trojan War took place. The site of the ancient city is some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the coast today, but 3,000 years ago the mouths of Scamander were much closer to the city, discharging into a large bay that formed a natural harbor, which has since been filled with alluvial material. Recent geological findings have permitted the identification of the ancient Trojan coastline, and the results largely confirm the accuracy of the Homeric geography of Troy.
In November 2001, the geologist John C. Kraft from the University of Delaware and the classicist John V. Luce from Trinity College, Dublin, presented the results of investigations, begun in 1977, into the geology of the region. They compared the present geology with the landscapes and coastal features described in the Iliad and other classical sources, notably Strabo's Geographia, and concluded that there is a regular consistency between the location of Schliemann's Troy and other locations such as the Greek camp, the geological evidence, descriptions of the topography and accounts of the battle in the Iliad.
Besides the Iliad, there are references to Troy in the other major work attributed to Homer, the Odyssey, as well as in other ancient Greek literature (such as Aeschylus's Oresteia). The Homeric legend of Troy was elaborated by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. The Greeks and Romans took for a fact the historicity of the Trojan War and the identity of Homeric Troy with the site in Anatolia. Alexander the Great, for example, visited the site in 334 BC and there made sacrifices at tombs associated with the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus. In Piri Reis book Kitab-ı Bahriye (Book of the Sea, 1521) which details many ports and islands of the Mediterranean, the description of the island called Tenedos mentions Troy and it ruins, lying on the shore opposite of the island.
The 1995 discovery of a Luwian biconvex seal at Troy VII sparked heated debate over the language that was spoken in Homeric Troy. Frank Starke of the University of Tübingen has recently argued that the name of Priam, king of Troy at the time of the Trojan War, is related to the Luwian compound Priimuua, which means "exceptionally courageous". "The certainty is growing that Wilusa/Troy belonged to the greater Luwian-speaking community," although it is not entirely clear whether Luwian was primarily the official language or in daily colloquial use.
Search for Troy
With the rise of critical history, Troy and the Trojan War were, for a long time, consigned to the realms of legend. However, the true location of ancient Troy had from classical times remained the subject of interest and speculation.
The Troad peninsula was the anticipated location. Early modern travellers in the 16th and 17th centuries, including Pierre Belon and Pietro Della Valle, had identified Troy with Alexandria Troas, a ruined town approximately 20 km south of the currently accepted location. In the late 18th century, Jean Baptiste LeChevalier had identified a location near the village of Pınarbaşı, Ezine as the site of Troy, a mound approximately 5 km south of the currently accepted location. LeChavalier's location, published in his Voyage de la Troade, was the most commonly accepted theory for almost a century.
Frank Calvert was born into an English Levantine family on Malta in 1828. He was the youngest of six sons and one daughter born to James Calvert and his wife, the former Louisa Lander, the sister of Charles Alexander Lander, James' business partner. In social standing they were of the aristocracy. James was a distant relative of the Calverts who founded Baltimore, Maryland, and Louisa was a direct descendant of the Campbells of Argyll (Scottish clansmen). Not having inherited any wealth, they took to the colonies, married in Ottoman Smyrna in 1815, and settled in Malta, which had changed hands from the French to the British Empire with the Treaty of Paris (1814). They associated with the "privileged" social circles of Malta, but they were poor. James clerked in the mail and grain offices of the Civil Service.
The family regarded itself as a single enterprise, behaving in that respect like an aristocratic family or a Scottish clan. They shared property, assisted each other, lived together and had common interests, one of which was the antiquities of the Troad. They did not do well in Malta, but in 1829 the Dardanelles region underwent an upswing of its business cycle due to historical circumstances. The Greek War of Independence was about to be concluded in favor of an independent state by the Treaty of Constantinople (1832). The Levant Company, which had had a monopoly on trade through the Dardanelles, was terminated. The price in pounds of the Turkish piastre fell. A manyfold increase in British traffic through straits was anticipated. A new type of job suddenly appeared: British Consul in the Dardanelles, which brought wealth with it.[note 3]
In 1866, Frank Calvert, the brother of the United States' consular agent in the region, made extensive surveys and published in scholarly journals his identification of the hill of New Ilium (which was on farmland owned by his family) on the same site. The hill, near the city of Çanakkale, was known as Hisarlik.
The British diplomat, considered a pioneer for the contributions he made to the archaeology of Troy, spent more than 60 years in the Troad (modern day Biga peninsula, Turkey) conducting field work. As Calvert was a principal authority on field archaeology in the region, his findings supplied evidence that Homeric Troy might have existed on the hill, and played a major role in convincing Heinrich Schliemann to dig at Hisarlik.
In 1868, German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann visited Calvert and secured permission to excavate Hisarlik. He sincerely believed that the literary events of the works of Homer could be verified archaeologically. A divorced man in his 40's who had acquired some wealth as a merchant in Russia, he decided to use the wealth to follow his boyhood interest in finding and verifying the city of Troy. Leaving his former life behind, he advertised for a wife whose skills and interest were on a par with his own, Sophia. She was 17 at the time but together they excavated Troy, sparing no expense.
Heinrich began by excavating a trench across the mound of Hisarlik to the depth of the settlements, today called "Schliemann's Trench." In 1871–73 and 1878–79, he discovered the ruins of a series of ancient cities dating from the Bronze Age to the Roman period. He declared one of these cities—at first Troy I, later Troy II—to be the city of Troy, and this identification was widely accepted at that time. Subsequent archaeologists at the site were to revise the date upward; nevertheless, the main identification of Troy as the city of the Iliad, and the scheme of the layers, have been kept.
Some of Schliemann's portable finds at Hisarlik have become known as Priam's Treasure, such as the jewelry photographed displayed on Sophia. The artifacts were acquired from him by the Berlin museums. As Sophia matured she became an invaluable assistant to Schliemann, whom he employed especially in social situations requiring the use of modern Greek. After his death she became caretaker of his funds and publications, continuing to advocate for his beliefs. She was a respected socialite at Athens.
Dörpfeld and Blegen
After Schliemann, the site was further excavated under the direction of Wilhelm Dörpfeld (1893–94) and later Carl Blegen (1932–38). They each wrote books publishing their excavations. These archaeologists, though following Schliemann's lead, added a professional approach not available to Schliemann. Their excavations have shown that there were at least nine cities built, one on top of the other, at this site. In his research, Blegen came to a conclusion that Troy's nine levels could be further divided into forty-six sublevels.
In 1988, excavations were resumed by a team from the University of Tübingen and the University of Cincinnati under the direction of Professor Manfred Korfmann, with Professor Brian Rose overseeing Post-Bronze Age (Greek, Roman, Byzantine) excavation along the coast of the Aegean Sea at the Bay of Troy. Possible evidence of a battle was found in the form of bronze arrowheads and fire-damaged human remains buried in layers dated to the early 12th century BC. The question of Troy's status in the Bronze-Age world has been the subject of a sometimes acerbic debate between Korfmann and the Tübingen historian Frank Kolb in 2001–2002.
Korfmann proposed that the location of the city (close to the Dardanelles) indicated a commercially oriented city that would have been at the center of a vibrant trade between the Black Sea, Aegean, Anatolian and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Kolb disputed this thesis, calling it "unfounded" in a 2004 paper. He argues that archaeological evidence shows that economic trade during the Late Bronze Age was quite limited in the Aegean region compared with later periods in antiquity. On the other hand, the Eastern Mediterranean economy was more active during this time, allowing for commercial cities to develop only in the Levant. Kolb also noted the lack of evidence for trade with the Hittite Empire.
In August 1993, following a magnetic imaging survey of the fields below the fort, a deep ditch was located and excavated among the ruins of a later Greek and Roman city. Remains found in the ditch were dated to the late Bronze Age, the alleged time of Homeric Troy. Among these remains are arrowheads and charred remains. It is claimed by Korfmann that the ditch may have once marked the outer defenses of a much larger city than had previously been suspected. In the olive groves surrounding the citadel, there are portions of land that were difficult to plow, suggesting that there are undiscovered portions of the city lying there. The latter city has been dated by his team to about 1250 BC, and it has been also suggested—based on recent archeological evidence uncovered by Professor Manfred Korfmann's team—that this was indeed the Homeric city of Troy.
Helmut Becker utilized magnetometry in the area surrounding Hisarlik. He was conducting an excavation in 1992 to locate outer walls of the ancient city. Becker used a caesium magnetometer. In he and his team's search, they discovered a "'burnt mudbrick wall' about 400 metres south of the Troy VI fortress wall." After dating their find, it was deemed to have been from the late Bronze Age, which would put it either in Troy VI or early Troy VII. This discovery of an outer wall away from the tell proves that Troy could have housed many more inhabitants than Schliemann originally thought.
In summer 2006, the excavations continued under the direction of Korfmann's colleague Ernst Pernicka, with a new digging permit.
In 2013, an international team made up of cross-disciplinary experts led by William Aylward, an archaeologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was to carry out new excavations. This activity was to be conducted under the auspices of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and was to use the new technique of "molecular archaeology". A few days before the Wisconsin team was to leave, Turkey cancelled about 100 excavation permits, including Wisconsin's.
In March 2014, it was announced that a new excavation would take place to be sponsored by a private company and carried out by Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. This will be the first Turkish team to excavate and is planned as a 12-month excavation led by associate professor Rüstem Aslan. The University's rector stated that "Pieces unearthed in Troy will contribute to Çanakkale’s culture and tourism. Maybe it will become one of Turkey’s most important frequented historical places.”
Troy Historical National Park
The Turkish government created the Historical National Park at Troy on September 30, 1996. It contains 136 square kilometres (53 sq mi) to include Troy and its vicinity, centered on Troy. The purpose of the park is to protect the historical sites and monuments within it, as well as the ecology of the region. In 1998 the park was accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2015 a Term Development Revision Plan was applied to the park. Its intent was to develop the park into a major tourist site. Plans included marketing research to determine the features most of interest to the public, the training of park personnel in tourism management, and the construction of campsites and facilites for those making day trips. These latter were concentrated in the village of Tevfikiye, which shares Troy Ridge with Troy.
Public access to the ancient site is along the road from the vicinity of the museum in Tevfikiye to the east side of Hisarlik. Some parking is available. Typically visitors come by bus, which disembarks its passengers into a large plaza ornamented with flowers and trees and some objects from the excavation. In its square is a large wooden horse monument, with a ladder and internal chambers for use of the public. Bordering the square is the gate to the site. The public passes through turnstiles. Admission is usually not free. Within the site the visitors tour the features on dirt roads or for access to more precipitous features on railed boarwalks. There are many overlooks with multilingual boards explaining the feature. Most are outdoors, but a permanent canopy covers the site of an early megaron and wall.
Troy as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The archaeological site of Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.
For a site to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it must be claimed to have Outstanding Universal Value. This means that it must be historically, culturally, or scientifically significant to all peoples of the world in some manner. According to the UNESCO site on Troy, its historical significance was gained because the site displays some of the "first contact between...Anatolia and the Mediterranean world". The site's cultural significance is gained from the multitudes of literature regarding the famed city and history over centuries. Many of the structures dating to the Bronze Age and the Roman and Greek periods are still standing at Hisarlik. These give archeological significance to the site as well.
More information on the UNESCO qualifications of Troy can be found on the UNESCO website.
In 2018 the Troy Museum (Turkish Troya Müzesi) was opened at Tevfikiye village 800 metres (870 yd) east of the excavation. A design contest for the architecture had been won by Yalin Mimarlik in 2011. The cube-shaped building with extensive underground galleries holds more than 40,000 portable artifacts, 2000 of which are on display. Artifacts were moved here from a few other former museums in the region. The range is the entire prehistoric Troad. Displays are multi-lingual. In many cases the original contexts are reproduced.
Some of the most notable artifacts uncovered at Hisarlik are known as Priam's Treasure. Most of these pieces were crafted from gold and other precious metals. Heinrich Schliemann put this assemblage together from his first excavation site, which he thought to be the remains of Homeric Troy. He gave them this name after King Priam, who is said ln the ancient literature to have ruled during the Trojan War. However, the site that housed the treasure was later identified as Troy II, whereas Priam's Troy would most likely have been Troy VII. One of the most famous photographs of Sophia made not long after the discovery depicts her wearing a golden headdress, which is known as the "Jewels of Helen" (see under Schliemann above).
Other pieces that are a part of this collection are:
- copper artifacts - a shield, cauldron, axeheads, lance heads, daggers, etc.
- silver artifacts - vases, goblets, knife blades, etc.
- gold artifacts - bottle, cups, rings, buttons, bracelets, etc.
- terra cotta goblets
- artifacts with a combination of precious metals
More information on these treasures can be found on the Priam's Treasure site.
Fortifications of the city
Literary Troy was characterized by high walls and towers, summarized by the epithet "lofty Ilium." Some other epithets were "well-walled," "with lofty gates," "with fine towers." Any archaeological candidate for being the literary city would therefore have to show evidence for the walls and towers. Schliemann's Troy fits this qualification very well. High walls and towers are in evidence at every hand. Hisarlik, the name of the hill on which Troy is situated, is Turkish for "the fortress."
The walls of Troy, first erected in the Bronze Age between at least 3000 and 2600 BC, were its main defense, as is true of almost any ancient city of urban size. Whether Troy Zero featured walls is not yet known. Some of the known walls were placed on virgin soil (see the archaeology section below). The early date of the walls suggests that defense was important and warfare was a looming possibility right from the beginning.
The walls surround the citadel, extending for several hundred meters, and at the time they were built were over 17 feet (5.2 m) tall. They were made of limestone, with watchtowers and brick ramparts, or elevated mounds that served as protective barriers.
The second run of excavations, under Korfmann, revealed that the walls of the first run were not the entire suite of walls for the city, and only partially represent the citadel. According to Korfmann, "There was also a lower city that went with the Late Bronze Age Troja,...1750-1200 BCE." This city had a perimeter 0f 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) end enclosed an area 16 times that of the citadel. It was protected by a ditch surmounted by a wall of mud brick and wood. Moreover, the citadel walls were surmounted by structures of mud brick. The stone part of the walls currently in evidence were "...five meters thick and at least eight meters high - and over that a mudbrick superstructure several meters high...," which totals to about 15 metres (49 ft) for the citadel walls at about the time of the Trojan War. The present-day walls of Troy, then, portray little of the ancient city's appearance, any more than bare foundations characterize a building.
Prehistory of Troy
What Schliemann actually found as he excavated the hill of Hisarlik somewhat haphazardly were contexts in the soil parallel to the contexts of geologic layers in rock. Exposed rock displays layers of a similar composition and fossil content within a layer discontinuous with other layers above and below it. The layer represents an accumulation of detritus over a continuous time, different from the times of the other layers.
Similarly Schliemann found layers of distinctive soil each containing more or less distinctive artifacts differing often markedly from other layers. He had no ready explanation for the discontinuity between layers, such as "destruction," although this interpretation has sometimes been applied. Presumably "destruction" is to be interpreted to mean some sort of malicious event perpetrated by humans or a natural disaster, such as an earthquake. In most cases no such disaster can be proved. On the contrary, the "many layers illustrate the gradual development of civilization in northwestern Asia Minor."[note 4]
The discontinuities of culture in different layers might be explained in a number of ways. A settlement might have been abandoned for peaceful reasons, or it might have undergone a renovation phase. These are hypotheses that must be ruled in or ruled out by evidence, or simply be left unruled until evidence should be discovered.
What Schliemann found is that the area now called "the citadel" or "the upper city" was apparently placed on virgin soil. It was protected by fortifications right from the start. The layering effect was caused in part by the placement of new fortifications and new houses over the old. Schliemann called these fortified enclosures "cities" (rightly or wrongly). In his mind the site was composed of successive cities. Like everyone else, he speculated whether a new city represented a different population, and what its relationship to the old was. He numbered the cities I, II, etc., I being on the bottom. Subsequent archaeologists turned the "cities" into layers (rightly or wrongly), named according to the new archaeological naming conventions then being developed. The layers of ruins in the citadel at Hisarlik are numbered Troy I – Troy IX, with various subdivisions.
Until the late 20th century, these layers represented only the layers on the hill of Hisarlik. Archaeologists following Schliemann picked up the trail of his researches adopting the same fundamental assumptions, culminating in the work and writings of Carl Blegen in the mid-20th century. In a definitive work, Troy and the Trojans, he summarized the layers names and the dates he had adopted for them. Without further excavation, Blegen's was the last word. There were, however, some persistent criticisms not answered to general satisfaction. Hisarlik, about the size of a football field, was not large enough to have been the mighty city of history. It was also far inland, yet the general historical tradition suggested it must have been close to the sea.
The issues finally devolved on the necessity for further excavation, which was undertaken by Korfmann starting 1988. He concentrated on the Roman city, which was not suspected as being over Bronze Age remains. A Bronze Age city, at low elevations, was discovered beneath it. As it is unlikely that there were two Troys side by side, the lower city must have been the main seat of residence, to which the upper city served as citadel. Korfman now referred to the layers of the lower city as associated with the layers of the citadel. The same layering scheme was applicable. The lower city was many times the size of the citadel, answering the size objection.
Meanwhile independent geoarchaeological research conducted by taking ground cores over a wide area of the Troad were demonstrating that, in the time of Troy I, "... the sea was right at the foot of 'Schliemann's Trench' during the earliest periods of Troja." A few thousand years earlier the ridge of Troy was partly surrounded by an inlet of the sea occupying the now agricultural area of the lower Scamander River. Troy was founded as an apparently maritime city on the shore of this inlet, which persisted throughout the early layers and was present to a lesser degree, farther away, subsequently. The current water table depends on the degree of irrigation of the now agricultural lands. Trench flooding has slowed investigation of the lower levels in the lower city.
The whole course of archaeological investigation at Troy has resulted in no single chronological table of layers. Moreover, due to limitations on the accuracy of C14 dating, the tables remain relative; i.e., absolute, or calendar dates, cannot be precisely assigned. In regions of the Earth where both history and C14 dating are available, there is often a gap between them, termed by Renfrew a chronological or archaeological "fault line." The two models, historical and archaeological, do not correspond, just as the contexts on either side of a geologic fault line do not correspond. "This line divides all Europe except the Aegean from the Near East."
Table of layers
The table below concentrates on two systems of dates: Blegen's from Troy and the Trojans,[note 5], representing the last of the trend from Schliemann to the mid-20th century, and Korfmann's, from Troia in Light of New Research in the early years of the 21st century, after he had had a chance to establish a new trend and new excavations.
Prior to Korfmann's excavations, the nine-layer model was considered comprehensive of all the material at Troy. Korfmann discovered that the city was not placed on virgin soil, as Schliemann had concluded. There is no reason not to think that, in the areas he tested, Schliemann did find that Troy I was on virgin soil. Korfmann discovered a layer previous to Troy I under a gate to Troy II. He dated it 3500 BC to 2920 BC, but did not assign a name. The current director of excavation at Troy, Rüstem Aslan, is calling it Troy 0 (zero). Roman numerals have no zero, but zero is one number less than I.
Troy 0 has been omitted from the table below, due to the uncertainty of its general status. Archaeologists at the site before Korfmann had thought that Troy I began with the Bronze Age at 3000 BC. Troy zero is before this date. The remains of the layer are not very substantial. Whether the layer is to be counted as part of the preceding Chalcolithic, or whether the dates of the Bronze Age are to be changed, has not been decided through the regular channel of journal articles. One 2016 PhD Thesis complained: "... the stratigraphic sequence of the renewed excavations is presented differently by different collaborators of Korfmann ... So, until an agreed stratigraphy of Korfmann’s cycle is published, the employment of Troy as a yardstick for the whole of the Anatolian EBA remains problematic."[note 6]
For example, in Korfmann 2003, p. 31 Korfmann elaborates beyond the chronology of Cobet's table to make new proposals regarding the layer, Troy VIIa (which he also presents in the Guidebook): "Troia VIIa should be assigned culturally to Troia VI," asserting that "there were no substantial differences in the material culture between the two periods." He suggests that Dőrpfeld's classification of the material subsequently in VIIa as VIi should be restored, claiming that, regarding the details, Blegen had been "entirely in agreement" even though his chronology featured Troy VIIa.[note 7] He then laments "the old terminology has, unfortunately, been retained. Confusion is to be avoided at all costs." As this view has not yet been tested in the journals and is not universal, it is mainly omitted from the table (Cobet's chart, however, includes Korfmann's VIIb 3.) This new and yet unresolved material, including Troy Zero, may, however, be included in the sections and links below reporting on specific layers
Korfmann also found that Troy IX was not the end of the settlements. Regardless of whether the city was abandoned at 450 AD, a population was back for the Middle Ages, which, for those times, was under the Byzantine Empire. As with Troy Zero, no conventional scholarly classification has been tested in the journals. The literature mentions Troy X, and even Troy XI, without solid definition. The table below therefore omits them.
The sequence of archaeological layering at one site evidences the relative positions of the corresponding periods at that site; however, these layers often have a position relative to periods at other sites. It is possible to define relative periods over a wide region of sites and for a larger slice of time. Determining wider correspondences is a major objective of archaeology. The establishment of a "yardstick," or reliable sequence, such as the elusive one mentioned above, is a desirable outcome of archaeological analysis.
The table below states the broader connections under "General Period." It references primarily the chronologies presented in the educational site created and maintained by Jeremy Rutter and team and published by Dartmouth College, entitled Aegean Prehistoric Archaeology.[note 8] The time period is generally "the Bronze Age," which has an early (EB or EBA), a middle (MB or MBA), and a late (LB or LBA). The sites are distributed over Crete ("Minoan," or M), the Cyclades ("Cycladic," or C), the Greek mainland ("Helladic," or H), and Western Turkey ("Western Anatolian," no abbreviation).
|Troy I||3000 BC||2920 BC||2500 BC||2550 BC||Western Anatolian EB 1 late|
|Troy II||2500 BC||2550 BC||2200 BC||2250 BC||Western Anatolian EB 2|
|Troy III||2200 BC||2250 BC||2050 BC||2100 BC||Western Anatolian EB 3 early|
|Troy IV||2050 BC||2100 BC||1900 BC||1900 BC||Western Anatolian EB 3 middle|
|Troy V||1900 BC||1900 BC||1800 BC||1700 BC||Western Anatolian EB 3 late|
|Troy VI||1800 BC||1700 BC||1300 BC||1300 BC||West. Anat. MBA (Troy VI early)
West. Anat. LBA (Troy VI middle and late)
|Troy VIIa||1300 BC||1300 BC||1260 BC||1190 BC||Western Anatolian LBA|
|Troy VIIb 1||1260 BC||1190 BC||1190 BC||1120 BC||Western Anatolian LBA|
|Troy VIIb 2||1190 BC||1120 BC||1100 BC||1020 BC||Western Anatolian LBA|
|Troy VIIb 3||1020 BC||950 BC||Iron Age – Dark Age Troy|
|Troy VIII||700 BC||750 BC||85 BC||Iron Age – Classical and Hellenistic Troy|
|Troy IX||85 BC||450 AD||Iron Age – Roman Troy|
The first city on the site was founded in the 3rd millennium BC. During the Bronze Age, the site seems to have been a flourishing mercantile city, since its location allowed for complete control of the Dardanelles, through which every merchant ship from the Aegean Sea heading for the Black Sea had to pass. Cities to the east of Troy were destroyed, and although Troy was not burned, the next period shows a change of culture indicating a new people had taken over Troy. The first phase of the city is characterized by a smaller citadel, around 300 ft in diameter, with 20 rectangular houses surrounded by massive walls, towers, and gateways. Troy II doubled in size and had a lower town and the upper citadel, with the walls protecting the upper acropolis which housed the megaron-style palace for the king. The second phase was destroyed by a large fire, but the Trojans rebuilt, creating a fortified citadel larger than Troy II, but which had smaller and more condensed houses, suggesting an economic decline. This trend of making a larger circuit, or extent of the walls, continued with each rebuild, for Troy III, IV, and V. Therefore, even in the face of economic troubles, the walls remained as elaborate as before, indicating their focus on defense and protection.
When Schliemann came across Troy II, in 1871, he believed he had found Homer's city. Schliemann and his team unearthed a large feature he dubbed the Scaean Gate, a western gate unlike the three previously found leading to the Pergamos. This gate, as he describes, was the gate that Homer had featured. As Schliemann states in his publication Troja: "I have proved that in a remote antiquity there was in the plain of Troy a large city, destroyed of old by a fearful catastrophe, which had on the hill of Hisarlık only its Acropolis with its temples and a few other large edifices, southerly, and westerly direction on the site of the later Ilium; and that, consequently, this city answers perfectly to the Homeric description of the sacred site of Ilios."Also, he uncovered what he referred to as The Palace of Priam, after the king during the Trojan War. This reference is incorrect because Priam lived nearly a thousand years after Troy II.
Troy VI and VII
Troy VI was destroyed around 1250 BC, probably by an earthquake. Only a single arrowhead was found in this layer, and no remains of bodies. However, the town quickly recovered and was rebuilt in a layout that was more orderly. This rebuild continued the trend of having a heavily fortified citadel to preserve the outer rim of the city in the face of earthquakes and sieges of the central city.
Troy VI can be characterized by the construction of the pillars at the south gate. There appears to be no structural use for the pillars. The pillars have an altar-like base and an impressive magnitude. This provides some clues, and they most likely were used as a symbol for the religious cults of the city. Another characterizing feature of Troy VI is the tightly packed housing near the Citadel and construction of many cobble streets. Although only few homes could be uncovered, this is due to reconstruction of Troy VIIa over the tops of them.
Also, discovered in 1890, in this layer of Troy VI was Mycenaean pottery. This pottery suggests that during Troy IV, the Trojans still had trade with the Greeks and the Aegean. Furthermore, there were cremation burials discovered 400m south of the citadel wall. This provided evidence of a small lower city south of the Hellenistic city walls. Although the size of this city is unknown due to erosion and regular building activities, there is significant evidence that was uncovered by Blegen in 1953 during an excavation of the site. This evidence included settlements just above bedrock and a ditch thought to be used for defense. Furthermore, the small settlement itself, south of the wall, could have also been used as an obstacle to defend the main city walls and the citadel.
The topic still under debate is whether Troy was primarily an Anatolian-oriented or Aegean-oriented metropolis. While it is true that the city would have had a presence in the Aegean, pottery finds and architecture strongly hint at an Anatolian orientation. Only about one percent of the pottery discovered during excavation of Troy VI was Mycenaean. The large walls and gates of the city are closely related to many other Anatolian designs. Furthermore, the practice of cremation is Anatolian. Cremation is never seen in the Mycenaean world. Anatolian hieroglyphic writing along with bronze seals marked with Anatolian hieroglyphic Luwian were also uncovered in 1995. These seals have been seen in approximately 20 other Anatolian and Syrian cities from the time (1280 - 1175 BC).
Still, Troy VI was dominated by long distance trade. Troy VI during the height of its establishment held anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people. At its time, Troy would have been a large and significant city. The location of Troy was extremely practical in the Early Bronze Age (2000–1500 BC). It acted as a middle ground for long distance trade with regions as far distant as Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Baltic region, Egypt, and the western Mediterranean in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. Earlier trade connections during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages provided Troy VI with favorable power in the long distance trade industry of the region. The amount of objects thought to be going through Troy VI would have been quite large, obtaining metals from the east and various objects from the west including perfumes and oils. This is known due to the findings of hundreds of shipwrecks off the Turkish coast. Found in these ships was an abundance of goods. Some of these ships carried over 15 tons in goods. The goods discovered in these wrecks included copper ingots, tin ingots, glass ingots, bronze tools and weapons, ebony and ivory, ostrich egg shells, jewelry and large amounts of pottery from across the Mediterranean.
There have been 210 shipwrecks discovered in the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age. Of these 210, 63 were discovered off the Turkish coastline. This provides a great deal of evidence for Troy VI being a prominent trading center for the region. But, the evidence at the site of Troy itself is minimal. Looking at the layers of Troy VI, we discover that there is little documentation of the excavation of this layer, and little documentation of the goods discovered in this layer. We also know that there were few trading centers during the Late Bronze Age. This is due to the low volume of trade during this period. The trading centers would have most likely been directly along trade routes. Troy is just north of most major long-distance trade routes. It may be unfair to classify Troy VI as a trading center but we do know that Troy VI was a prominent metropolis that did contribute to the trade of the region.
Troy VIIa can be highlighted by most of the population of Troy moving within the walls of the Citadel. This is most likely due to the threat from the Mycenaeans. Troy VI is believed to have been destroyed by an earthquake. This would not have been uncommon. Earthquakes are common throughout the region. Troy VIIa is believed to be built over the ruined Troy VI, which makes the excavation process of Troy difficult.
Troy VIIa, which has been dated to the mid-to-late-13th century BC, is the most often cited candidate for the Troy of Homer. Troy VIIa appears to have been destroyed by war. The evidence of fire and slaughter around 1184 BC, which brought Troy VIIa to a close, led to this phase being identified with the city besieged by the Greeks during the Trojan War. This was immortalized in the Iliad written by Homer.
Initially, the layers of Troy VI and VII were overlooked entirely, because Schliemann favoured the burnt city of Troy II. It was not until the need to close "Calvert's Thousand Year Gap" arose—from Dörpfeld's discovery of Troy VI—that archaeology turned away from Schliemann's Troy and began working towards finding Homeric Troy once more.
"Calvert's Thousand Year Gap" (1800–800 BC) was a period not accounted for by Schliemann's archaeology and thus constituted a hole in the Trojan timeline. In Homer's description of the city, a section of one side of the wall is said to be weaker than the rest. During his excavation of more than three hundred yards of the wall, Dörpfeld came across a section very closely resembling the Homeric description of the weaker section. Dörpfeld was convinced he had found the walls of Homer's city, and now he would excavate the city itself. Within the walls of this stratum (Troy VI), much Mycenaean pottery dating from Late Helladic (LH) periods III A and III B (c. 1400–c. 1200 BC) was uncovered, suggesting a relation between the Trojans and Mycenaeans. The great tower along the walls seemed likely to be the "Great Tower of Ilios".
The evidence seemed to indicate that Dörpfeld had stumbled upon Ilios, the city of Homer's epics. Schliemann himself had conceded that Troy VI was more likely to be the Homeric city, but he never published anything stating so. The only counter-argument, confirmed initially by Dörpfeld (who was as passionate as Schliemann about finding Troy), was that the city appeared to have been destroyed by an earthquake, not by men. There was little doubt that this was the Troy of which the Mycenaeans would have known.
The archaeologists of Troy concerned themselves mainly with prehistory; however, not all the archaeology performed there falls into the category of prehistoric archaeology. Troy VIII and Troy IX are dated to historical periods. Historical archaeology illuminates history. In the LBA records mentioning Troy begin to appear in other cultures. This type of evidence is termed protohistory. The literary characters and events must be classified as legendary. Prehistoric Troy is also legendary Troy. The legends are not history or protohistory, as they are not records. It was the question of their historicity that attracted the interest of such archaeologists as Calvert and Schliemann. After many decades of archaeology, there are still no answers. There is still a "fault line" between history or legend and archaeology.
Troy in Late Bronze Age Hittite and Egyptian records
In the 1920s, the Swiss scholar Emil Forrer proposed that the placenames Wilusa and Taruisa found in Hittite texts should be identified with Ilion and Troia, respectively. He further noted that the name of Alaksandu, a king of Wilusa mentioned in a Hittite treaty, is quite similar to Homer's Paris, whose birthname was Alexandros. Subsequent to this, the Tawagalawa letter (CTH 181) was found to document an unnamed Hittite king's correspondence to the king of the Ahhiyawa, referring to an earlier "Wilusa episode" involving hostility on the part of the Ahhiyawa. The Hittite king was long held to be Mursili II (c. 1321–1296), but, since the 1980s, his son Hattusili III (1265–1240) is commonly preferred, although his other son Muwatalli (c. 1296–1272) remains a possibility.
Inscriptions of the New Kingdom of Egypt also record a nation T-R-S as one of the Sea Peoples who attacked Egypt during the XIX and XX Dynasties. An inscription at Deir el-Medina records a victory of Ramesses III over the Sea Peoples, including one named "Tursha" (Egyptian: [twrš3]). It is probably the same as the earlier "Teresh" (Egyptian: [trš.w]) on the stele commemorating Merneptah's victory in a Libyan campaign around 1220 BC.
These identifications were rejected by many scholars as being improbable or at least unprovable. However, Trevor Bryce championed them in his 1998 book The Kingdom of the Hittites, citing a piece of the Manapa-Tarhunda letter referring to the kingdom of Wilusa as beyond the land of the Seha River (the classical Caicus and modern Bakırçay) and near the land of "Lazpa" (Lesbos). Recent evidence also adds weight to the theory that Wilusa is identical to archaeological Troy. Hittite texts mention a water tunnel at Wilusa, and a water tunnel excavated by Korfmann, previously thought to be Roman, has been dated to around 2600 BC. The identifications of Wilusa with Troy and of the Ahhiyawa with Homer's Achaeans remain somewhat controversial but gained enough popularity during the 1990s to be considered majority opinion. That agrees with metrical evidence in the Iliad that the name ᾽Ιλιον (Ilion) for Troy was formerly Ϝιλιον (Wilion) with a digamma.[note 2]
Classical and Hellenistic Troy (Troy VIII}
In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes sacrificed 1,000 cattle at the sanctuary of Athena Ilias while marching through the Hellespontine region towards Greece. Following the Persian defeat in 480–479, Ilion and its territory became part of the continental possessions of Mytilene and remained under Mytilenaean control until the unsuccessful Mytilenean revolt in 428–427. Athens liberated the so-called Actaean cities including Ilion and enrolled these communities in the Delian League. Athenian influence in the Hellespont waned following the oligarchic coup of 411, and in that year the Spartan general Mindaros emulated Xerxes by likewise sacrificing to Athena Ilias.[note 1] From c. 410–399, Ilion was within the sphere of influence of the local dynasts at Lampsacus (Zenis, his wife Mania, and the usurper Meidias) who administered the region on behalf of the Persian satrap Pharnabazus.[note 1]
In 399, the Spartan general Dercylidas expelled the Greek garrison at Ilion who were controlling the city on behalf of the Lampsacene dynasts during a campaign which rolled back Persian influence throughout the Troad. Ilion remained outside the control of the Persian satrapal administration at Dascylium until the Peace of Antalcidas in 387–386. In this period of renewed Persian control c. 387–367, a statue of Ariobarzanes, the satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia, was erected in front of the temple of Athena Ilias. In 360–359 the city was briefly controlled by Charidemus of Oreus, a Euboean mercenary leader who occasionally worked for the Athenians. In 359, he was expelled by the Athenian Menelaos son of Arrabaios, whom the Ilians honoured with a grant of proxeny—this is recorded in the earliest civic decree to survive from Ilion. In May 334 Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont and came to the city, where he visited the temple of Athena Ilias, made sacrifices at the tombs of the Homeric heroes, and made the city free and exempt from taxes. According to the so-called 'Last Plans' of Alexander which became known after his death in June 323, he had planned to rebuild the temple of Athena Ilias on a scale that would have surpassed every other temple in the known world.
Antigonus Monophthalmus took control of the Troad in 311 and created the new city of Antigoneia Troas which was a synoikism of the cities of Skepsis, Kebren, Neandreia, Hamaxitos, Larisa, and Kolonai. In c. 311–306 the koinon of Athena Ilias was founded from the remaining cities in the Troad and along the Asian coast of the Dardanelles and soon after succeeded in securing a guarantee from Antigonus that he would respect their autonomy and freedom (he had not respected the autonomy of the cities which were synoikized to create Antigoneia). The koinon continued to function until at least the 1st century AD and primarily consisted of cities from the Troad, although for a time in the second half of the 3rd century it also included Myrlea and Chalcedon from the eastern Propontis. The governing body of the koinon was the synedrion on which each city was represented by two delegates. The day-to-day running of the synedrion, especially in relation to its finances, was left to a college of five agonothetai, on which no city ever had more than one representative. This system of equal (rather than proportional) representation ensured that no one city could politically dominate the koinon. The primary purpose of the koinon was to organize the annual Panathenaia festival which was held at the sanctuary of Athena Ilias. The festival brought huge numbers of pilgrims to Ilion for the duration of the festival as well as creating an enormous market (the panegyris) which attracted traders from across the region. In addition, the koinon financed new building projects at Ilion, for example a new theatre c. 306 and the expansion of the sanctuary and temple of Athena Ilias in the 3rd century, in order to make the city a suitable venue for such a large festival.
In the period 302–281, Ilion and the Troad were part of the kingdom of Lysimachus, who during this time helped Ilion synoikize several nearby communities, thus expanding the city's population and territory.[note 9] Lysimachus was defeated at the Battle of Corupedium in February 281 by Seleucus I Nikator, thus handing the Seleucid kingdom control of Asia Minor, and in August or September 281 when Seleucus passed through the Troad on his way to Lysimachia in the nearby Thracian Chersonese Ilion passed a decree in honour of him, indicating the city's new loyalties. In September Seleucus was assassinated at Lysimachia by Ptolemy Keraunos, making his successor, Antiochus I Soter, the new king. In 280 or soon after Ilion passed a long decree lavishly honouring Antiochus in order to cement their relationship with him.[note 10] During this period Ilion still lacked proper city walls except for the crumbling Troy VI fortifications around the citadel, and in 278 during the Gallic invasion the city was easily sacked. Ilion enjoyed a close relationship with Antiochus for the rest of his reign: for example, in 274 Antiochus granted land to his friend Aristodikides of Assos which for tax purposes was to be attached to the territory of Ilion, and c. 275–269 Ilion passed a decree in honour of Metrodoros of Amphipolis who had successfully treated the king for a wound he received in battle.
Roman Troy (Troy IX)
A new city called Ilium (from Greek Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric in the Roman province Hellespontus (civil Diocese of Asia), but declined gradually in the Byzantine era.
The city was destroyed by Sulla's rival, the Roman general Fimbria, in 85 BC following an eleven-day siege. Later that year when Sulla had defeated Fimbria he bestowed benefactions on Ilion for its loyalty which helped with the city's rebuilding. Ilion reciprocated this act of generosity by instituting a new civic calendar which took 85 BC as its first year. However, the city remained in financial distress for several decades, despite its favoured status with Rome. In the 80s BC, Roman publicani illegally levied taxes on the sacred estates of Athena Ilias and the city was required to call on L. Julius Caesar for restitution; while in 80 BC, the city suffered an attack by pirates. In 77 BC the costs of running the annual festival of the koinon of Athena Ilias became too pressing for both Ilion and the other members of the koinon and L. Julius Caesar was once again required to arbitrate, this time reforming the festival so that it would be less of a financial burden. In 74 BC the Ilians once again demonstrated their loyalty to Rome by siding with the Roman general Lucullus against Mithridates VI. Following the final defeat of Mithridates in 63–62, Pompey rewarded the city's loyalty by becoming the benefactor of Ilion and patron of Athena Ilias. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar likewise bestowed benefactions on the city, recalling the city's loyalty during the Mithridatic Wars, the city's connection with his cousin L. Julius Caesar, and the family's claim that they were ultimately descended from Venus through the Trojan prince Aeneas and therefore shared kinship with the Ilians.
In 20 BC, the Emperor Augustus visited Ilion and stayed in the house of a leading citizen, Melanippides son of Euthydikos. As a result of his visit, he also financed the restoration and rebuilding of the sanctuary of Athena Ilias, the bouleuterion (council house) and the theatre. Soon after work on the theatre was completed in 12–11 BC, Melanippides dedicated a statue Augustus in the theatre to record this benefaction.
Ecclesiastical Troy in late antiquity
No later than the 4th century, it was a suffragan of the provincial capital's Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cyzicus, in the sway of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Several bishops are historically documented:
- Orion attended the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325
- Leucadius was among the schismatic group of Arian heretical bishops abandoning the Council of Sardica and Council of Philippopolis in 344 to convene their alternative 'synod'.
- Theosebius partook in the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
- Johannes participated in the second Council of Constantinople in 553.
- Nicetas attended the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.
- Georgius participated in the Council of Constantinople of 869–870 which condemned Patriarch Photios of Constantinople.
Modern ecclesiastical Troy
The diocese was nominally restored no later than 1926 as Latin Titular bishopric of Ilium (Latin) / Ilio (Curiate Italian) / Ilien(sis) (Latin adjective).
It has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank:
- Michel d'Herbigny S.J. (1926.02.11 – 1937.07)
- James Maguire (1939.10.05 – 1944.10.10)
- Eugene Joseph McGuinness (1944.11.11 – 1948.02.01)
- Leo John Steck (1948.03.13 – 1950.06.19)
- Francesco Maria Franco (1950.07.10 – 1968.02.07)
A small minority of contemporary writers argue that Homeric Troy was not at the Hisarlik site, but elsewhere in Anatolia or outside it—e.g. in England, Pergamum, Scandinavia, or Herzegovina. These proposals have not been accepted by mainstream scholarship.
Such was the fame of the Epic Cycle in Roman and Medieval times that it was built upon to provide a starting point for various founding myths of national origins. The most influential, Virgil's Aeneid, traces the journeys of the Trojan prince Aeneas, supposed ancestor of the founders of Rome and the Julio-Claudian dynasty. In a later era, the heroes of Troy, both those noted in Homer and those invented for the purpose, often continued to appear in the origin stories of the nations of Early Medieval Europe. The Roman de Troie was common cultural ground for European dynasties, as a Trojan pedigree was both gloriously ancient and established an equality with the ruling class of Rome. A Trojan pedigree could justify the occupation of parts of Rome's former territories.
On that basis, the Franks filled the lacunae of their legendary origins with Trojan and pseudo-Trojan names: in Fredegar's 7th-century chronicle of Frankish history, Priam appears as the first king of the Franks.[full citation needed] The Trojan origin of France was such an established article of faith that in 1714, the learned Nicolas Fréret was Bastilled for showing through historical criticism that the Franks had been Germanic, a sore point counter to Valois and Bourbon propaganda.[full citation needed]
Likewise, Snorri Sturluson, in the prologue to his Icelandic Prose Edda, traced the genealogy of the ancestral figures in Norse mythology to characters appearing at Troy in Homer's epic, notably making Thor to be the son of Memnon. Sturluson referred to these figures as having made a journey across Europe towards Scandinavia, setting up kingdoms as they went.
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