Ancient Greece Geography

TROY (Ilion)

Troy was at first unknown to be factual city, known through Homer , until an Archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann in 1870 followed the geographical clues in the 'Iliad' and began excavating North West Turkey. He was convinced he had found the legendary city of Troy and excavated a hill called Hisarlick, in Anatolia, on Turkey's coast. He discovered huge city walls and evidence of a city destroyed by fire. The archaeology site called Troia, where the city is now called now Truva by the Turkish Government.

In 1988, Manfred Kauffman along with a Team from the University of Tubingen and Cincinnati excavated this site further. Findings included arrowheads that dated to the 12 Century BC. He is also reported to have found a deep ditch around the city, as Kauffman explains this ditch would be means of defense of a much larger city than originally thought.

However, it was still unclear which level of the city was Homer's Troy of 1200 BC, which was destroyed by the Greeks, as there are nine consecutive levels of occupation at Hisarlick. There are two levels that fit this period which are named Troy VI and Troy VII, archaeologists are agreeable to VII, which was destroyed by Fire in 1250 BC-1200BC.

At this time, as told by Homer's Iliad the King of Troy, was Priam, which was waged war upon the Trojans by the Achaeans (Greeks) over Helen, the wife of Agamemnon, who was kidnapped by Paris, the Prince of Troy. As Paris refused to return Helen, the War is thought to have lasted about ten years or more and eventually the Greeks won by using the deception of offering the Trojans a statue of a Horse as a gift that they would take inside the Walls of Troy, once inside the statue was filled with the Greek warriors that were able to open the Gates of Troy allowing and the Greeks to overcome, burn and pillage the city.

Other references to the City of Troy include Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.

The language spoken in the ancient city of Troy is not certain, but though that the inhabitants, Trojans could understand Greek.


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