• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Ancient Discoveries: Troy. This report covers a brief historic background on the discovery of the Hisarlik site of Troy; Heinrich Schliemann (refer to figure 1.), its discoverer and his methodologies whilst excavating the site. It focuses primarily on his

Extracts from this document...


This report covers a brief historic background on the discovery of the Hisarlik site of Troy; Heinrich Schliemann (refer to figure 1.), its discoverer and his methodologies whilst excavating the site. It focuses primarily on his second campaign, the most famous of the five- and his lack of scientific archaeological structure whilst excavating, rather using philological and relative dating methods; mistakes as a result of careless excavations, and the legacy it has left on history and archaeology of Troy till this day. As a child, Heinrich Schliemann had an obsession with Homer's epic cycles/poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. After cornering the market at the age of 41, he became a millionaire and retired from merchantry to pursue his love of archaeology, committing to proving the actual historicity of the "Trojan War" and the Homeric city of Troy. (Refer to figure 2.) Schliemann had a good idea of where to begin looking. In 1868, Schliemann journeyed to Greece and Asia Minor in search of the lost city, travelling north-west Turkey to examine both mounds Bunarbashi and Hisarlik. Because, according to Greek myth, the general Agamemnon collected his force in Aulis, a site on the eastern shores of Greece, Troy must have lain to the east of Greece. The Iliad mentioned that Mount Ida was visible from the walls of Troy, but from Bunarbashi the mountain could not be seen. There were also a number of topographical discrepancies such as, the distance from the sea being eight miles where Schliemann approximated from the text that it should not be more than four. ...read more.


Stratigraphy had been observed and understood in the Danish peat bogs, the Jutland barrows, and the prehistoric Swiss Lake dwellings, but Hisarlik was the first large dry-land man-made mound to be dug. Schliemann was no pioneer of the rudimentary scientific archaeology and did not adhere to a scientific method when carelessly excavating Troy. Later on as his career progressed, he eventually enlisted the help of specialists such as Rudolph Virchow (pathologist, anthropologist, pre-historian, biologist), Archibald Sayce (linguist), Max M�ller (German philologist and orientalist), and Wilhelm D�rpfeld. Wilhelm D�rpfeld, a famous architect can be accredited for teaching Schliemann archaeological method, specifically how to dig stratigraphically at Troy, majorly assisting with Troy's stratigraphical dating methodology (and after Schliemann's death was able to determine that Troy VI, not Troy II was most probably Homer's Troy). Ironically, D�rpfeld joined the team around 1882, once Schliemann had already mass-destructively excavated Troy layer-by-layer from top through to bottom. It was then that Schliemann realized that he had gone too far because the settlement at the Hisarlik site predated Troy II by 1,700 years, however all in vain as irreversible damage done to the stratigraphy meant the loss of its multiple cities. A popular tourist attraction, this can still be seen today in Turkey at the ruins of Troy where walls from different historical periods have been excavated. (Refer to Figures 8 and 9.) Many other archaeologists followed Schliemann, conducting more methodical and scientific excavations of lands surrounding the Aegean. Recent archaeology of the classic civilizations of Europe has concentrated on the lives of common citizens. ...read more.


Schliemann, not only argued this using philological comparison to the Iliad, but also proved that Bunarbashi could not be the site of troy, because of potsherds-he found no potsherd older than the fifth or 6th century BC. Ancient Greek historians placed the Trojan War variously in our 12th, 13th, or 14th century BC: Eratosthenes to 1184 BC, Herodotus to 1250 BC, and Duris of Samos to 1334 BC. The legacy of Troy has since prompted Hollywood's "long love affair" with the ancient world- inspiring the genre of the "sword and sandal epics"; and continues to be a popular subject that many Hollywood directors attempt to interpret and reconstruct- despite the highly inaccurate facts regarding characters and the series of events plot development. However, they remain imbedded in our mass media and popular culture; varying from 1950s-1960s classics like that of Ben Hur, Cleopatra, Spartacus, The Ten Commandments or the more contemporary editions such as 2004 make Troy starring the likes of Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, and Orlando Bloom. (Refer to Figure 15.) In conclusion, Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of Troy served as a stepping stone in what we know as modern archaeology. He uncovered Troy of Homeric legend and found a new world of recovered history. But the question of if he really did find Homer's city of Troy, no one can know for sure. Whether or not it is, Schliemann definitely won himself a place in history as the "father of archaeology'- and his excavations at Troy are still widely studied by many students; who learn from his mistakes in crude methodology as well as adopt his romance for the lost city (or cities) of troy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Evidence for the Trojan War.

    This included what Schliemann named "The Mask of Agamemnon" which was hewn in gold. Though further research on the mask revealed it to be a lifetime before Agamemnon's time, the mask nonetheless put forward the idea that Mycenae was an economically thriving city, capable of providing for itself in the event of war.

  2. The 80s must be Understood to Understand Australia Today

    Similarly, CDs and CD players were introduced in the 1980s, digitalising music in Australia. Currently, the device used to play music is the 'iPod', something largely influenced by the introduction of the CD. It can therefore be seen that many music trends of the present day had influences from the 1980s.

  1. Archaeology: Methods of Preservation (Tutankhamen & Iceman)

    However nothing could hide the fact that Tutankhamen's body had been hastily and poorly preserved compared to both his predecessors and successors19.

  2. Bog Bodies. Preserved bodies are crucial to historians in unravelling information on past ...

    The evidence of murder and conflict so early in history creates a better image of the structure of society in history and thus allows a better understanding of past civilisations. In addition to Otzi, the 2300 year old preserved body that was found in Ireland, dubbed Clonycavan Man, reveals much about status in past civilisations.

  1. Theories for the decline of the Mayan Civilisations

    it is likely that the peasants abandoned the city, leaving the nobility alone, incapable of providing for themselves. English archaeologist and epigrapher, Sir John Thompson supported this theory, suggesting that the peasant revolt would explain the various incomplete infrastructures found in the Mayan area.

  2. Research Paper; The Important Scientific Discoveries of the Renaissance: Medicine

    A natural result was the emergence of so-called medical sects: rationalists, empiricists, and methodists. The rationalists were those who believed that the primary task of medicine was to use reason to investigate causes of health, disease, and physiological theories.iii Those in the empiricist position said that theory is completely useless

  1. Why is establishing the date of the Theran eruption so important for the chronology ...

    Here there is no question: the approximately 150 year adjustment required by the physicists is usually not even mentioned; the conventional archaeological dates hold complete sway. Although it might be tempting to try to move Tuthmosis III 150 years earlier, so that his dates coincided with the Theran eruption (as

  2. In the context of India in the 1840s to 1947, how far can independence ...

    suspended all business and fasted to signify their hatred of the legislation. ?The whole of India from one end to the other, towns as well as villages, observed a complete hartal on the day. It was a most wonderful spectacle.?[16] The suspension of economic activity proved to be effective as in 1905; it was greatly detrimental to Britain?s position.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work