Troy was an ancient Greek City of the Bronze Age. Known as Troia in Ancient Greece, this city is a part of Greek Epic Cycle, in particular; The Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. This mythological city is located within the province of Çanakkale.
The city’s unique location allowed its inhabitants to control the Dardanelles, known as Çanakkale Strait now a days. Initially, very ship used this waterway for passing through the Aegean Sea and head for the Black Sea. Therefore, it was a central hub for the military and trade.
Troy was situated on the Anatolian peninsula, known as the Asia Minor in ancient classical times. This edge of the continent of Asia has much significance for being the first connection between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world.
The Discovery of Troy
Heinrich Schliemann, a pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age, admired the works of Homer. In the later 19th century, he persuaded to begin excavations at Pınarbaşı, a hilltop at the south end of the Trojan Plain. Later archaeologists condemned much of his work for having destroyed the main layers of the real Troy.
After 1988, an international team continued the excavation under the supervision of Prof. Dr.Manfred Korfmann from the University of Tübingen. The antique city of Troy has abundant importance in European history and literature. Therefore, it was declared a ‘Historic National Park of Troy’ and added to the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1996.
The archaeological site of Troy comprised of at least nine different settlements. The settlements built one on top of the other dates back to the early Bronze Age. The first city originated in the 3000 BC.
The Trojan Wars
The historical city of King Priam, who lead the Trojan War for 10 year between 1260–1180 BC.
According to Greek mythology, the war began with quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite for the Apple of Discord (The Golden Apple). Paris, the prince of Troy chose Aphrodite as the “fairest” and declared the apple to be hers. This decision resulted as a reward and the fairest women in the world became his wife. Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women. She was the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. Eventually, she eloped with Paris to the city of Troy.
Agamemnon, King of Mycenae and the brother of Menelaus, led the Trojan War against Troy. He plagued the city for ten years because of Paris’ insult with his troops.
Odysseus, a mythological hero of Homer, planned the Trojan Horse as a last resort. The Trojans accepted the Horse, taking it into their city walls. The Achaeans Troops hidden inside the horse, opened the city gates. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans and destroyed many temples and buildings within the city.
Many ruins found through excavation of Troy are on display in the Museum of Çanakkale and the İstanbul Archaeological Museum. A new museum known as the Troy museum has been build to store the valuable discoveries made of this site. The award-winning design of the Troya Museum has artifects from Troy Bronze Age, Iliad Epic and Trojan War, Troas and Ilions of Ancient Roman Empire and the Ottoman Period.
These findings fascinate people from all of the world who had a great deal of interest in classical antiquity and history.