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< Back to question Where is the City of Troy? Show more Show less

The City of Troy is known for being the location of the famous Trojan war between the Greeks and Trojans. This war is described in Homer's Iliad, an Ancient Greek epic poem. But was Troy just a literary or mythological location or does it really exist to this day? If so, where is it?

The ruins of Troy are in Hisarlik, Turkey Show more Show less

In 1870, amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann started wide-scale excavations at Hisarlik which provided evidence that Troy existed there.
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The excavations at Hisarlik unearthed a citadel

Schliemann discovered 10 layers of archaeological sites that represented Troy over time. The large citadel was found in Troy VI, which existed during the Late Bronze Age.
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Proponents


Context

In Homer's Iliad, Troy is described as having a large citadel, with walls that the Greek army couldn't penetrate for ten years. A rich source of imagination for many ancient history enthusiasts and Homer fans, the Trojan walls were found at level Troy VI during excavations in Hisarlik.

The Argument

When Heinrich Schliemann looked to Homer's Iliad as a reference to find Troy, it was clear that he needed to find the famous Trojan citadel, the most distinguishable feature of the city. Finding the wall would really make the epic poem come to life, as one could imagine Hector being dragged around the walls of Troy, or Andromache watching over the city from the walls. Homer describes a large citadel surrounding Troy, including vast wooden gates at the entrance to the city. He describes the walls as 'well-founded’ and ‘strong-built’, and these claims are proven by the walls ability to withstand a ten-year siege.[1] In fact, the walls never did fail or crumble; instead, the Trojans were tricked by the Greeks with an ambush using a wooden horse, allowing them to sneak into the city. Schliemann discovered city walls on the 6th level of excavations, Troy VI, which provided evidence that Hisarlik was the site of Troy. Initially, scholars were skeptical because the site of Hisarlik seemed too small to be the commercial or trading centre that Homer described, but later excavations by Manfred Korfmann demonstrated that as many as 6,000 people may have lived there.[2] This showed scholars that the citadel unearthed by Schliemann could have held enough people to be the lively city of Troy. Altogether, excavations have uncovered 23 sections of the defensive walls around the citadel, eleven gates, a paved stone ramp, and the lower portions of five defensive bastions.[3]

Counter arguments

Finding remains of a walled city at Hisarlik has been one of the biggest reasons why it's been hailed as the site of Troy, but this evidence is not enough. The walls found at Hisarlik may have belonged to some other ancient citadel. Additionally, parts of the walls at Hisarlik were already destroyed when found, probably by an earthquake thousands of years ago.[4] This means the evidence is incomplete.

Premises

[P1] The Trojan walls are the defining feature of the city of Troy. [P2] Schliemann found evidence of a walled citadel at Troy VI in Hisarlik. [P3] Most scholars and experts believe this to be the Trojan wall. [P4] Troy is most likely located at Hisarlik.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.ancient.eu/troy/
  2. https://www.thoughtco.com/hisarlik-turkey-scientific-excavations-171263
  3. https://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/sub367/item2017.html
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/aug/09/lost-cities-2-search-real-troy-hisarlik-turkey-mythology-homer-iliad

This page was last edited on Monday, 7 Sep 2020 at 10:58 UTC

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