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TROY - Discovery Of Bronze-Age "Refrigerators" - UPDATES

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Bianca
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« on: September 23, 2008, 03:55:39 pm »

           









                                Discovery of Bronze-Age `Refrigerators' Expands Homer's Troy






Interview by Catherine Hickley
Bloomberg.com
Sept. 17, 2008

(Bloomberg) -- The remains of two outsized earthenware pots, a ditch and evidence of a gate dating back more than 3,000 years are changing scholars' perceptions about the city of Troy at the time Homer's ``Iliad'' was set.

The discoveries this year show that Troy's lower town was much bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, according to Ernst Pernicka, the University of Tubingen professor leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey.

His team has uncovered a trench 1.4 kilometers long, 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep. The full length of the trench, which probably encircled the city and served a defensive purpose, may be as much as 2.5 kilometers, Pernicka said in an interview in his office in Mannheim, Germany. Troy may have been as big as 40 hectares, with a population as high as 10,000, he estimates.

``Troy was not the center of the world, but it was a regional hub,'' Pernicka said. ``This year, we established that the trench continues around the town. We've found a southern gate, a southeastern gate, traces of a southwestern gate and I expect to find an eastern gate. So we have evidence of town planning.''

The discovery of the trench around the lower town vindicates Pernicka's predecessor, Manfred Korfmann, who faced accusations from a fellow German scholar that he was misleading the public in his interpretation of the ditch, which might have been for drainage. After Korfmann died in 2005, Pernicka took over his work and aims to publish the results of 20 years of digging and research.

``I think we have proven that the trench was not for drainage,'' Pernicka said.
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 04:00:27 pm »




             









Layers of Building



Excavating Troy is a challenge because the city was destroyed and rebuilt 10 times. Archaeologists have to sift through layers of Byzantine, Roman and Greek building to get to Troy VI and VIIa, the era in which the action in Homer's Trojan war epic is most likely to have been set, between 1500 and 1180 B.C.

Parts of two ceramic ``pithoi,'' or pitchers, were found in the trench near the edge of the town. The pots, which could be as much as 2 meters tall, were kept in or near homes, suggesting that houses in the lower town stretched to the trench, another indication that Troy's lower town was fully inhabited and the city was bigger than revealed in previous expeditions, Pernicka said.

``You can call them Bronze-Age refrigerators,'' he said. ``They were used for storing water, oil or maybe grain.''

Troy's wealth -- first discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated a hoard of gold from the site in the 19th century -- probably came from agriculture and horse breeding, Pernicka said. Hittite texts call the city Wilusa and describe it as a vassal state to the Hittite empire.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 04:02:27 pm »





             

               TROY - NEW EXCAVATIONS









Trojan War?



Pernicka sees no reason to question that the site in the western Anatolia region of Turkey is the setting for the ``Iliad,'' as a small minority of scholars still do. Homer described the topography, identifying rivers and islands that are visible today. Yet though there is evidence of conflicts, no archaeologist can prove that the Trojan War took place, he said.

``The Iliad speaks of a 10-year war,'' Pernicka said. ``That could be a metaphor. It could be that events that took place over decades were squeezed together. In Troy VIIa, in the 13th century B.C., there must have been an increased threat because at least three gates in the citadel were closed. The surrounding region was also much less populated than in the previous era.''

What archaeology has shown is that Troy's golden era ended in 1180. Where preceding Trojans had used potters' wheels for about 1,000 years, ceramics found on the site show the technology was lost with the arrival of a new people, probably from the Balkans, who reverted to hand-made pots. The newcomers also built their houses in a completely different style.
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2008, 04:04:58 pm »










Regional Decline



``Many other towns in the eastern Mediterranean declined at this time,'' Pernicka said. ``It could have been a kind of world war at the end of the Bronze Age.''

Funding for Pernicka's excavations runs out next year. One of the main projects for the future is a museum in Troy that will double as a research center. The Turkish government has promised funds for an architecture competition, and Pernicka hopes to find sponsors to help finance the museum.

Of the 500,000 visitors to Troy each year, about 80 percent are tourists, he said.

``They don't come just to see traces of walls,'' he said. ``In Troy, you have to imagine a lot, and you can only do that if you have read the `Iliad.' We can't expect, say, Chinese or Japanese tourists to have done that. It is important because it is the roots of Western culture, and that is something you can show much better in a museum.''





The findings of the latest Troy excavations form part of an exhibition at


Mannheim's Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum,

called

                              ``Homer: The Myth of Troy in Poetry and Art,''

which runs through Jan. 18, 2009.
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2008, 04:10:07 pm »



TROY - NEW EXCAVATIONS
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 04:15:28 pm »


             

              An aerial view of Troy as it is now,

              after a century of excavation.


The result of Schliemann's first excavation, the "great trench" carved into the upper central part of the mound,

is still visible.











While his early methods were crude and destroyed a lot of valuable data, Schliemann did learn as he went, and later excavators (especially Carl Blegen) were able to piece together the complex history of Troy, which contained many levels and sub-levels.

Bronze Age culture at Troy shared many similarities with that of mainland Greece, and we should probably imagine a decorated, fortified palace comparable to Mycenae or Tiryns as "Homer's" Troy.
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 04:19:28 pm »

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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 04:22:26 pm »

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 04:25:07 pm »

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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 04:27:47 pm »

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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 04:32:18 pm »

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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 04:33:52 pm »

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 04:35:42 pm »

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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 05:20:51 pm »



RUINS OF TROY

Photo Source:
NASA

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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 10:36:33 am »









                                Archaeological dig may have unearthed the city of Troy






September 29th, 2008
by ANI -

Ancient Greek texts like The Iliad and The Odyssey are revealing new secrets about the ancient world, the most prominent being the discovery of a site that might be the city of Troy.

Thanks to evidence from a range of disciplines, experts are in the middle of a massive reappraisal of these foundational works of Western literature.

Recent advances in archeology and linguistics offer the strongest support yet that the Trojan War did take place, with evidence coming from the large excavation at the likely site of Troy, as well as new analysis of cuneiform tablets from the dominant empire of the region.

In 1870, German businessman and self-taught archeologist Heinrich Schliemann, landed on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) with a copy of The Iliad in his hand.

On the plain before him, an unimpressive mound of grass and stone and bushes swelled 100 feet into the air. Tradition had long identified this mound, called Hisarlik, as a possible site of the historical Troy.

Schliemann soon reported to the world that he and his diggers had found the charred remains of Troy just where Homer said it would be.

The news was a worldwide sensation, and Schliemanns view that the Homeric epics were fairly accurate chronicles of Late Bronze Age history, dominated scholarship for more than 50 years.

But, in fact, Schliemann hadn't found Homers Troy.

Hisarlik was occupied from 3000 BC until 500 AD, and subsequent archeological excavations showed that the civilization Schliemann chipped from the mound actually ended more than 1,000 years before the Trojan War could realistically have been fought.

But the newest digging at Troy is tipping the consensus again, perhaps this time for good. Schliemann and Blegen, it now appears, had only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

The mound at Hisarlik thrusts up from the plain, but most of its ruins are concealed beneath the surface.

In a project that has now been underway for 20 years, the German archeologist Manfred Korfmann and hundreds of collaborators have discovered a large lower city that surrounded the citadel.

Using new tools, such as computer modeling and imaging technology that allows them to see into the earth before digging, Korfmann and his colleagues determined that this citys borders were 10 to 15 times larger than previously thought.

They also found that it supported a population of 5,000 to 10,000 - a big city for its time and place, with impressive defenses and an underground water system for surviving sieges.

Critically, the city bore signs of being pillaged and burned around 1200 BC, precisely the time when the Trojan War would have been fought. (ANI)
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