About Troy Ancient City

About the ancient city of Troy
About the ancient city of Troy

📩 04/01/2023 09:12

Troy or Troy (Hittite: Vilusa or Truvisa, Greek: Τροία or Ilion, Latin: Troia or Ilium), Hittite: Wilusa or Truwisa; It is a historical city at the foot of Mount Ida (Ida). It is located within the borders of the province of Çanakkale, in the archaeological area today called Hisarlık.

It is a city located just south of the southwestern mouth of Çanakkale Strait and northwest of Kaz Mountain. It is the ancient city where the Trojan War took place in the Iliad, which is one of the two poetic epics thought to have been written by Homer.

Most of the artifacts found in the ancient city discovered around the village of Tevfikiye by the German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s were abducted abroad. Works today Turkey, Germany and exhibited in several museums in Russia. The ancient city has been in the World Heritage List since 1998 and has been the National Park status since 1996.


Under the influence of French, it was translated from the reading of the word "Troie" in this language of the ancient city to Turkish as a Trojan. The name of the city is mentioned in Greek documents as Τροία (Troia). Some experts argue that it is more correct to call the city “Turkish Troya”. However, in Turkish documents, the name Trojan is widely used, as seen in the Trojan War, Trojan Horse examples.

Troya city location

The ancient city is located on the “Hisarlık Hill”, west of the Tevfikiye village of the central district of Çanakkale (39 ° 58′K, 26 ° 13′D). The hill is a part of a limestone layer, 200x150m in dimensions, 31.2m altitude and at the same time [5].

Although it is not known for a long time that there is an ancient city on Hisarlık Hill, as can be understood from the name of the hill, it can be argued that archaeological ruins in the region are close to the surface and therefore the hill is called Hisarlık by local residents. In addition, when the city of Troy was founded, it is thought that the Hisarlık Hill, Karamenderes and Dümrek Streams were poured and located on the edge of a bay opening to the Dardanelles, much closer to the sea than today.

The historical region that the city is located and named, representing the Asian continent of Çanakkale Province today is called Troas (or Troad).


The city, which was first close to the sea like the ancient cities of Ephesus and Miletus, was established as a port city in the south of the Dardanelles. Over time, the Karamenderes river moved away from the sea and lost its importance due to the alluviums carried to the city shores. Therefore, it was not resettled and abandoned after the natural disasters and attacks.

The Trojans replaced the Heracleid dynasty of Sardis origin and ruled Anatolia for 505 years until the Lydian Kingdom Candaules (735-718 BC). Ions, Cimmerians, Phrygians, Miletians spread in Anatolia after them, then Persian invasion came in 546 BC.

The ancient city of Troy is identified with the temple of Athena. During the reign of Emperor Serhas I during the reign of Persia, it is stated in the historical sources that he came to the city before passing the Dardanelles Strait, offered a victim to this temple and also visited the city during the struggle against Alexander the Great and donated his armor to the temple of Athena.

Troia layers 

Discovered by amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1871, as a result of later excavations, the city was established seven times in the same place - in different periods - and it was found that there were 33 layers from different periods. In order to study this complex historical and archaeological structure of the city more easily, the city is divided into 9 main sections, which are expressed in Roman numerals sequentially according to historical periods. These main periods and some sub-periods are given below:

  • Troy I 3000-2600 (West Anatolia EB 1)
  • Troy II 2600-2250 (Western Anatolia EB 2)
  • Troy III 2250-2100 (Western Anatolia EB 3)
  • Troy IV 2100-1950 (Western Anatolia EB 3)
  • Troy V (Western Anatolia EB 3)
  • Troy VI: 17th century BC to 15th century BC
  • Troy VIh: Late Bronze Age 14th century BC
  • Troy VIIa: ca. 1300 BC - 1190 BC Homeric Troy period
  • Troy VIIb1: 12th century BC
  • Troy VIIb2: 11th century BC
  • Troy VIIb3: c. 950 BC
  • Troy VIII: 700 BC Hellenistic Troy
  • Troy IX: Ilium, 1st century AD Roman Troy

Troy I (3000-2600 BC)

The first city in the area was founded in the 3rd millennium BC on the hill of fortification where it will be established in the next cities. Throughout the Bronze Age, the city developed commercially, and its location is greatly contributed to the fact that its location is located in the Dardanelles Strait, where every trade ship going from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea had to pass. There is a cultural change that shows that the cities in the east of Troy were destroyed and that Troy was not destroyed, but that a new group of people took over the next period. The first phase of the city is about 300 meters in diameter; It is characterized by a smaller castle, consisting of 20 rectangular houses surrounded by large walls, towers and passages.

Troy II, III, IV and V (2600-1950 BC)

Troy II doubled the previous phase and had a smaller town and upper fortress. The walls protected the upper acropolis, which housed the megaron-style palace for the king. In the second phase, it is seen that it was destroyed by a big fire in archaeological excavations; but Troyalıar, II. It was rebuilt to form a fortified fortress with larger, but smaller and denser houses than Troy. The reason for this intense and fortified structuring is thought to be due to an economic decline and increased external threats. The construction of the walls covering a larger area continued in Troy III, IV and V. Thus, even in the face of economic reasons and external threats, the walls survived in the later stages.

Troy VI and VII (1700-950 BC)

Troy VI collapsed around 1250 BC due to a possible earthquake. No body residue was found in this layer except an arrowhead. However, the city quickly recovered and rebuilt more regularly. This reconstruction continued to have a heavily reinforced fortress to protect the outer edge of the city in the face of central earthquakes and sieges.

Troy VI can be characterized by the construction of columns at the south gate. Columns are not thought to support any structure, they have an altar-like base and an impressive size. This structure is probably considered as the area where the city performs its religious rituals. Another characteristic feature of Troy VI is the construction of a tightly packed enclosure and many cobblestone streets near the Castle. Although there are only a few houses, this is due to the rebuilding of the hills of Troy VIIa.

In addition, this VI discovered in 1890. Mycenaean pottery was found in the Troy layer. This pottery shows that the Trojans still traded with Greeks and the Aegean during Troy IV. In addition, cremation graves were found 400 meters south of the fortress. This provided evidence of a small sub-town south of the Hellenistic city walls. Although the size of this city was not known due to erosion and regular construction activities, when it was discovered by Blegen in 1953 during the excavation of the site, a ditch was found that could be used for defense purposes on the bedrock. Moreover, it is likely that the small settlement south of the wall itself was used as an obstacle to protect the main city walls and the castle.

A still debated issue is whether Troy belongs to Anatolian or Mycenaean civilization. Although the city has a presence in the Aegean, its ceramic finds and architecture give a strong clue in the Anatolian orientation, in addition, many of the Luvi city states were dominated in the region and aegean trade, such as Luvi towns that stretched along the Aegean coast. It is likely to be the city of Luwian in the light of the ruins found in the excavations. Only one percent of the pottery found during the Troy VI excavation belongs to the Mycenaean civilization. The big walls and doors of the city are closely related to many other Anatolian designs. In addition, the cremation practice is Anatolian. Cremation is never seen in the Mycenaean world. Anatolian hieroglyphs were unearthed in 1995 along with the bronze seals marked with the Anatolian hieroglyphic Luwian script. These seals were occasionally seen in about 20 other Anatolian and Syrian cities (1280 - 1175 BC).

Troya VI maintained its long-distance commercial domination during this period, and during this period its population saw the peak of its establishment and accommodated between 5.000 and 10.000 people and became an important city. The location of Troy was in a very convenient place in the Early Bronze Age. In the Middle and Late Bronze ages, it was a common point for a long-distance trade zone that reached Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Baltic Region, Egypt and the Western Mediterranean. Central and seen from early to late Troy VI that are considered commercial products from the east and west metals such as perfume oils and hundreds of shipwrecks along the coast of Turkey remnants of various products. These ships had plenty of merchandise and some of the ships were observed to carry more than 15 tons. Among the goods discovered in the wrecks are copper, tin and glass nuggets bronze tools and weapons, ebony and ivory ostrich egg shells, jewelery and ceramics from different cultures from all over the Mediterranean. from the Bronze Age, from 210 shipwrecks discovered in the Mediterranean coastline 63 was discovered in Turkey. However, the ruins at the location of Troy are minimal. It is seen that very few of the goods in the Troy VI layer were documented. It is estimated that there were very few commercial centers during the Late Bronze Age and the low volume of trade was a possible consequence. Troy is on the north of the biggest commercial routes, so it is better to define Troy as a 'business-making metropolis' rather than directly describing it as a commercial center.

It is true to emphasize that the majority of the population in the Troy VIIa layer lives inside the walls.

The main reason for this being so is probably the Mycenaean threat. It is believed that Troy VI was destroyed by an earthquake. The mobility of the fault lines and tectonic activities in the region strengthens this possibility. It was built on Troy VI, which complicates the excavation process of Troy VIIa.

B.C. Dating back to the middle of the 13th century, Troy VIIa is the strongest candidate for Homeric Troy. The destruction of this universe by war was discovered during excavations. Evidence of the fire and massacres that occurred in 1184 caused this universe to be identified with the city surrounded by the Achaeans during the Trojan War, and the Trojan War was immortalized in the Iliad written by Homer.

Calvert's 1000-Year Gap

Initially, the layers of Troy VI and VII were completely ignored, because Schliemann preferred the burnt Trojan II city to be the Homeric Troy. Archeology was moving away from Schliemann's Troya and starting to find Homerik Troya once more was focused on Troy VI. Dörpfeld discovered Troy VI, and the "Calvert's 1000-year gap" emerged.

This 1000-year gap (1800-800 BC) was a period that Schiliemann's archeology did not take into account, thus creating a hole in the Troy timeline. In the city description of Homer's Iliad, a part of one side of the walls is said to be weak. During the 300-meter wall excavations, Dörpfeld encountered a section very similar to the weak section's Homeric Troy description. Dörpfeld was convinced that he found Homerik Troy and started digging the city. On the walls of this layer (Troy VI), a large number of Mycenaean pottery dating back to the late Helladic (LH) periods IIIa and IIIb emerged and it was revealed that there was a relationship between the Trojans and Mycenans. The big tower on the walls looks like the “Ilios big tower”. As a result, the ruins showed that the city coincided with Illios (Troy), the city in Dörpfeld's Homer epic. Schilliemann himself stated that Troy VI is likely to be Homeric Troy, but has not published anything about it. Approved by Dörpfeld, as passionate as Schilliemann in finding Troy, the only argument is that the city seems to have been destroyed by the earthquake, not by men. But there is little doubt that Troy VII was not Troy, which the Mycenaeans attacked.

Troy VIII (700 BC)

Troy VIII period is known as Hellenistic Troy. Hellenistic Troy is culturally similar to the rest of the sovereign. The events experienced in this period were transferred to the present day by Greek and Roman historians after the period. B.C. In 480, when Persian King Xerxes walked from Hellaspontine region to Greece, he sacrificed 1000 cattle in the temple of Athena, which was excavated in the Troy VIII layer. B.C. After the Persian defeat in 480-479, Illion and its region became the continental property of Lesbos and BC. He remained under the control of Lesbos until the Lesbos Revolt, which failed in 428-427. Athens saved the so-called Aktaean cities, including Illion, and included the population in this region in the Delian League. Athens influence in Hellaspont, BC. It was reduced by the 411 oligarchic coup and that year, the Spartan general Mindaros imitated Athena Illias, imitating Xerxes. In 399, Spartan general Dercylidas expelled the Greek garrison, which ruled the region on behalf of the Lampskenes dynasty and took it back from the Persian influence. Illion, BC He remained under the control of Persian Satrap in Dascylium until the Antalcidas Peace between 387-386. During this renewed Persian influence period (BC. 387-367) The statue of Ariobarzanes, the Hellaspontine Phrygian satrap, was erected in front of the temple of Athena Illias. B.C. Between 360 and 359, the city was taken under control by Charidemus from Oreus, from the Euboean island (Euboean), which occasionally worked for Athenians. B.C. Arriabos, who was honored with a power of attorney by the Illions (Troy) in 359, was expelled from the city by his son, Menalaus of Athens. B.C. While going to Asia Minor expedition in 334, Alexander; He came to the city and visited the Temple of Athena Illias and donated his armor there. Alexander visited the tombs of the heroes of the Homeric period, offered victims to them, and later put the city on free status and exempted the tax. According to Alexander's latest plans, Athena considered to rebuild the Illias temple in a larger way than any other known temple in the world. [28] Antigonus Monophtalmus took control of Troad in 311 and founded the new city of Antigoneia Troas, the synosicism of Skepsis, Kebren, Neandreia, Hamaxitos, Larissa and Kolonai. B.C. In 311-306, Athena Illias succeeded in obtaining reassurance from Antigonus that he would respect their autonomy and freedom and the status of the Koinon was MS. 1. He continued to work until the century. The koinons were generally composed of Troad cities, but 3. 2 of the 19th century. in half he was involved in Eastern Propontist Myrlea and Chalcedon for a while. The governing body of the Koinons was Synedrion, where each city was represented by two delegates. In particular with regard to financing, the daily work of synergy is left to five agonothetai schools that have no more than one representative in any city. This system of equal (not proportional) representation ensured that no one could rule the quino politically. The main purpose of Koinon was to organize the annual Panathenaia festival, held in the temple of Athena Ilias. In addition to bringing many pilgrims to Ilion during the festival, the festival created an enormous market (panegiris) that attracted traders in the region. In addition, Koinon financed the new building roles in Illion, a new theater built in the city and the development of the Athena Illias temple to make the city a suitable place in such a great festival BC. During the period 302–281, Ilion and Troad were part of Ilion's kingdom of Lysimachus, who helped expand the urban population and territory by matching nearby communities. Lysimachus was defeated by Seleucus I Nikator in the battle of Corupedium in February 281, thereby passing control of the Seleucid kingdom of Asia Minor, then passing Seleucus's Troad on August 281 or September, on his way to Lysimachia in the nearby Thrace Chersonese Ilion. issued a decree in honor of stating new loyalties. In September, Seleucus was killed by Ptolemy Keraunos in Lysimachia, making his successor, Antiochus I Soter, the new king. At 280 or soon after, Ilion issued a long decree generously honoring Antiochus to strengthen his relationship with him. During this period, Ilion lacked suitable city walls, except for the Troy VI fortification, which was still collapsing around the fortress, and the city was easily looted during the Gallic invasion in 278. Ilion had a close relationship with Antiochus for the rest of his reign; for example, BC In 274, Antiochus gave land to his friend Assos Aristodicides, who would be tied to the soil of Ilion for tax purposes, and BC.

Troy IX

The city, after eleven days of siege BC. In 85 he was destroyed by Sulla's rival, the Roman general Fimbria. Later that year, when Sulla defeated Fimbria, he helped rebuild the city to reward his loyalty. Ilion, this act of generosity as the first year BC. He responded by drafting a new civil calendar of 85. However, despite the status Rome provided, the city was in financial trouble for several years. B.C. In the 80s, the Roman people illegally taxed the sacred sites of Athena Ilias and the city called L. Julius Caesar to arbitrate. In the same year, the city was attacked by pirates. B.C. In 77, the costs of running the annual festival of Athena Ilias' koinon became very compelling for both Ilion and other members of Koinon. L. Julius Caesar was once again forced to arbitrate to regulate the financial burden. B.C. In 74, Ilians once again VI. They showed their loyalty to Rome by standing with the Roman general Lucullus against Mithridates. Following Mithridates' final defeat in 63-62, Pompey rewarded the city's loyalty as Ilion's assistant and patron of Athena Ilias. B.C. In 48, Jullius Ceasear also established kinship with the Illian people during the Mithridatic Wars, saying that the city was loyal to his cousin, L. Julius Ceasear, and that his family came from Venus through Troy Prince Aenas. B.C. In 20, Emperor Augustus visited Ilion and stayed at the home of his leading citizen, Euthydikos' son, Melanippides. As a result of his visit, he also financed the restoration and reconstruction of the Athena Ilias temple, bouleuterion (town hall) and theater. The theater was completed shortly after 12–11 BC, Melanippides dedicated a statue of Augustus in the theater to record this benefit.


The first comments that the ancient city of Troy could be in Hisarlık were made by Scottish Charles Maclaren, 1822. The first archaeological research was carried out in 1863-1865 by the British Frank Calvert, who determined that a mound might have been in the region. But the certainty and widespread recognition of the view that this city was Troy was the result of excavations by German Heinrich Schliemann.

Heinrich Schlieman

Heinrich Schliemann, who was originally a merchant, is the person who made the first extensive excavations in Hisar and found the collection called "Trojan Treasure" or "Priamos Treasure". As a result of the drilling works completed in 1870 by obtaining excavation permit from the Ottoman State, he made the first group excavations between 1871-1874. Having suffered from malaria for a while, Schliemann interrupted the excavations and continued excavations until the 1890s, although it was not as intensive as the first excavations. It is also known that Schliemann missed the treasures he found during excavations abroad.

Due to the fact that Schliemann was not archaeologically originated or because the science of archeology was not sufficiently developed at that time, the excavations made during this period could not be evaluated well enough and caused destruction in many other archaeological findings.

Wilhelm Dorpfeld

Wilhelm Dörpfeld, an architect and accompanying Schliemann excavations, undertakes excavations in 1893-1894 after Schliemann's death. The determination of the layered structure of the city belongs to Dörpfeld.

Carl W. Blegen

One time the excavations were resumed by the Republic of Turkey during the American arkeolg Carl W. Blegen. Excavations were carried out in the period of 1932-1938 with the support of Cincinati University. Blegen especially identified the Trojan VIIa period, which is considered as the period during the Trojan War, with his work on it.

Manfred korfmann

It restarts in 1988 by the German archaeologist Manfred Korfmann, who was the head of the excavation on behalf of the University of Tübingen, during a second pause of about half a century. Korfmann, who continued his duty as excavation chairman until 2005, has an important place in the excavation history of the ancient city. In 2003, is a citizen of Turkey, Osman took the name as a second name.

Since the ancient city was also an important touristic sightseeing point, the excavations of Korfman started with the work of arranging the ruins first. In the following years, he is remembered with both his archaeological works and his support for the city to become a national park and his work for tourists in the ancient city.

Works abroad

Germany: Heinrich Schliemann kidnapped the treasure he found in Troy, first to Greece and then to Germany. II. The treasure known to be in Germany before World War I was involved in post-war losses. Today, it is believed that Germany still has about 480 Trojan works. These works are exhibited in Halls 103 and 104 at the Neues Museum in Berlin, but the collection is in II. Some of the works exhibited because they were lost in World War II are copies of their originals.

Turkey's 10th President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, 2001 in Stuttgart, Germany, held in "Troy, Dreams and Realities" at the exhibition opening, asked Turkey to return the works indirectly and it is expressed in these words:

“The cultural treasure exhibited here is part of the world cultural heritage. These works gain greater meaning and richness in the lands of the civilizations they belong to. ”

Russia: Part II of the Trojan treasure lost in Berlin. At the end of World War II, it was revealed that in Berlin, which was occupied by allied forces, they were taken away by the Russians from the Berlin Zoo where they were hiding. Rejecting the claims that the works were in his country for a long time, Russia accepted that the 1994 works were in his country and stated that these were war reparations. As for the works of the works requested by Turkey it is that there is a right to ask of them brought from Turkey to Germany. The works in Russia are on display at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow since 1996.

USA: The work consisting of 2 pieces such as earrings, necklaces, diadem, bracelets, and pendant from the 24nd Period of Troy in the Early Bronze Age was purchased by Penn Museum in 1966. However, this period pieces in 2009 under the leadership of the Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay start negotiations that were returned to Turkey.


The hill where the city was founded in mythology is the first place where the goddess Ate, who was thrown down from Olympus by Zeus, because he deceived Zeus. The founder of the city is Ilios, the son of Tros. Dardanos, the city of Dardanos near Çanakkale, is a descendant of Dardanos (mythology).

He wins a competition organized by the Phrygian King and follows the black bull awarded and decides to build a city where the bull stands. The bull collapses on the ground where the goddess Ate falls and builds the city of Ilios on this hill. The city is called Illion because of its founder and Troy, because of Ilios' father, Tros. With the destruction of the city by the Achaeans, it is attributed to the bad luck that this goddess brought.

King laomedon

The father of Ganymede, kidnapped by Zeus, is known for his evil personality. In return for Ganymede, the king gives special horses. Zeus, who got rid of the trap of Poseidon and Apollo who wanted to overthrow him, by the goddess Thetis, sentenced Poseidon and Apollon to make the city's walls. In return for completing this mission, King Laomedon does not give out the gold he proposed. Poseidon also attacks Troy with a sea monster. The half-god Hercules, on the other hand, kills the monster against the king's horses. When the king refuses to keep his word again, Hercules kills King Laomedon, and the son of the king, Priamos, the last Trojan king, enters the throne.

Trojan War

The Trojan War, the son of Priamos, who won the love of the most beautiful woman in the world as a result of the beauty contest between the goddesses on the Mount Ida, was also the subject of the war that ended with the destruction of Troy, this woman married Hellen.

Trojan horse

The Trojan horse is a wooden horse made to sneak into the city for the purpose of ending the war and gifted to the other side to be inserted into the walls. The idea of ​​Odysessus is presented as a gift to the Trojans at an empty wooden horse. Unaware of the soldiers hiding inside the horse, the Trojans carry the monument to the city and start celebrations. In the evening, the soldiers go out and begin to plunder the city. The term Trojan horse becomes so common that it begins to be used as an idiom. It is not known whether the Trojan horse really exists. Although mentioned in the story told by Homer, there are historians who think this is a metaphor. According to these historians, the Trojan horse was not really built, but it is believed that the horse, the symbol of Poseidon, which is also the earthquake god, was used by Homeros as a metaphor for entering the city walls from the earthquake destroyed by the earthquake.

Trojan celebrities

Famous people from Troy mentioned in mythology are;

Troia and Turks

With the Ottoman Empire gaining great power in Europe in the 15th century Rönesans period humanist thinkers had begun to think about the ancestry of the Turks. The biggest view was the claim that the Turks were descendants of the Trojans. Many rönesans The thinkers used to tell in his works that a Trojan group, that is, the Turks, who fled to Asia after the city of Troy was captured by the Greeks, returned to Anatolia and took revenge on the Greeks. In the earlier history, in the 12th century, William of Tyreli stated that the Turks came from nomadic culture and that they were rooted in Troy. Before the conquest of Istanbul, Spanish Pero Tafur says that when he stopped by the city of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1437, the word "Turks will avenge Troy" was circulated among the people. Cardinal Isidore, who was in the city during the siege of Istanbul in 1453, referred to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror as "Prince of Trojans" in a letter he wrote. Kritovulos, the chronicle of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, said that he came to the area where the ruins of Troy were found in Çanakkale during the expedition to Lesbos and praised them by expressing his feelings of admiration for the heroes of the Trojan War. Kritovulos wrote that Fatih nodded and said the following about the Trojan civilization:

God has kept me as a friend of this city and its people. We defeated the enemies of this city and took their homeland. The Greeks, Macedonians, Thessalians, and Moralies had taken over here. We took their evil against Asians from their grandchildren after many years and years.

Likewise, Sabahattin Eyüboğlu claims that in his essays 'Blue and Black' he said to an officer next to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who led the Turkish War of Independence against the Greeks, '' We took the revenge of the Trojans in Dumlupınar. ''

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