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Essay about Schliemann’s Archaeological Breakthrough

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Heinrich Schliemann’s archaeological break throughs on the “Tell of Hissarlik” provided a substantial awareness of the civilizations of the Bronze ages1 and hence our understanding of its relationship to Homeric Troy. Many aspects of the Historicity of Homeric Troy include the existence of the Trojan War, the accuracy of Homers Iliad and contributions of Schliemann and other Archaeologist.

Schliemann’s archaeological breakthrough was instigated 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea in Turkey. In 1865, German-American adventurer Schliemann arrived at what was assumed to be Troys location. After reading the Iliad and inspecting the “Tell of Hissarlik” he was convinced he had found Troy. Schliemann believed that the Iliad was so true that it must be based on history, and his discovery of one of the many promising tells in the area motivated him to begin his dig. He discovered that this Tell had nine major levels and large walls, like Homer described. He claimed that the second (Troy II) was Homers ‘Citadel of Priam’. However if Schliemann and Homers Troy were the same, literature did not confirm.

Historical accuracy of Homers Iliad are a vital aspect of our understanding of the tell of Hissarlik. Researchers of the 18th century declined Homers Iliad as allegory however Schliemann’s archaeological discoveries reopened the debate. The excavations at Troy show that was potentially based on historical conflict in what many historians believe today was the 12th century BC. Finley maintains that none of the events in Homers works are Historical. Other archaeologist and historians agree that there may be a foundation of historical events in the story but absence of evidence shows that it is impossible to separate fact from myth. It has been compare...


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...nt built to strengthen Troy against attack, palaces and cemeteries. He stated that Homer must have seen these features when he wrote the Iliad.

Accuracy of the relationship between Homeric Troy and Hissarlik.

The debate over the historicity of Homeric Troy directly impacts the work done at Hissarlik. The near east is littered with Tells and mounds that were once ancient settlements and cities. Schliemann’s declaration that Hissarlik was the Troy of Greek legend bought with it many implications. This signified that the Homeric troy was not a story nor myth but history. The literary characteristics and sporadic historical elements of Homers poem lead the works to critical observations of academic nature. Several areas of Homers Iliad historically should be critiqued. First Homers oral tradition. Secondly, archaeological finds from Mycenaean sites found in the poem.




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