Homer's The Iliad, an epic poem divided into 24 books that sings about the Trojan War, the famous conflict between the Achaeans and the Trojans was the reason why the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann decided to look for the scene of this battle, the ancient city of Troy.
As a seven-year-old, he heard the lines of the Iliad for the first time, and from then on he was convinced that he would be the one to find the remains of the city. He devoted his whole life to learning and research, and his wife, a Greek, helped him translate the original songs of the Iliad from the Greek language. Sofija.
For a long time, it was believed that Troy was located on the territory of present-day Greece, however, researching, piecing together the pieces of Homer's descriptions of the area and in conversations with an English archaeologist Frank Calvert Schliemann begins digging on the hill of Hisarlik, in Turkey, located half an hour from the coastal city of Çanakkale, which straddles both sides of the Sea of Marmara.
"The wind will bring prosperity to Troy" is one of the records that the archaeologist followed. A good, strong wind, characteristic of this climate, was suitable for navigation, because of which shipping and trade flourished, and the city lived in abundance even when others were doing poorly. Troad, which is one of the names for this region, literally means windy.
Today, while standing on Hisarlik hill, it is hard for you to believe that there used to be a sea there, which today is ten kilometers away. However, you can easily be convinced of the statements of the Iliad and the findings of archaeologists by the abundance of shells found all over the site.
In 1871, Schliemann began his research in a randomly dug trench several tens of meters long.
In 1873, he found the remains and fortifications of an ancient city, which he believed to be Homer's Troy. When he joined him in the excavation Wilhelm Dorpfeld they began to doubt the existence of only one city. During further research and excavations it was determined that what the German archaeologist discovered was Troy VI and not Troy I which was later identified as Homeric Troy.
Today, this careless excavation is criticized by many Turks and archaeologists who claim that he damaged and destroyed part of the site by unplanned digging because he believed that Homer's Iliad was located deep, at the lowest level.
Assessments of Schliemann's work changed during his lifetime. From the later researches and works of Calvert it became clear that he was responsible for placing Troy in Hisarlik. In his wants to reveal Homer's Troy, Schliemann damaged and destroyed other layers. His self-promotion and taking credit later further cast doubt on his actual achievements.
To date, ten layers of Troy have been discovered, which are marked with Roman numerals from one to ten. Different empires, world powers and fortifications were destroyed in fires, floods and wars, and each time a new city was built on the remains of the old one.
At the huge site that receives hundreds of tourists every day, today it is possible to see all the layers of Troy, city walls, amphitheatres, sanctuaries, remains of houses and preserved parts of columns and decorations... The differences in the layers are clearly visible due to the difference in materials and construction style.
The exact opposite of Schliemann is his compatriot, an archaeologist Manfred Korfman, who worked on the excavation from 1988 to 2005, when he died. He devoted himself to the excavation, trying not to damage the site, paying respect to each discovery. He was a man of the people, which is why the Turks accepted him and gave him the name Osman.
Korfman participated in the formation of the Troy National Park and helped put it under the protection of UNESCO. In his will, he left all research documentation and his works to the state. As a sign of gratitude, his office in the house where he lived in Çanakkale was turned into a library.
And in order to get a complete picture, less than a kilometer from the site of Troy, there is a newly opened museum that is the pride of Turkey. Decades of work and excavations, as well as finds, are carefully displayed and placed in a museum where it is possible to gain an insight into life in almost every Troy in different ways.
During the tour, visitors follow a story divided into seven titles: Archeology of the Troad region, Bronze Age of Troy, The Iliad Epic and the Trojan War, Troad and Ilion in Antiquity, Eastern Roman and Ottoman Period, History of Archaeology, Traces of Troy.
More than 2.000 artefacts are displayed on four floors, from gold jewellery, dishes, tools, glass bottles for perfumes and for tears to tombs.
Museum curators point out that a huge number of objects found in Troy are currently in museums around the world, which refuse to return them. Some items were borrowed, and some were secretly brought out of Turkey.
Schliemann himself had such ventures, who sent objects to his native Germany, sold some, and eventually ended up in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow after the Second World War. Turkey is leading proceedings trying to recover the treasure.
The strongest impression in the museum is left by the 2.500-year-old tomb, which is one of the most painted ever found.
On the wider side, a scene from a wedding where the young Polyxena is presented is shown. Musicians are playing, and guests are having fun. Still, this is a tragic story. On the narrow side of the sarcophagus, you can see that the girl is being sacrificed, and her mother, Queen Hakeba, is mourning her death.
It is interesting that the body of a forty-year-old man was found in the sarcophagus.
In addition to the exhibited objects and paintings, the museum also contains an audio-visual presentation of everyday life in various periods of Troy, parts of the Trojan War that hold the attention of even the youngest visitors.
A detailed tour of the museum takes several hours.
Excavations and excavations of Troy continue. According to estimates, 90 percent of the exterior of the fortification has been discovered so far, while the interior largely remains unknown and awaits new excavation seasons.