Hypothetical ideas come and go.
Return to the articles page.
Was there a great city named Troy?
53. Hypothetical ideas come and go but those without some connection for the current generation may be allowed to fade away. #52 above has some of the possible hypothetical ideas such as the liberation theology variety with the kind of Robin Hood flavor that may be the driving force behind Obama's elections. But such stories provide current hope for change and perhaps that is why they persist or at least are fairly resistant to the efforts of skeptics. I was easily able to to give up believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as believing in them was clearly not going to get me more free stuff. A similar hypothetical idea for perhaps 2000 years was the story of the Trojan War with the romantic idea of a war about a woman -- Helen. When modern archaeology began to pick up momentum in the late 1800's a guy named Heinrich Schliemann who was not part of the established elite of archaeology made some important findings that to him proved the story of the Trojan war. Further digs on the same place by the more accepted archaeologists decided that the city he had found was not large enough to be the Troy of Homer's poem and further science proved that all of the gold and treasure he found was from a much older city which was lower in the layered mound than the late bronze age of Troy. So for many years it was apparent that science had proven there was no Troy and the Trojan War of Homer and this fairy tale was gone like Santa Claus was for me. It was a kind of death to a long held hypothetical that had been real to many people. That the idea of a great Troy was striken from history was apparent in the book I am currently finishing: 'Our Oriental Heritage' by Will Durant. This book was written in 1935 or so and attempts to cover all of the history of the stone age, the bronze age, and iron age with extensive sections on the history of Egypt, Sumeria, India, China, and Japan amoung others. No mention of Troy is made anywhere in the book although the civilizations of the Hittites, Assyria, Mesopotamia should somehow provide a point to bring up the great city. It would appear that the story of a large city like Troy was not believed at the time the book was written -- it was proven to scholars at that time that the ruins found by Schliemann could not have been Troy. Perhaps peer pressure prevented Durant from even mentioning Troy to keep his book acceptable to the current elite establishment.
But allow time and science to progress and fast-forward to 1988 and an expedition to excavate in the mound that Schliemann had believed was Troy found some new evidence. The head archaeologist noticed a discrepency in the design of the outer wall of the Troy of Schliemann -- although the area enclosed by the wall was still too small to be the great city of Homer's Troy -- there was a huge gateway that no matter how you studied it -- it could not be closed off in the event of attack. This would indicate that this was not really an outer wall of a highly defended city. The new science of ground penetrating radar then was used on the surrounding area and it showed a faint line that when excavated turned out to be the anti-chariot ditch surrounding the real outer wall of the proper size and age to possibly be the Troy of Homer. It does not prove there is a Santa Claus or even prove the story of the Trojan War but for me at least it proves that the experts sometimes get it wrong.
Idd projecting an image of a Mycenean King's Mask.|
I asked Idd if he had some video to illustrate my article. He came up with this.
A 48 minute video from the BBC on recent evidence for the existance of Troy. The Truth of Troy (2004 BBC ).
Click on Idd or the mask to see the video.
Idd recommended some more videos:
In search of the Trojan war - The Age of Heroes 1 of 6. (48 min)
I have watched all 6 episodes -- I love the music that goes with this BBC series. Note that this BBC documentary series was made in 1985 -- or about 3 years before the evidence was produced that was used in the 2004 documentary -- The Truth of Troy (above).
Also after this documentary was produced -- the Soviet Union collapsed -- and guess what was then found to be stored in Moscow -- Schliemann's gold from Troy. In September 1993 'Priam's Treasure' turned up at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. The return of items taken from museums has been arranged in a treaty with Germany but, as of January 2010, is being blocked by museum directors in Russia.
Secrets of the aegean apocalypse. (43 min)
Possibly why the truth of Troy is so difficult to prove. There was a kind of dark ages shortly after the Trojan war that did not allow much data to survive to our era.
Wikipedia article on : The Story of Civilization, by husband and wife Will and Ariel Durant.
A six million word history series by a famous philosopher that I am attempting to read. 'Our Oriental Heritage' is the first book -- written in 1934 or so.
Note: The YouTube addresses appear to be transient for some types of documentaries. If you get a frowny face on the YouTube page stating that the video is unavailable -- this is usually because the copyright has been enforced somehow but you will find the video is still available -- but at a different web address. Just copy the title of the video into the YouTube search box and the now official video will be found -- usually now with a commercial or two.
A webpage where the music of the BBC series 'In Search of the Trojan War' can be downloaded
Return to the articles page.