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Troy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hisarlik, Hissarlik, Ilion or Ilium
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ancient city in northwestern Anatolia (Turkey) that holds an enduring place in both literature (the "Iliad" "Odyssey" etc.) and archaeology. A large mound called Hisarlik (or Hissarlik) by the Turks holds the ruins - as discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Between 1870-1890 Schliemann exposed most of the remains of the Early Bronze Age and showed that nine successive cities had stood on the site of which he considered the second to be that described in Homer's Iliad. Wilhelm Dörpfeld who continued excavations after Schleimann's death established a chronology for the cities and believed the sixth to be Troy. In Troy VI (c 1900-1300 BC) there was the arrival of invaders with horses and superior building techniques - possibly the Luwians. It was devastated by an earthquake c 1300 BC. Carl William Blegen who also worked there argued for the earlier part of the seventh city. Troy VIIa represents a rebuilt city along the plan of Troy VI but it was destroyed by fire c 1220 BC in what may have been the Trojan War. The nine main periods of occupation began in mid-3rd millennium BC and ended with Greco-Roman city of Ilion/Ilium. At the end of each period when a settlement was destroyed (usually by fire or earthquake or both) the survivors leveled the site and built new houses on it. Priam's gold treasure was found in Troy II c 2400-2200 BC.

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