Classics Lecture October 1, 2013
Troy and finding the Trojan War
Lead by Nigel Haykin
Troy: The City
Evidence for Homer’s Trojan War
Verified that Troy and the Trojan War are legitimate history. Schliemann validated this.
Burnt Stratum: Destruction of Troy II (not Homer’s troy)
“Priam’s Treasure” found in this site.
Troy II and Troy VI – There have been 9 Troy cities found. Original site was vast,
including 9 cities. Troy VI and VII will be what we focus on
Troy I and II compared to Troy VI
• Most impressive cities and double the size of previous cities.
• Sloping masonry walls of Troy
• The existing wall of Troy VI – limestone blocks. 4.7 meters thick, 9 meters tall
• Troy VI: Citadel and lower city
Evidence of a Trojan War as described by Homer
• Since the beginning of Schliemann’s excavations, there has been a continual
debate over which level should be connected the city of Priam
• In the most recent scholarship, two mail levels hold the most credibility Troy VI
• Was the descruction of Troy VI/VIII a force beyond human hands or an
earthquake, not fire.
• Is the most likely benefactor of the Troy of Homer, the inhabitants of Troy VIIa
must have crowded into the citadel for protection
• Some have seen this as an indication that the people of Troy VIIa were in a state
of war, adopting a siege mentality.
• The late dating of the city may show it not to bee.
• The grandeur and magnificent scale of Troy VI can clearly be connected to the
rich, lavish, flourishing city of troy described by homer in the Iliad • This can be contrasted to the less impressive Troy VIIa, which saw a considerable
drop in the quality of construction
• Further, the destruction of Try VIh can be placed in 1250BC during the height of
Mycenaean influence and power.
• Viewing the evidence given on the destruction a compromise was proposed,
allowing the destruction of this site to both and earthquake and enemy forces
• The theory gives the proposal that an earthquake seriously weakened the citadel
and fortifications at troy, which made it vulnerable to enemy attack.
Evidence of a Trojan War?
• It cannot be doubted that the Mycenaean’s fought against the Trojans in the war of
Homer; the internal evidence inside of the Iliad gave evidence to this (after being
validated through archaeology).
Accurately portrayed by Troy:
• The figure 8 and crescent mood shaped shield
• Portrayed their war like culture.
To prove that they attacked Troy:
Due to the inaccuracies of Homer, if we excavated the story:
• The T War was a story of a sea born army attacking the seaside town (like
Troy) by 1500BC the M expanded their domination, extending eastwards.
The Uluburun shipwreck found of the southern coast provides the
evidence to prove the trade.
• War like culture.
• It has now been determined that the country of Wilusa lay in western
Anatolia, north of the Seha River Land, placing it in the region of the
Troad in classical times.
• Is there evidence in the Hittite texts of the Mycenaean Greeks?
• In the letter known as the “Milawata letter”, during the reign of Tudhaliya,
Wilusa had faced some sort of military action, in which their king was
deposed and exiled from the city, before it was once again restored to
• Wilusa was victim to a number of violent attacks
• All one can assert is that the Mycenaean greeks were involved with the Anatolians
• Troy (Wilusa) was the subject of military actions. The End of the Bronze Age
12001100 BC is the collapse of Mycenaean hegemony, beginning of period known as
dark ages 1100900BC
The ceasing of all administration and the destruction of their society.
Pushed to centuries of survival (Dark Ages)
900700BC = Geometric period (named for the artistic style of pottery)
Rise of Greek culture and development of Greek citystates (polis) – the Greek
Citystates (polis): city in form but autonomous, each city rules its own territory now
bound by a nation.
Geometric style develops 900C
Athens lead producer
Diagnostic features – all styles are based on geometry, valued for aesthetic reasons
(tendency towards regularity); diffused in a short period, was appreciated in a worl of
Meander (key element) – linear motif that folds back on itself (seen as dynamic).
Squared and triangles
Geometric burial: Athens 900BC
• Amphora holding cremated remains of warrior
• Grave goods – other objects left with deceased as sacrifice and or gift
• Weapons indicate warrior status
• Amphoras also as markers above ground
Animals and animal registers are common from c.800BC
Starts out slowly, the artist has moved from abstract to natural world elements
Looking at the animals themselves there is a small departure from geometry; they
are more stylized that realistic.
From Dipylon cemetery at Athens by “Dipylon Master”
Funeral monument, not practical.
Geometry gives way to the narrative human form, the second beginning of the narrative
humans in Greek art. Little more than silhouettes.
Prothesis: Dipylon Amphora
By employing geometric forms they capture our attention but do not under mind the rest
of the Amphora, the theme is important it reflects the use of the monument and depicts
the moment before the burial when the body is laid out. Funerary marker placed above
the ground as a reminder of the individual tombed beneath.
8 century BC
PanHellenic Sanctuaries and Games, worshipping together (sacrifice, gift giving).
Few people on top controlling the community
Sanctuaries open to everyone, not the property of one community.
PanHellenic – all Greeks welcome
Sanctuary with festivals for the gods
Athletic competition grew up along festival = games were primarily to honor the god, but
soon turned into forum for interaction among Greeks and an opportunity to reinforce
identity; interaction among helps reinforce Greek culture
Aristocrats compete to gain honor/fame among peers = bragging rights (dedications)
Games open to all who spoke Greek and no others (no barbarians i.e. people who do not
speak Greek) = incubator of Greek culture
Built environment: 1. Altars 2. Temples.
Run for the glory of Apollos but the winner gets glory from the other competitors.
For the bond within cities and with other cities (between classes)
In the physical development there are two critical moments
Religious moments – not controlled by community leader and not held in the
megaron. Sacrifice is now outside in the open air and inviting to all.
Moves from a mound of ash to an altar made out of cut stone, the prettier the object the
more likely the Gods are pleased by the sacrifice. Capacity increased = increased scale of
altars (almost reaching monumental)
Begins with the altar
Felt the need for a focal point that stood in for the goddess or god
Cult image = sculpture that creates presence of goddess or god; focus for ritual
activity; space were divine resides. Earliest form was perishable material, wood
instead of ivory. Not good in rain. So as soon as this image developed sanctuaries
increased their sophistication adding a house.
House for the statue, gift for god/goddess Greek religion does not work as today, as we enter the sanc