Troy Ancient City: City of Mythologies and Trojan Horse

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With its history dating back to 3000 BC, Troy is one of the most famous ancient cities in Turkey. The city of Troy, which has a history of thousands of years, is the place where the Legend of the Trojan Horse took place.

Location of Troy

Troy is located on the outskirts of Kaz Mountain in the province of Canakkale.

The ancient city of Troy, also known as the site where the Trojan war took place, included the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.

History of Troy

Troia which is a cultural center of Anatolia between 3200 BC and 400 AD, the nearly 2000 years, has 9 layers. Troia that is mentioned in the Iliad of Homer is sixth of these settlement layers. The 9 layers seen in Troy show that the city has been used as a continuous settlement for more than 3000 years.

Nine Layers of Troy, http://www.hotelakol.com.tr/index.php/canakkalel-2/truva-troya-antik-kenti

The earliest settlement in Troy dates back to the early Bronze Age (3000-2500 BC). The Troy layers, which were permanently settled later, ended with the Roman Period dated back 85 BC-8th century.

Troy-1: This layer is dated to 3000 – 2500 BC and is the first settlement consisting of 10 building levels. The plan of this early Bronze Age settlement, spreading over a small area in the so-called Schliemann cleavage, could not be determined exactly. Troy 1, has suffered great destruction.

Troy-2: This layer, dated between 2500 and 2200 BC, consists of 7 building levels. There is no cultural change between Troy 1 and 2. However, the city walls showing a circular plan and surrounding the city indicate a development in terms of settlement and development of the city. Megarons are aligned side by side, all facing one way. Trojan 2 was destroyed as a result of a fire, as the marks indicate.

Troy-3: This layer dated to 2200 – 2050 BC is spread over a larger area than the previous ones but is surrounded by walls. The walls are entirely made of stone. This is a distinguishing feature compared to other layers. The structures are complex and large.

Troy-4: This layer dated to the period between 2050 and 1900 BC consists of 5 building levels. It is thought that this layer, which was largely disrupted by the excavations of Schliemann, lost its former importance and became impoverished as a result of the Indo-European migrations.

Troy-5: In the layer dated to 1900-1800 BC, an improvement was observed in terms of architecture and urbanization compared to Troy 3 and 4. The city is surrounded by a weak wall.

Troy-6: The Middle Bronze Age started in Troy with this layer which consists of eight building levels and dated between 1800 and 1300 BC. It is understood that people of different tribes started to settle in Troy during this period. Troy 6 was destroyed by a major earthquake.

Troy-7: Troy 7, dated to 1300-1100 BC, ended with a fire and destruction caused by invasions.

Troy-8: According to the findings of the American archaeologists, the traces of Helen on this floor do not go back to the 7th century BC. The most important of the Hellenistic temples built here is the Temple of Athena.

Troy-9: Because Alexander the Great was raised by Aristotle with the epics of Homer and influenced by Homer’s epics, especially Achilles in Iliad, Troy regained its old importance. Alexander ordered his generals, Antigones and Lysimakhos, to reconstruct the city and to renew its port. Thus, Troy became one of the important trade centers of the period. The ruins of the Temple of Athena, bouleuterion, theater, and auditorium belong to the Roman period.

Paris and Legend of the Three-Graces

Legend has it that Hecuba who is the wife of King Priamos of Troia has nightfall that her abdomen catches fire and its smoke fills the city walls. The soothsayer they consulted said that the woman was pregnant and that the child would bring evil to the city. When the child is born, he is left on Mount Ida. A herdsman finds and grows him. His name was Paris.

Paris lived as a good shepherd until he became a lad. One day he learns that he was appointed as the referee of the beauty contest of three gods from Olympos.

World’s First Beauty Contest

Legend has it that, Zeus did not invite Eris, Goddess of Faction, to the wedding of Thetis with Peleus because of he was worried she might start a faction. Thereupon, Eris sends a golden apple to the wedding in order to make a discord and ask for it to be given to “the most beautiful goddess”.

Each of the goddesses asserts that she is the most beautiful goddess. Zeus doesn’t want to get involved in this and transfers the solution to a mortal, Paris. Before the contest, where the most beautiful goddess was chosen, Paris went to the city of Troy and participated in the games and races there. The king and the queen felt a heartfelt affinity for the successful contestant Paris. Wondering who he is, they discover that Paris is their son.

Paris begins to live in the palace as a prince.

Before the competition, Aphrodite told Paris that he would give the love of the world’s most beautiful woman (Helena, the wife of King Sparta Menelaos) in exchange for choosing him as the most beautiful goddess. On the day of the contest, Paris appeared before the beautiful goddesses and gave the apple to Aphrodite’s palms.

Paris chose "the most beautiful goddess"
Paris chose “the most beautiful goddess”… This mosaic exhibited in Louvre Museum

Aphrodite makes Helen fall in love with Paris. Paris falls in love with Helen during his visit to Sparta and he abducts her to Troia.

The Greeks, who believe that they were insulted, gathered the army of Aka under the leadership of Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae, and organized a campaign to Troy.

The cause of the outbreak of the war undergoing 10 years has been told in mythology. Achaeans attack to Troy but they do not capture. When Achaean troops can not capture Trojan Castle around 1200 BC, they go onboard their ships but they leave a great wooden horse at the edge of the castle.

When the Trojans who take the horse inner part of a fortress arrange victory festivals, Achaeans who are kept in a horse opened the doors of the fortress and they attack with other soldiers who are in the ships and they captured the city.

A representative horse is made thereupon this story in mythology and its placed entry of the Trojan Ruins.

Another horse that is used in Troy film is located in Çanakkale centrum.

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