Troy in clearer perspective

Troy in clearer perspective

By D. Hertel and F. Kolb

Anatolian Studies, Vol. 53 (2003)

Abstract: Was late Troy VI a large Anatolian palatial city, a hub for trade, a commercial metropolis or even the centre of a Bronze Age federation of cities (hanse), as the present excavator of Hisarlik, M. Korfmann, has claimed in numerous publications? Several German archaeologists and historians have maintained the opposite and declared Korfmann’s view of Troy as unfounded and a fiction. In a recent article in Anatolian Studies D.F. Easton, J.D. Haskins and A.G and E.S. Sherratt state that they share the opinion of the excavator. In reality, they do not defend the above mentioned views, but offer a more restrained description of the role of Troy VI in the Late Bronze Age. Their arguments, though, can be shown to be untenable due to insufficient evidence. Thus, a thorough criticism of Korfmann’s statements remains fully justified.

Introduction: The sit of Hisarlik in northwest Turkey, usually identified with Troy/Ilios, has been a focal point for heated debate since before Schliemann came on the scene. It derives its importance from the Homeric epics and its relevance as an archaeological site from being the only thoroughly investigated prehistoric site on the western coast of Asia Minor. Only in recent years has growing attention been paid to other prehistoric sites farther south, such as Panaztepe, Limantepe, Bademgedigi Hoyuk, Ephesos and Miletos. These investigations promise to put the ruins on the hill of Hisarlik into a more sober perspective – probably as a site of reduced importance.

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