Çanakkale and Troy

Çanakkale and Troy   


Located on the southern shore of the Dardanelles strait (also known as the Hellespont, or Çanakkale Boğazı in Turkish), Çanakkale was the strongest point in the defence of the Dardanelles from the time of the Trojans through World War I. The city is the closest major town to the site of ancient Troy.

The first thing to look at in Çanakkale is the Dardanelles, the broad strait with a fast current that separates Gallipoli and Europe from Çanakkale and Asia. The Dardanelles is also famous as a challenge to swimmers, including Lord Byron, who famously swam it himself.

Çanakkale's Archeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) is about 2 km (1.3 miles) south of the main square and clock tower. The exhibits range from ancient fossils through the Bronze Age to more modern times, with the most interesting ones being about Troy.

Troy is an ancient city in what is now northwestern Turkey, made famous in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. Today it is an archaeological site popular with travellers from all over the world, and in addition to being a Turkish national park, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Troy was first excavated by Frank Calvert in 1863 CE and later visited by Heinrich Schliemann, who continued excavations from 1870 CE until his death in 1890 CE. Schliemann’s initial finds of gold and silver jewellery and vessels seemed to vindicate his belief that the site was actually the Troy of Homer. However, these have now been dated to more than a thousand years before a probable date for the Trojan War and indicated that the history of the site was much more complex than previously considered. The excavations continued through the 20th century CE and into the present day, and they have revealed that Troy was destroyed and rebuilt nine times over. Each of the nine different layers still has something left to this day. The layer that is thought to be depicted in Homer's Iliad is likely Troy VII, a portion of the legendary walls of which is still intact.

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