Archaeology: Troy and Heinrich Schliemann

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2y Apr 23, 2019

In the last section we looked at Troy in light of literary history. Here we focus on Troy again but this time as it relates to archaeology. While digs at ancient sites have in general revealed much important information about what-really-happened-in-the-past, archaeology is still a mixture of science and art, with a hefty helping of media relations thrown in. Its usefulness to historians in particular depends on the sensible assessment of the data recovered. Flashy treasure-hunts make for good press but all too often bad history, yet in some ways that's what modern Mediterranean archaeology grew out of: the dreams of a wealthy German merchant named Heinrich Schliemann who went searching for the Troy of Homeric legend and found a new world of recovered history. But what did he find? Is it Homer's Troy, as he believed? Whether or not it is, Schliemann won himself a place in history as the "father of Mediterranean archaeology"—and maybe also of lies.

Attributed to Mark L. Damen Professor of History and Classics,
Utah State University

For more information please visit: https://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/index.htm

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