Assess the Extent to Which Archaeological Evidence Uncovered by Heinrich Schliemann Supports Homer’s Existence of Troy.

1367 WordsAug 5, 20086 Pages
Homer’s Iliad is a powerful, beautiful, and awe-inspiring work of ancient Greece. An epic poem and a classic of world literature, the Iliad recounts portions of the war between Greece and the city-state of Troy. Most entrancing are his vivid & wonderful descriptions of the Great City of Troy and illustrious recounts of the events that took place on this ancient site. It is not a surprise that the 19th century German archaeologist or arguably treasure hunter, Heinrich Schliemann was spellbound to find Homer’s classical city of Troy and it is often said that we know so much about Troy today because of one man’s obsession, indeed of his childhood dream which he made come true. Although Schliemann did in fact discover a vast amount of…show more content…
First the size of the prehistoric settlement- 100 yards by 80 at maximum- seemed far too small for the great city Homer portrays. Second, deep though they were, the prehistoric strata had produced obscure and primitive pottery which seemed far too primitive for the age of heroes to which Schliemann would assign them: where for instance was the elaborate palace decoration Homer mentions? He gave up on Hisarlik and decided to dig at the site of the stronghold of Agamemnon, leader of the Greek forces at Troy: Mycenae. In 1876, Schliemann began cutting a trench just inside the so-called Lion's Gate and found five large, rectangular shafts. They were graves, holding bodies that were, literally, covered in gold. Goblets, swords, breastplates, crowns, and jewelry were everywhere, and the faces were shielded by gold masks. Legend has it that Schliemann held up one of these masks and then wrote to the king of Greece, saying, "I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon." For Schliemann, of course, there was no doubt: this was the world of Homer and the Iliad, and these were the graves of Agamemnon and his companions. Had he not found depictions of boar’s tusks helmets such as Homer had described? Yes. And on the inlaid dagger blades there were representations of ‘tower shields’ like the one Ajax carries in the Iliad; there were also ‘silver studded’ swords like the one given by Hector to Ajax.. He had finally demonstrated some
Open Document