Seven Troy Cities

  • Lev S. Klein
Keywords: Troy, Ilion, Khisarlyk, the Trojan War, Schliemann, Dőrpfeld, Blegen, Korfmann, Klein.


 In the article the author, summarizing the conclusions of his studies of the 1980—ies and 1990-ies and taking into account the recent finds of M. Korfmann excavations in Troy, concludes that the traditional idea of seven cities, which have become cultural layers after the destruction of the Khisarlyk hill, requires reconsideration. These are more likely the images of cities that arise in minds of researchers when reading the “Iliad” and perceiving archaeological materials. The research is devoted to the restoration of the mentioned images of Troy cities, in which the features of archaeological cultures and ethnic communities are traced. The inhabitants of the Troy cities became witnesses and participants in migration flows, and the result of them was the Indo-Europeanization of Anatolia.

The directions of the discussion, which reveal the position of the author: 1) Homer Troy, Troy, the Ilion; 2) Troy in contrast to Ilion; 3) the archaeological Troy in contrast to Homer’s; 4) Troy as an eponym and purpose of the Trojan War; 5) Troy — a landmark in chronology; 6) Troy as an ethnic indicator; 7) Troy as a layer of languages.

Principally important are the linguistic conclusions of the author. Since the Hittite, together with the Luvian and other languages of the Anatolian family, was the first that separated from the Indo-European, more precisely the Indo-Hittian, the proto-Indo-European region (the sought-for ancestral home of all Indo-Europeans) should be close to the Danube River in Europe, possibly to the north. That is, both the steppe and the Anatolian ancestral homes are dismissed, despite all their proofs. The steppe area can only be the ancestor of other Indo-European families, for example, the Indo-Iranian. It is hardly believed that Anatolia was an ancestral home to any of the Indo-Europeans.

The Troy clearly served as the neck through which various Indo-European families penetrated Anatolia — first the Hattite-Luvian peoples, then the Phrygians and the ancestors of the Armenians, then the Greeks became Byzantians. Probably, this also reflected the ethnic appearance of Troy itself.

It is indicative that M. Corfman put the main divisions of Troy not between the “cities” (layers), but the civic communities he singled out. Among them: 1)Maritime Trojan culture covers layers I, II (burned down) and possibly III (also burned down), and between the first two and the third — the desolation for 200 years; 2) Anatolian Trojan culture (layers III — possibly IV and V), after which there also was desolation for 200 years; 3) The highly developed Thojan culture (Hochkultur), represented by the VI layer that died during the period of the VIIa (VIi — after Korfmann) layer. However, on its ruins, local population built a small settlement — VIIb1 (VIj — after Korfmann), as the culture is the same; 4) The “Balkan mark” culture (VIIb2 — after Blegen, VIIb1 and VIIb2 — after Korfmann), created by newcomers from the Balkans, who left about 1000 BCE; 5) Ilion — a city of Greek-Hellenes, built from the second half of the 8th century — about 730—710 BCE (Troy VIII); 6) New Roman Ilion — 85 BCE—500 CE (Troy IX); 7)Byzantine settlement of the 11th—13th centuries CE (Troy X). This is the author’s view at the seven cities of Troy.

Thus, Korfman replaces one another in the stratigraphic column, 4, and with the Greek, Roman and Byzantine 7 cultures. It was hard to say whether these changes were only linguistic or cultural too. Greek with the Roman and Balkan cultures undoubtedly differed from the former ones by language. The rest, to which the “Troy of Priam” belonged, can only be assumed.


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