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Hisarlik (the ancient site of Troy), Turkey

February 1st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Hisarlik, or Hissarlik ("Place of Fortresses"), is the modern Turkish name for the ancient site of Troy, also known as Ilion, and is located in what is now Turkey (known throughout history as Anatolia). Hisarlik, now an unoccupied archaeological site, lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and equidistant from the Dardanelles. The rediscovery of Troy from a deserted, scrub-covered mound is a story of heroic proportions to rival the original epic which ensured the survival of the legend of Troy long after the city had been deserted by the descendants of Homer's Trojans.

The archaeological site of Hisarlik is known in archaeological circles as a tell. A tell is an artificial hill, built up over centuries and millennia of occupation from its original site on a bedrock knob. Hisarlik tell, a thirty-meter-high mound, was identified as a possible site of ancient Troy by a number of amateur archaeologists in the early to mid 1800s. The most dedicated of these dilettantes was Frank Calvert whose early work was overshadowed by the now famous German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s.

Troy (Greek: Τροία, Troia, also Ίλιον, Ilion; Turkish Truva; Latin: Ilium, Troia) is a legendary city and center of the Trojan War, as described in the Epic Cycle, and especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer.

Today it is the name of an archaeological site, the traditional location of Homeric Troy, Truva, in Hisarlık in Anatolia, close to the seacoast in what is now Çanakkale province in northwest Turkey, southwest of the Dardanelles under Mount Ida.

A new city of Ilium was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, and declined gradually during Byzantine times.

In the 1870s the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann excavated the area. Later excavations revealed several cities built in succession to each other. One of the earlier cities (Troy VII) is often identified with Homeric Troy. While such an identity is disputed, the site has been successfully identified with the city called Wilusa in Hittite texts; Ilion (which goes back to earlier Wilion with a digamma) is thought to be the Greek rendition of that name.

The archaeological site of Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.

[Source: Wikipedia]

[Source: Wikipedia]

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