National Geographic : 1915 May
Photo by Ernest L. Harris THE RUINS OF TROY The excavations at Troy have revealed that no less than nine layers exist upon which, at various times during the past 5,oo0 years, human habitations have been built. The top most layer are the remains of the Roman city of Ilium (see page 531). "Next beneath it lie two Hellenic villages which flourished between 1000 B. C. and the Christian era. The sixth city from the bottom is now widely accepted as Homer's Troy. It has a mighty circuit wall, with imposing towers, and is built of massive ashlar masonry. Its area is about two and a half times as great as that of the Second City and it flourished in the latter half of the second millennium B. C. Immediately below this stratum are the remains of three pre historic settlements, with unimportant houses of stone and brick built on and with the ruins of the Second City and covering the period of circa 2000-1500 B. C. "Archaologists were especially interested in the discovery of the Second or Burnt City, which antedates Homeric Troy by as many years as separated the latter from classical times. It was a small fortress, not more than one-third the size of the Acropolis at Athens, but well built with stout walls of stone surmounted by brick. At this level was unearthed an extraordinary mass of treasure, including silver jars, gold daggers, and diadems of pure gold, one of which was woven of more than 16,ooo rings and leaves--a Crown jewel indeed. The Burnt City had a chequered career, for during an existence of about 500 years, 2500 200ooo B. C., it was attacked and destroyed three times. Its predecessor was an unimportant primitive settlement, with walls of small quarry stones and clay, built upon the virgin rock." (From "Crete, Forerunner of Greece," by C. H. and H. HAWES.) Scattered about are bits of sculptured marble, the remains perhaps of Roman or Alexandrine occupation. Off in the dreamy distance lies Tenedos-sinister Tenedos, not discernible except in the clearest weather-and by the shore near .where the Dardanelles meets the sea, whence Thetis might at any moment arise, is a tumulus known as the Tomb of Achilles, and near by another, the Tomb of Patroclus. The coast, perhaps five miles away, could scarcely have been so remote in ancient times. In other words, the Simois and Scamander have been behaving just like other rivers under the same circum stances-thrusting their silt and detritus into the sea, building up the adjacent shore, filling in their lower courses, and so becoming stagnant and marshy behind their work of repletion. In spite of their marshiness, however, the plains of Troy are beautiful, decidedly worth fighting for; and when one has seen the barren mountain-sides of Greece and the narrow, limited valleys that never could have nourished a large population in a gen erous fashion, it sets him thinking.