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the treasure of priam?

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THE TREASURE OF PRIAM

"The gold of Troy" found by Schliemann became the subject of novels and many visitors are very much interested in the treasure. Schliemann made many mistakes which can not be tolerated with our present understanding of archaeology. He turned Troy into a molehill. In spite of this he was considered the Father of Archaeology and he was even awarded a Ph. D. in archaeology. He is described by some writers as "the most unscientific of archaeologists who founded the science of archaeology". He imagined King Priam as a rich king which is why when he found treasure in Troy he called it the "treasure of Priam", because he had the habit of giving heroic names to his discoveries. He believed that they were the jewels of Helen. Putting them on his wife Sophia, he addressed her "you are my beautiful Helen", but we know today that the treasure was at least 1000 years earlier than the time of Priam, belonging to the second settlement at Hisarlık.

The only explanation for not finding any trace of the real treasure of Priam must be the plundering of the whole city at the end of the Trojan War. "The treasure of Troy" was smuggled by Schliemann to Greece then later taken to Berlin. It was kept in a museum until the Second World War then disappeared.

According to some sources, during the Second World War the museum was plundered by Nazi officers. If this is true it is now in private hands in Latin America.

According to other sources the Russians who first entered Berlin first plundered the museum and transported it to Russia.

Because this last one seemed more probable to us, we mentioned this possibility to a Russian ambassador whom I guided around Troy. The only answer we got from the abassador was "nyet" in Russian which means "no",

With no further comment this short answer was suspicious. Then we read in the newspapers that it is in Pushkin Museum in Moscow. This has been confirmed by the Russian government. Part of the treasure which was given back by Schliemann to the Ottoman government as a gesture to get the second permission for excavations and part of that which was found during later excavations, is now on display in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.

We hope one day all the artifacts including the treasure, will be returned to where the belong and exhibited in a museum together with that recently found.

 

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