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new excavations?

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NEW EXCAVATIONS

The new excavations in Troy started in 1988. Permission was given to Prof. Manfred Korfmann, a prehistorian at Tübingen University in Germany.

The excavations are carried out with modern methods and fersh knowledge of archaeology. New measurements with modern tools have already been completed. About 60 experts in different fields and from different countries have been continuing the excavations every year for three month terms in June, July and August. During the excavation season even the smallest ceramic piece is collected and studied and carbon 14 method is used for datings.

Besides stopping the deterioration of the ruins, the main aim of the new excavation is to study carefully the different strata of this most important settlement on the northeastern corner of the "Anatolian Bridge". We believe that for such work Troy was not chosen by chance. Over the "Anatolian Bridge" so many different peoples passed either from Asia to Europe or from Europe to Asia over the centuries. These peoples from different races and different cultures left traces in Troy as they were passing by. The results of the studies of these traces will throw light on the whole history of Europe because many European nations claim that they are either the descendents of the Trojans or originally came from a corner of Anatolia. For example the founders of Rome the twin brothers Romulus and Remus were the descendents of Aeneas, a Trojan prince. This is why the Romans declared themselves as grandchildren of the Trojans and Troy the mother city of Rome. French people also claim that they come from a Trojan family. We wonder if the name "Paris" was given to the capital of France by coincidence or because of the mythological connection with Troy.

The Welsh people in the west of Britain also believe that they are descendents of the Trojans. In fact the Galatians (or Gauls) were a Celtic people who lived in Asia Minor. They lived some where not far from Troy and were the biggest enemies of the Pergamon people. After the Pergamon army defeated them, they migrated to Europe via Yugoslavia. Their struggle with the Pergamon army is described on the reliefs of the famous Zeus Altar as the fight of giants and gods.

On the relief gods symbolise the people of Pergamon and giants symbolise the Galatians.

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According to an English legend one of the followers of Aeneas was called Brutus. They left Troy together but later Burutus quarrelled with Aeneas. As Aeneas was sailing to Italy Brutus sailed to Great Britain. There he fought with giants and defeated fought with giants and defeated them. Because of Brutus the island was called Britain. This is why the English, like the Romans, thought they were the descendants of the Trojans, claiming that the original name of London was "Troy Novant", the "new Troy".

The above mentioned claims may all be myths but still it shows European mations interest in Troy seeking their roots somewhere in Anatolia. In fact, it is accepted today that the Trojans spoke "Luvian", an Indo Europear language, the same as that spoken in many European countries.

Troy has remains dating from 3000 B.C. till 400 A.D. That means this place was inhabited for 3400 years or even more. During recent excavations under the ruins of Troy I. An earlier settlement was discovered which goes back till 3500 B.C. like many visitors we call it "Troy O" but the archaelogists of the excavation team calt it more scientificly, "an earlier settlement than Troy I"

If we take all these factors into account we understand better why Troy was chosen as a reference point by archaeologists. We also believe that the results from all this careful work at Troy are going to be very useful for the study of other ancient places in Anatolia.

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In this international excavation team, besides German and Turkish archaeologists, American, English, Austrian and Dutch archaeologists are taking part. The excavations are carried out under the control of the Ministry of Culture. All artifacts found during the excavations are registered and stored in the Archaeological Museum in Çanakkale.

The scientific results are also published annually as repports. Mercedes Benz sponsors a great deal of the excavations.

During the 1991 excavation season many Byzantine graves were found on he the site of the big theatre. Similar graves were found a few years ago every-where in Troy. This brings to mind the question of whether there was Byzantine settlement as well... in other words was there Troy X too? This is not clear so far. Probably Troy was accepted as a holy place even during the Byzantine period. llion became a place of pilgrimage and some people perhaps wanted to be buried here.

 

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