Hisarlik (Turkish: Hisarlık, "Place of Fortresses"), often spelled Hissarlik, is the modern name for an ancient city in modern day located in what is now Turkey (historically Anatolia)[1] near to the modern city of Çanakkale.[2] The unoccupied archaeological site lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and about the same distance from the Dardanelles. 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.

It is believed by many scholars to be the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.[1]

Turkish: Hisarlık
Archeological plan of Hisarlik
Archeological plan of Hisarlik
Located at the edge of a cape projecting into the Aegean
Located at the edge of a cape projecting into the Aegean
Shown within Marmara
Located at the edge of a cape projecting into the Aegean
Located at the edge of a cape projecting into the Aegean
Hisarlik (Turkey)
Alternative nameTroy
Coordinates39°57′25″N 26°14′20″E / 39.957°N 26.239°E


Located at the edge of a cape projecting into the Aegean between the Dardanelles and the Gulf of Edremit, which was known in antiquity as the Troad, Hisarlik was one of many successful pockets of human civilization which arose and prospered in Anatolia. Paleogeographic studies carried out around Hisarlik by John C. Kraft, head of the Geology Department of the University of Delaware and Professors Ilhan Kayan and Oğuz Erol from Ankara University indicate a favourable environment for settlement existed from around the eighth millennium BC, when receding seas left a fertile, well watered plain which over time became a shallow, but navigable estuary. Above this natural harbour, the hill was large enough to support extensive building, providing natural protection from invasion and a commanding view of the sea.

Human settlement in the region

Section Troy-Hisarlik-fr
Section of the site

Elsewhere in Anatolia, there is abundant archaeological evidence of a thriving neolithic culture at least as early as the seventh millennium BC. What may have been the world's first urban settlement (c. 7500 BC) has been uncovered at Çatalhüyük in the Konya Ovasi (Konya Basin). Evidence from a cave at Karain near Antalya shows human occupation in the region extending over an estimated 25,000 year period.

The inhabitants of Hisarlik lived among a number of vigorous, interactive and often warlike cultures. Apart from the mainland Greeks whence they may have sprung, the Trojans counted such neighbours as the Hittites, Phrygians and Lydians. It has been suggested that the polity at ancient Hisarlik might be one and the same with that known to the Hittites as Wilusa.[3]

The unbroken occupation of the region around Hisarlik continued with the arrival of the Romans. Finally, after several centuries of trying, the Greeks gained control of the region once ruled by the Trojans. Around 1050–800 BC, Ionian Greek refugees fled to Anatolia, to escape the Dorians. Many cities were founded along the Anatolian coast during the great period of Greek expansion after the eighth century BC. One of these, Byzantium, a distant colony established on the Bosporus by the city-state of Megara, grew to supplant Rome and ultimately proved the downfall of Troy as it dominated all maritime and overland trade for almost 22 centuries.

The region around Hisarlik is still inhabited by the descendants of the many and varied peoples who laid claim to the shores and hillsides of Anatolia. Present day Çanakkale is a thriving settlement close to the ancient site of Hisarlik. Çanakkale lies on both sides of the Dardanelles and touches both Europe (Gelibolu Peninsula) and Asia (Biga Peninsula) and just as it was in the time of Homer, maritime traffic connects both sides of the straits.


The assumed location of Troy was apparently well known in the ancient world and was visited by Alexander the Great.[4] In more modern times, a site associated with Ilium (and more readily identifiable as Hisarlik) was being shown to curious visitors as early as the 15th century, when Pedro Tafur was guided from the Genoese port of Fojavecchia (Phocaea):

I travelled by land for two days to that place which they say was Troy, but found no one who could give me any information concerning it, and we came to Ilium, as they call it. This place is situated on the sea opposite the harbour of Tenedos. The whole of this country is strewn with villages, and the Turks regard the ancient buildings as relics and do not destroy anything, but they build their houses adjoining. That which made me understand that this was, indeed, ancient Troy, was the sight of such great ruined buildings, and so many marbles and stones, and that shore, and the harbour of Tenedos over against it, and a great hill which seemed to have been made by the fall of some huge building.[5]

Tafur, like most early visitors, was distracted by the more prominent Hellenistic and Roman remains close to the modern shoreline.

While the archaeological record has much to say about the physical remains, it reveals little about the people who built and rebuilt the fabled city of Troy. The historical record for Troy is dominated by the epic poems of Homer and peopled with gods and heroes whose identities and histories formed part of the oral tradition of the area for centuries before the great Greek poet committed some of them to verse. Homer was not, however, overly concerned with history. Not surprisingly, the historical context for the epic Iliad and Odyssey is not as clear as one would wish. Various attempts have been made over time to identify the origins of the inhabitants of Troy.

As early as 1946, American classical art historian Rhys Carpenter argued that the Trojan War, far from being an historical event, was in fact a synthesis of many such events involving peoples whose mutual involvement stretched back centuries.[6] In the Iliad, the word most commonly used for the city of the Trojans is not "Troy" but "Ilion". Carpenter saw this as evidence of the possibility that Troy was not the name of a town at all, but rather the name of an area or district inhabited by the Trojans. The Greeks clearly had a legend about a war against the Trojans, but may have disagreed about where these people lived. At least one group of Greeks put them at a place called Teuthrania in the area known as Mysia.

Carpenter suggests that the real "Troy" is located in neither the Troad nor Aeolis but rather that the memory of a pan-Achaean expedition elsewhere was located at two different points in Asia Minor by later poetic traditions: at Ilion by the Ionic poets, because they found in this area a local folk tradition about a strong citadel sacked near the end of the Bronze Age (Hisarlik); and at Teuthrania by the Aeolic poets, to correspond with Aeolic traditions connected with their own occupation of this area.

If one is willing to accept Carpenter's line of argument this far, one can place "Troy" virtually anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean where bands of Mycenaean Greeks may have undertaken joint piratic raids. Carpenter goes so far as to place "Troy" in Egypt and to connect the story of the Trojan War with the raids of the Sea Peoples mentioned in Egyptian sources at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 12th centuries BC.

The tangled and fragile skein of inference in the historical record gives no certainty as to the origin of the inhabitants but the fact remains that for over two millennia a thriving civilisation existed at Hisarlik.

Homer's interest in Troy ends with the fall of the city. Glimpses are recorded of the fallen city, walls burning, looting and destruction and a fleeing populace including Aeneas, carrying his father Anchises away from the scene of devastation and unknowingly into a new and glorious future on alien shores. Troy’s history does not end with the fall of Priam’s city. The history of Troy is inextricably linked with the Bronze Age and later cultures of Anatolia, the name of which is from the Greek word for sunrise, anatole

Archaeological excavation

An alternative site, 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 19th century. The most dedicated of these was Frank Calvert, whose early work was overshadowed by the German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s.[7]

The site of Hisarlik has been under near-constant archaeological excavation ever since Schliemann began in 1873.[8] While much has been discovered about the structural layout of the many layers of occupation, there has been a paucity of writing found from before the classical era. In fact, the only written document heretofore discovered is a small cylinder seal with an inscription in Luwian.[8]

Troy VII is an archaeological layer of Hisarlik that chronologically spans from c. 1300 to c. 950 BC. It coincides with the collapse of the Bronze Age and is thought to be the Troy mentioned in Ancient Greece and the site of the Trojan War.[9]



  1. ^ a b Michael Wood (1998). In Search of the Trojan War. University of California Press. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-0-520-21599-3.
  2. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/sep/26/archaeologists-home-in-on-homeric-clues-as-turkey-declares-year-of-troy
  3. ^ http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/AnatoliaTroy.htm
  4. ^ http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t03.html
  5. ^ Pedro Tafur, Andanças e viajes,ch. XIII; the text written in 1453/54 recounts a voyage of the 1430s.
  6. ^ Rhys Carpenter (1946). Folk Tale, Fiction and Saga in the Homeric Epics. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02808-1.
  7. ^ Susan Heuck Allen (1999). Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlík. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-20868-1.
  8. ^ a b http://www.livescience.com/38191-ancient-troy.html
  9. ^ I.E.S. Edwards; C.J. Gadd; N.G.L. Hammond; E. Sollberger (18 September 1975). The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-0-521-08691-2.

External links


Alaksandu, alternatively called Alakasandu or Alaksandus was a king of Wilusa who sealed a treaty with Hittite king Muwatalli II ca. 1280 BC. This treaty implies that Alaksandu had previously secured a treaty with Muwatalli's father, Mursili II, as well.


A bouleuterion (Greek: βουλευτήριον, bouleutērion), also translated as council house, assembly house, and senate house, was a building in ancient Greece which housed the council of citizens (βουλή, boulē) of a democratic city state. These representatives assembled at the bouleteurion to confer and decide about public affairs. There are several extant bouleuteria around Greece and its former colonies. It should not be confused with the Prytaneion, which housed the executive council of the assembly and often served as the boule's mess hall.

Carl Blegen

Carl William Blegen (January 27, 1887 – August 24, 1971) was an American archaeologist who worked on the site of Pylos in Greece and Troy in modern-day Turkey. He directed the University of Cincinnati excavations of the mound of Hisarlik, the site of Troy, from 1932 to 1938.

Fimmbræðra saga

Fimmbræðra saga ('the saga of the five brothers') is an Icelandic romance-saga by the priest Jón Oddsson Hjaltalín (1749-1835). It has been characterised as Jón's most ambitious work, and 'in many ways the most interesting of the sagas which Jón authored, first and foremost because he was more successful here than in any other saga in combining influences from a great many different sources, local and foreign, ancient and new'.

Frank Calvert

Frank Calvert (1828–1908) was an English expatriate who was a consular official in the eastern Mediterranean region and an amateur archaeologist. He began exploratory excavations on the mound at Hisarlik (the site of the ancient city of Troy), seven years before the arrival of Heinrich Schliemann.


Gambrium or Gambrion (Ancient Greek: Γάμβριον), also Gambreium or Gambreion (Γάμβρειον), was a town of ancient Aeolis and of Mysia, quite close to Pergamum. Its location is near Kınık and Bergama in İzmir province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

It is on a hill named Hisarlık in the Bakırçay (ancient Kaikos) valley and very close to modern town of Poyracık.Gambrium is first mentioned in the Hellenica of Xenophon which gives knowledge about the region in 399 BCE. At that time the ruler of the city, as well as of Palaegambrium, was Gorgion, son of Gongylos.There was a star with twelve rays on the electrum coins of Gambrium.

Heinrich Schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann (German: [ˈʃliːman]; 6 January 1822 – 26 December 1890) was a German businessman and a pioneer in the field of archaeology. He was an advocate of the historicity of places mentioned in the works of Homer and an archaeological excavator of Hisarlik, now presumed to be the site of Troy, along with the Mycenaean sites Mycenae and Tiryns. His work lent weight to the idea that Homer's Iliad reflects historical events. Schliemann's excavation of nine levels of archaeological remains with dynamite has been criticized as destructive of significant historical artifacts, including the level that is believed to be the historical Troy.Along with Arthur Evans, Schliemann was a pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. The two men knew of each other, Evans having visited Schliemann's sites. Schliemann had planned to excavate at Knossos but died before fulfilling that dream. Evans bought the site and stepped in to take charge of the project, which was then still in its infancy.

Historicity of the Homeric epics

The extent of the historical basis of the Homeric epics has been a topic of scholarly debate for centuries.

While researchers of the 18th century had largely rejected the story of the Trojan War as fable, the discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik reopened the question in modern terms, and the subsequent excavation of Troy VIIa and the discovery of the toponym "Wilusa" in Hittite correspondence has made it plausible that the Trojan War cycle was at least remotely based on a historical conflict of the 12th century BC, even if the poems of Homer are removed from the event by more than four centuries of oral tradition.

Homer's Ithaca

Ithaca (; Greek: Ιθάκη, Ithakē) was, in Greek mythology, the island home of the hero Odysseus. The specific location of the island, as it was described in Homer's Odyssey, is a matter for debate. There have been various theories about its location, although modern Ithaca is generally accepted to be Homer's island by most scholars.

The central characters of the epic such as Odysseus, Achilles, Agamemnon and Hector are generally believed to be fictional characters. Yet there are many claims that some Homeric hero long ago had inhabited a particular contemporary region or village. This, and the extremely detailed geographic descriptions in the epic itself, have invited investigation of the possibility that Homer's heroes might have existed and that the location of the sites described therein might be found.

Heinrich Schliemann believed he tracked down several of the more famous traditions surrounding these heroes. Many locations around the Mediterranean were claimed to have been the heroes' "homes", such as the ruins at Mycenae and the little hill near the western Turkish town of Hissarlik. Schliemann's work and excavations proposed, to a very sceptical world, that Homer's Agamemnon had lived at Mycenae, and that "Troy" itself indeed had existed at Hisarlik. Much work has been done to identify other Homeric sites such as the palace of Nestor at Pylos. These attempts have been the subject of much scholarly research, archaeological work, and controversy.

Theories on the location of "Homer's 'Ithaca'" were formulated as early as the 2nd century BC to as recently as AD 2003. Each approach to identifying a location has been different, varying in degrees of scientific procedure, empirical investigation, informed hypothesis, wishful thinking, fervent belief, and sheer fantasy. Each investigator and each investigation merits interest, as an indicator both of the temper of the times in which a particular theory was developed, and of the perennial interest in Odysseus and the possible facts of his life. Some of the latest "Homer's 'Ithaca'" approaches resemble some of the earliest.


Kumtepe is the oldest permanent settlement in the Troas, the region in northwestern Anatolia, where later Troy was built. Kumtepe has four layers, Kumtepe IA, IB, IC and II. The last two have been largely disturbed in the twentieth century. The remaining and relatively undisturbed IA and IB are of special interest to the archaeologists, because these are older than other settlements in the region.

Around 4800 BC the first settlement in Kumtepe was founded. The inhabitants lived on fishing, and their diet included oysters. The dead were buried, but without grave gifts. Although Kumtepe belongs to Neolithic, the occupants used also copper. Around 4500 BC the settlement was abandoned.

Around 3700 BC new settlers came to Kumtepe. The people of this new culture, Kumtepe B, built relatively large houses with multiple rooms, sometimes a porch. They also practiced animal husbandry and agriculture. The main domestic animals were goats and sheep, bred not only for meat but for milk and wool as well. They knew lead and bronze along with copper. Shortly after 3000 BC Yassıtepe and Hisarlık (Troy) were colonized probably from Kumtepe.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

List of populated places in İzmir Province

Below is the list of populated places in İzmir Province, Turkey by district. The first 21 districts (Aliağa-Urla) are parts of Greater İzmir. In the following lists, the first place in each is the administrative center of the district.


Pınarbaşı is a Turkish place name and may refer to:

Pınarbaşı (district), Kastamonu, a district in Kastamonu Province

Pınarbaşı, Ezine, a village in Ezine, Çanakkale province, held to be the site of Troy by Jean Baptiste LeChevalier and others in the 19th century before the excavations at Hisarlik

Pınarbaşı Gölü, an archaeological site in Turkey in Konya Province

Pınarbaşı, Akseki, a village in Antalya Province

Pınarbaşı, Besni, a village in Adıyaman Province

Pınarbaşı, Bornova, a neighborhood in Bornova district of Izmir Province, Turkey

Pınarbaşı, Cyprus, a village in northern Cyprus

Pınarbaşı, Çelikhan, a village in Adıyaman Province

Pınarbaşı, Erdemli, a village in Mersin Province

Pınarbaşı, Gülağaç, a village in Aksaray Province

Pınarbaşı, Haymana, a village in Ankara Province

Pınarbaşı, Kaş, a village in Antalya Province

Pınarbaşı, Kayseri, a district in Kayseri Province

Pınarbaşı, Ortaköy, a village in Aksaray Province

Sarpidons saga sterka

Sarpidons saga sterka ('the saga of Sarpidon the Strong', also known as Sagan af Sarpidon konungi og köppum hans, 'the saga of King Sarpidon and his champions') is an Icelandic romance-saga by the priest Jón Oddsson Hjaltalín (1749-1835). The protagonist shares his name with a number of heroes of Ancient Greek epic.

Sword dance

Sword dances are recorded throughout world history. There are various traditions of solo and mock-battle (Pyrrhic) sword dances from Africa, Asia and Europe.

General types of sword dance include:

solo dancers around swords – such as the traditional Scottish sword dances. This general form also encompasses non-sword dances such as the bacca pipes jig in Cotswold morris dance,

mock-battle dances, including many stick dances from non-sword traditions, and such common continental dances as Bouffons or Mattachins as described by Thoinot Arbeau in 1588.

hilt-and-point sword dances – where the dancers are linked together by their swords in a chain. These form the basis for rapper sword and long sword forms


Troy (Ancient Greek: Τροία, Troia or Τροίας, Troias and Ἴλιον, Ilion or Ἴλιος, Ilios; Latin: Troia and Ilium; Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 Wilusa or 𒋫𒊒𒄿𒊭 Truwisa; Turkish: Truva or Troya) was a city in the far northwest of the region known in late Classical antiquity as Asia Minor, now known as Anatolia in modern Turkey, just south of the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida. The present-day location is known as Hisarlik. It was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion); this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa.

A new capital called Ilium (from Greek: Ἴλιον, Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric and declined gradually in the Byzantine era, but is now a Latin Catholic titular see.

In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlik, and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale. These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Schliemann was at first skeptical about the identification of Hisarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert and took over Calvert's excavations on the eastern half of the Hisarlik site, which was on Calvert's property. Troy VII has been identified with the city called Wilusa by the Hittites (the probable origin of the Greek Ἴλιον) and is generally (but not conclusively) identified with Homeric Troy.

Today, the hill at Hisarlik has given its name to a small village near the ruins, which supports the tourist trade visiting the Troia archaeological site. It lies within the province of Çanakkale, some 30 km south-west of the provincial capital, also called Çanakkale. The nearest village is Tevfikiye. The map here shows the adapted Scamander estuary with Ilium a little way inland across the Homeric plain. Due to Troy's location near the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea, it was a central hub for the military and trade.Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.

Troy VII

Troy VII, in the mound at Hisarlik, is an archaeological layer of Troy that chronologically spans from c. 1300 to c. 950 BC. It coincides with the collapse of the Bronze Age. It was a walled city with fortified towers reaching a height of 9 metres (30 ft); the foundations of one of its towers measured 18 metres by 18 metres (59 ft). Manfred Korfmann, who excavated the site in the 1980s, estimated the area of Troy VII at 200,000 square metres (50 acres) or more and put its population at five to ten thousand inhabitants, which makes it "by the standards of its day a large and important city".The city was built following the destruction of Troy VIh, probably by an earthquake c. 1300 BC. A number of layers are distinguished:

Troy VIIa: ca. 13th century BC

Troy VIIb1: 12th century BC

Troy VIIb2: 11th century BC

Troy VIIb3: until c. 950 BCTroy VII was contemporary with the late period of Mycenaean culture and the Greek Dark Ages, as well as with the late Hittite Empire to Neo-Hittite times.

Wilhelm Dörpfeld

Wilhelm Dörpfeld (26 December 1853 – 25 April 1940) was a German architect and archaeologist, a pioneer of stratigraphic excavation and precise graphical documentation of archaeological projects. He is famous for his work on Bronze Age sites around the Mediterranean, such as Tiryns and Hisarlik (the site of the legendary city of Troy), where he continued Heinrich Schliemann's excavations. Like Schliemann, Dörpfeld was an advocate of the historical reality of places mentioned in the works of Homer. While the details of his claims regarding locations mentioned in Homer's writings are not considered accurate by later archaeologists, his fundamental idea that they correspond to real places is accepted. Thus, his work greatly contributed to not only scientific techniques and study of these historically significant sites but also a renewed public interest in the culture and the mythology of Ancient Greece.

Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial

The Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial (Turkish: Çanakkale Şehitleri Anıtı) is a war memorial commemorating the service of about 253,000 Turkish soldiers who participated at the Battle of Gallipoli, which took place from April 1915 to December 1915 during the First World War. It is located within the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park on Hisarlık Hill in Morto Bay at the southern end of the Gallipoli peninsula in Çanakkale Province, Turkey.

The memorial was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 500,000 lira banknotes of 1993-2005.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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