September 22, 2009

Trojan War-Era Couple Unearthed In Turkey

A leading German professor said on Tuesday that archaeologists in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey found the remains of a man and a woman believed to have died in 1,200 B.C., the time of the legendary war chronicled by Homer, Reuters reported.

The bodies were found near a defense line within the city built in the late Bronze age, according to Ernst Pernicka, a University of Tubingen professor of archaeometry who is leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey.

Experts say the discovery could add to evidence that Troy's lower area was bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, changing scholars' perceptions about the city of the "Iliad."

Pernicka told Reuters that if the remains were confirmed to be from 1,200 B.C. it would coincide with the Trojan war period.

"These people were buried near a mote. We are conducting radiocarbon testing, but the finding is electrifying," he said.

Heinrich Schliemann, the German entrepreneur and pioneering archaeologist who discovered the steep and windy city described by Homer, unearthed ancient Troy, located in the northwest of modern-day Turkey at the mouth of the Dardanelles not far south of Istanbul, in the 1870s.

Pottery found near the bodies, which had their lower parts missing, was confirmed to be from 1,200 BC, Pernicka said.

But he added that the couple could have been buried 400 years later in a burial site in what archaeologists call Troy VI or Troy VII, which are different layers of ruins at Troy.

Each year tens of thousands of tourists visit the ruins of Troy, where a huge replica of the famous wooden horse stands along with an array of excavated ruins.

Image Courtesy Project Troy


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