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Archeology Lecture - Schliemann Notes

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Archeology Lecture Notes


 I: Early Years, The Search for Troy Begins

Heinrich Schliemann 

→ Legend among archeologists, very lucky.
→ Father of archaeology
→ One of the first people to look for places by digging
→ Unlike how Pompeii was found entirely by luck, he intentionally went out to dig and look for treasure.
→ Discovered
Greek Bronze Age.
→ There is controversy surrounding Schliemann.
→ Dug Troy, Mycenae, Tiryns.
→ Troy is found in Turkey, Mycenae is in Greece.
→ In 19
th century, Classicists studied great authors – Aeschylus, Sophocles, etc. and great architecture – Parthenon, etc.
→ Parthenon was not covered, it was something that was just there for them to study.
Homer is one such author they were reading. Homer wrote two great epic poems.
Iliad, Odyssey (characters include Achilles, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Patroclus, Odysseus, Hector, Priam,..)
→ Both poems have to do with a war that the Greeks fought against the Trojans.


→ Story about Paris and Helen. Paris voted Helen as most beautiful. Paris was a Trojan, he abducted Helen, took her to Troy. The issue was that Helen was married to Melanacius, and Melancius was not happy, and he asked Hagamandon to help. So the Greeks all go to Troy to get her back.  
→ The war lasted ten years, and the problem for Greeks was that Troy was a huge citadel. They had to siege it using the Trojan horses. In the end, Troy was destroyed.


→ Odysseus, after the war ended, wants to go home. It took him ten years to go home again after the war. He had angered the Gods, which led to him having horrible voyages. He went back home, and the only person who recognize him after twenty years was his dog.

→ Everyone who read these stories “knew” Troy was not a real place.
→ How could it be, when Gods interacted with humans, etc.
→ Schliemann proved the classicists wrong.


3300-1100: Bronze Age
C. 700: Homer was writing here. One of the earliest authors in ancient Greece.
500 – 30: Classical-Hellenistic
79 A.D: Pompeii Eruption

→ The stories Homer wrote about took place before his time. People in his time used Iron, but his stories were revolving around Iron. Now we are clear his stories began at the end of the Bronze Age.
→ Iron Age started at about 1100 B.C.

→ Trojan Horse in a medieval depiction showed a small horse on wheels.
→ In paintings of Troy, often depicted as medieval, people didn’t know better.
→ West Coast of Turkey is where Troy was.

The Situation Before Schliemann 

→ In the
1700s, early 1800s, many lured by Homer’s tales. Is there any truth to the legends? After all, Pompeii had been legend too.
Homer: Troy near Dardanelles, was great walled citadel; to SE was Mt. Ida, 2 islands offshore. Samothrace further away; Troy visible from it.
→ Troy could be seen from the Islands on the northwest coast of Turkey.
→ Homer also mentions two rivers near Troy, Scamander, Simois; also mentioned the great plains below Troy.

→ In Homer stories, Troy also called
Ilion. In Classical and Hellenistic periods, place called Ilion (Ilium Novum) in NW Turkey. Ancient visitor thought this = ancient Ilios. Remains of C and H periods.
→ The remains they saw were from their own period.
→ In Renaissance, visitors to area often shown remains said to be Ilion. Several places claimed the title.
→ By
18th century, much interest in precise location of Troy.

Robert Wood

→ First to study area Properly.
→ Using Homer as guide (
1472, 1750-51). Believed Troy really existed.
→ Saw ancient places, thought, “Why not any of these places actually be Troy?”
→ Problem? The people who used Homer as a guide, didn’t realize topography changes.
→ I.e., what had been the coast in Homer’s time, is now underwater!
→ Rivers changed courses as well, plains much bigger, etc.
→ In the
late 18th century, ambassador at Constantinople got survey done by J.B. Chevalier.
→ Troy thought to be at
→ Why did he believe this? There was an acropolis (height of the city), and had springs nearby (as Homer spoke of).
→ Cartographer for survey,
F. Kauffer, noted place with ancient remains (Hisarlik Hill). 
Edward Larke identified Hisarlik as Ilium Novum (C and H city).
William Gell published this in Topography of Troy in 1804. 
- Drew things in Pompeii = his writing and paintings that he published in his book were in English = people flooded Pompeii to see it.
Jacob Bryant (1796) published: “A dissertation concerning the War of Troy, and the Expedition of the Grecians as described by Homer. Showing that no such Expedition was ever undertaken that No Such City of Phrygia Existed”

Frank Calvert (1828 – 1908)

→ Family owned property partly on Hisarlik.
→ Brother
Fred also owned property (near Bunarbaschi): springs etc.
→ Maybe this was Troy!
→ Frank decided that the only way to find out is to excavate. Frank excavated various sites, including
→ Found remains at
Hisarlik (gave up at digging at Bunarbaschi, didn’t find anything old that matched Troy)
= Convinced that it was Troy.
→ Problem? He needed more money to dig Hisarlik (needed to buy the land).
→ Hisarlik at the time, 700 ft. long, and 110 ft. high.
→ Frank appealed to
Charles. Newton of BM: help pay for dig? But BM refused.
→ British Museum said no.
1865 bought part of mound: dug part of C and H ruins.  However, still not Troy.
→ Not enough money or time to continue his pursuit.

Enter Schliemann 

Johann Ludwig Heinrich Julius Schliemann 
→ German
→ Born
1822, January 6th.
→ Autobiography was written in his scholarly work in
→ Helped us understand him.
→ Born in
Neubuckow, in Eastern Germany.  
→ Father was a minister at church.
→ After his first year, his family moved to
→ When he made his passport, he always claimed his birthplace was
= Whenever it benefits him, Schliemann was a liar.
→ In
1831, mother died when she was giving birth to their ninth child. Not mentioned in his autobiography.
→ His father was disgraced, resigned post
→ Apparently beat his wife, beat his maid, beef rotting in the church, etc.
→ When Schliemann was young, he was inspired by local legends.
- From a young age, he was always intrigued by old legends. There were plenty of them from where he was.
→ By 8 years old, claimed he wanted to dig Troy up since then.
= Lie!

Schliemann II: His Quest Begins

→ After his mother’s death, lived with uncle (father couldn’t care for all 9 children).
→ In his autobiography, does not mention mother’s death, and even barely mentioned father’s disgrace.
1836: Apprenticed as grocer – loved ancient Greek!
→ A drunk student came in and started speaking of the Greek poems in Greek. This inspired Schliemann to learn the language.
1841: Took bookkeeping course.
→ No jobs, so tried sailing to Colombia, shipwrecked off Holland.
→ Spent hours in a life raft (what if he didn’t make it to land?)
→ Had amazing gift for languages. Would refer to himself as Henry Schliemann (English name).
→ He knew English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.
1844: Got job as bookkeeper in trading co., sent to St. Petersburg 1846
→ Made lots of money trading commodities
1850, brother died in California (gold rush). Schliemann went off there to settle affairs (will, etc.).
→ S. in Cal. From
September 1851 – April 1852. Bought gold dust from mines, sold it to bank, made fortune.
→ Claims became U.S citizen in
1850. Lied to cover up fraud.
1850 California became a state, and anyone living in there became a U.S citizen.
→ He was lying that he was in Cal since
1850 due to divorce and fraud (more later).
→ While in States, interviews with presidents of U.S. and Panama!
1852 quickly left States (health reasons, but we doubt that)
→ We believe he actually left for legal business. It looks like his banking partner had decided to get rid of him (believed Schliemann was defrauding the bank, and so he took off to avoid being prosecuted).
→ Goes back to St. Petersburg.
→ Proposed by letter to two women at same time.
Katarina Lyshin accepted, marriage in 1852.
→ Marriage wasn’t too great, but they had a son and two daughters.
→ Not happy marriage – S. pursued business interests.
→ Made fortune in
Crimean War selling saltpeter.
→ Saltpeter is an ingredient in gun powder (everybody wanted this, so he bought it all up, and sold it to the armies who needed it for their ammunition).
→ Near
1858-9, went to Egypt, Near East, Greece, Spain
→ Still no mention of Troy.
1864-66 more travels all over world
→ In
1866, enrolled at Sorbonne (he left school very young, so he decided to get PH.D in Paris).
→ States he went there to study archeology, but in fact, if you look at his courses, he took mainly philosophy courses.
→ Wife stayed in Russia, finally divorced her in

His Divorce

→ His divorce was in 1869 when he was in the States.
→ He needed citizenship.
→ In order to be citizen of States, you had to have been a resident of States for 5 years.
→ Paid someone to swear he had been (was lie).
→ Citizenship was gotten by fraud.
→ Later claimed he became citizen in 1850!
→ 3 days after getting U.S citizenship, he files for divorce.
→ Had to live in the state for one year.
→ Somehow convinced them was resident (paid someone to testify for him)
→ In court, wife’s letters used as evidence.
→ Letters were in Russian, and of course, only person there who could read it, was Schliemann. He lied about what they wrote.
→ More fraud: Ph.D. written in ancient Greek!
→ Whole thing was actually written in French, only one line was in ancient Greek!
→ More lies:
Great San Francisco Fire, May 4th-5th, 1851
→ Claims he barely escaped, had a good account of fire, but he wasn’t actually there.
→ He was actually in Sacramento.
→ The whole account was actually later inserted into his autobiography.
→ By
1868, he went to Rome, Pompeii, etc.
→ Claimed Fiorelli was going to slowly.
→ Also in Athens, heard about Bunarbaschi as possible Troy.
→ S. convinced this correct. He jumped to conclusions without having all the evidence (typical trait of Schliemann).
→ Interest in Troy therefore only by
→ Also went to
Ithaca – home of Odysseus
→ Schliemann thought he had a palace there.
→ Actually went out to see if there was a palace really there.
→ Sets him apart from other people, he actually went out to confirm.
→ Not very successful, but important – shows how he resolved problems
1868 also went to Mycenae (south Greece)
→ Why?
Pausanias says saw tombs of Agamemnon, etc, gave a tour guide feeling.
Mycenae was already known, you could see walls
→ Pausanias says he had seen grave of Agamemnon within the wall’s of Mycenae.
→ Schliemann took this literally, and said Agamemnon must be inside the walls.
→ Scholars thought not (within those days, dead would not be built within city walls, therefore they’d have to be outside the city).
→ Schliemann, “excavations could recover them”
→ That same year he was now very eager to find Troy.  
→ Dug at Bunarbaschi (2 Days): not Troy decision made
→ Calvert said Hisarlik site of Troy.
→ Frank meets Henrich
→ S. is convinced, yet again jumps to conclusions.
→ S. did know his own faults
= “My biggest fault, being a braggart and a buffer”
→ Finally, Calvert and Schliemann become partners.  
1868: “I am now quite decided to dig away the whole artificial mound of Hisarlik.” ---     --- Credited Calvert for identifying site.
→ Life now devoted to Homer
→ Homer was the one who talked about
The Great Trojan War.
→ Schliemann is going to use Homer to help him understand what he found at Troy.
→ Needed new Greek wife
→ How? = Schliemann writes to arch
Bishop of Greece and asks for a suggestions.
→ One woman caught his attention =
Sophia Engastromenos 
→ Married in
September 1869 (He was 47, she was 16).
→ Happily married until death did them part.
→ 3 children, son was named Agannamon
April 10th, 1870: S. Began digging at Hisarlik: Found walls – were palace of temple of Priam’s citadel.
→ One problem, he did not have a Firman (permit), should not be digging or working Greece, Turkey, etc.
→ Failed to know that land was already owned and was digging on their property.
→ Forced to stop April 20
→ Got permit October 11
th – November. 24th 1871 (this is the official excavation).
→ Sophia apparently was with him the whole time, but no she wasn’t she was in Athens.
→ Plan: To dig huge trench through middle of mound to
find Palace of King Priam (quote).
→ Basic principle of stratigraphy (one of the main principles of archeology) understood but sure that Homeric Troy at bottom of mound.
→ Convinced Troy was the lowest level of the habitations underground.
“Hills on which, in the course of thousands of years, new buildings have been continually erected on the site of formers buildings, gain very considerably in circumference and height.”
→ “To reach the ruins of the palaces of Priam and his sons… it will be necessary to remove the entire artificial part of the hill.”



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