History of Truva

Troy (Turkish: Truva ) is an ancient city in what is now north-western Turkey, made famous in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. According to Iliad, this is where the legendary Trojan War took place. Today it is an archaeological site popular with travellers from all over the world, and in addition to being a Turkish national park, it is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Trojan Horse at the entrance of the site situated on Hisarlık Hill on the north-western tip of Troad Peninsula, the site allows total control of Dardanelles, which, along with the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus, is today known as the Turkish Straits. In many periods of history, this was a key route connecting Mediterranean with the Black Sea, as well as being where European and Asian landmasses are almost just a stone's throw away from each other.

Hisarlık Hill has hosted major human settlements almost continuously since 3000 BC. The earliest city on the site was a small Neolithic settlement of which little remains. A successor to this settlement, now referred to Troy II, was also of modest size but built monumental buildings and amassed such astonishing treasure that early archaeologists initially associated it with a much later period. More famous, however, are the Late Bronze Age Troy VI and Troy VII archaeological layers, likely corresponding to the city known to the Hittites as Wilusa and possibly corresponding to the city known in later legends as Troy.

The abduction of Queen Helen of Sparta by Paris, a Trojan prince, sparked enmity between the Trojans and Achaeans from across the Aegean Sea, or so says the story. Having been unable to break into the defensive walls of the city for nine years, Achaeans decided to set up a trick—they offered a huge wooden horse as a gift to Trojans, as an amend for the bother they caused with their war galleys on the city's beach. Trojans accepted the offer sincerely, but this resulted in them losing their city, as inside of the horse was full of Achaean soldiers, ready to combat, and now right in the centre of the city.

Researchers still debate not only whether there was a Trojan War but also what it would mean to claim that there was a Trojan War. However, it is settled beyond a doubt that the site on Hisarlık Hill was the city which was regarded as the site of a Trojan War in later time. (For instance, numerous coins turn up in the topsoil at the site identifying it as such.) Moreover, we know from Hittite records that the city of Wilusa was involved in several military conflicts which also involved Greek people between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. (We can't be sure *how* these events involved the various parties-- it seems like some Greek people may have fought alongside the Trojans against the Hittites during one of these conflicts, and a later conflict may not have reached the city proper.) Thus, if the identification of Wilusa with Hisarlık Hill is correct, the site would have hosted events which could well have inspired the later myths.

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