How many times do you think a civilization can be destroyed and reestablished? Troy, which was destroyed and reestablished as a result of invasions or natural disasters, has 10 known layers. It must had been difficult to rebuild and live in Troy over and over again. New lives and new settlements were built on the lifes of the past. New developments and advancements have been observed in every new establishment in Troy.
War destroyed some layers of Troy, fire destroyed some layers and earthquakes destroyed the rest. Still, Troy was founded and continued his struggle and life. We know that 10 layers have been built upon each other thanks to 156 years of excavations in Troy. Let’s have a look at the Layers of Troy Ancient City.
This layer, dating between 3000-2500 BC, shows the first settlement phase with 10 different building levels. Protected by towers and walls discovered to be 115 m long and bearing traces of the Aegean culture, Troy 1 was devastated. The narrow and long house on the 1st floor of Troy has a large room with two open fireplaces.
This cultural layer, dating between 2500-2200 BC, consists of 7 different building levels. This floor shows that there had been a development compared to the first period in terms of settlement and architecture. There are multi-room houses and partially smaller houses side by side along the narrow streets. The Megaron (multi-room house) with a colonnaded courtyard unearthed on this floor is an interesting find. In addition, the use of columns in architecture is seen for the first time in this phase. Archaeological findings show that Troy 2 was destroyed by fire.
Schliemann thought that the treasure he found was originally of King Priamos who ruled during the Trojan War. However, the layer where the treasure was found dates back a thousand years before the Trojan War.
This settlement, dating to 2200-2050 B.C., spreads over a wider area and indicates an unplanned city formation.
This layer dating between 2050-1900 B.C. consists of 5 building levels and has been severely damaged due to Schliemann’s excavations.
It is observed that the settlement known as Troy 5 between 1900-1800 B.C. has developed in terms of architecture and urbanization compared to the previous two periods. The houses here are planned, with a few rooms and courtyards and have a large hall.
The sixth layer of Troy dates back to 1800-1300 before Christ. It consists of 8 building levels. In this period, the existence of Hittites in Central Anatolia is well known. The development in architecture is noteworthy. The house with two rows of column bases, which has an Anatolian architecture, the cistern and the 8 m deep well are structures from this period. The walls, which were rebuilt from limestone, have a delicate workmanship. The walls were supported by towers built for surveillance purposes. The phase of Troy 6 coincides with the period of the legend of Troy and the epic Trojan Horse story. According to some scientists, it was destroyed by a big earthquake.
This layer is dated to 1300-1100 before Christ. This layer of Troy was ended with fire and destruction.
There is a settlement gap of several hundred years between the seventh and the eighth layers of Troy. 8th layer is dated to 700-85 BC. It is the period of the Persians, and then of the Macedonian King Alexander the Great. The most important temple from this era is the Temple of Athena. However, since the place where the temple was located was destroyed by Schliemann, unfortunately it is in the form of a pit today and it is called the Schliemann Trench.
9th layer of Troy is dates back to 85 BC and 500 AD. It is the period when the Anatolia was ruled by the Romans. During this period, Troy became one of the important trade centers. The Roman theater and the bouleuterium (parliament) are among the ruins which were built around this time.
It is predominantly the Eastern Roman period. After this date, the city lost its importance due to silting of its ports and the city was completely abandoned.
Tour Guide to Troy
Troy is just like a layer cake which gets more and more interesting once you start to dig in. Contact me to learn more about layers of Troy ancient city and write to me to book a professional licensed Turkish tour guide for your Troy visit. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.