According to new evidence obtained from excavations, archaeologists say that the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Turkey may have been more than six centuries older than previously thought. Rüstem Aslan, who is from the Archaeology Department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMU), said that because of fires, earthquakes, and wars, the ancient city of Troy had been destroyed and re-established numerous times throughout the years.
In the last 150 years or so, ten layers of settlements had been uncovered and they were named “Troy I” to “Troy XI”. This year, however, they discovered an eleventh layer of settlement that they named “Troy o”. “We found traces of burns, pottery and wooden beams in the Troy o layer,” Aslan told the Daily Sabah.
The items recovered were of great significance as they prove that the city’s history dates back to approximately 5,500 years ago in around 3500 BC. Prior to this year’s significant discovery of an eleventh layer, the previous layers of the settlements were from the ancient Greek to Byzantine time periods between 3000 BC and 1300 AD.
The ancient city of Troy can be found on the mounds of Hisarlik, looking over to the Turkish Aegean coastal plain. It is known as one of the most famous and most visited archaeological sites in the entire world. Excavations of the ancient city began in 1870 by a German businessman named Heinrich Schliemann, who is very well known in the field of archaeology.
Troy was famously known in the Greek Trojan War when Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece laid siege on the city in the 13th century BC. It was written about in the famous poem called The Iliad by the Greek poet Homer.
As for more recent times, in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Turkish government declared the year 2018 the “Year of Troy”. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have toured the famous archaeological site, which also includes a Troy Museum that opened in 2018 and houses around 2000 artifacts representing the ancient city. You can see more pictures here of the archaeological site of Troy.