Troy is an ancient city with archaeological ruins located in Turkey. According to Homer‘s Illiad, it was attacked by the Greeks for ten years, a conflict commonly known as the Trojan war. In a space of 4000 years the city was rebuilt nine times.
For many years Troy was thought to be a mythical place, much like Atlantis. But in the 1870’s its ruins were discovered by Heinrich Schliemann.
Sadly, Schliemann’s ham-handed excavations did much damage to the ancient site. As the Wikipedia entry about him notes:
Schliemann began work on Troy in 1871. His excavations began before archaeology had developed as a professional field. Thinking that Homeric Troy must be in the lowest level, Schliemann and his workers dug hastily through the upper levels.¹
Michael Wood‘s In Search of the Trojan War, an investigation into the myth and archaeology of Troy, is available on DVD and highly recommended. And the general idea of Troy has cropped up in TV and movies, most recently Helen of Troy (2003) and Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt.
On the Web:
¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Schliemann In 2009 (the last revision for “Troy” at earthpages.ca) this Wikipedia entry was cited:
His career began before archaeology developed as a professional field, and so, by present standards, the field technique of Schliemann’s work leaves a lot to be desired. Thinking that Homeric Troy must be in the lowest level, he dug hastily through the upper levels.