Bronze Age
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The Mycenaean Bronze Age is when the actual Trojan War may have taken place. There probably was a city of Troy on the coast of Asia Minor. Troy was destroyed many times, including once in the mid 1200s BCE, shortly before the collapse of Mycenaean Bronze Age civilization.

photo of the gatePerhaps a memory of this collapse became connected to the stories of the Fall of Troy, transforming this story of an ancient war into a powerful metaphor for the ending of civilization through lust and violence. Stories about the Fall of Troy were told orally for several hundred years before Homer composed his brilliant epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, about the Greek heroes who conquered Troy and the Trojan heroes who attempted to defend it.

Although not very far from Mycenae, Troy was actually located on the west coast of Anatolia (modern Turkey), and was almost certainly a vassal state of the Bronze Age Hittite Empire, with its capital at Hattusas, not very far from modern day Ankara. Thus, I have included a section with links to Anatolian Hittite history and archaeology with lots of great photos.

Bronze Age Activities Bronze Age Lecture Bronze Age Bibliography
Explore the links below

ARCHAEOLOGY

  • Aegean Prehistoric Archaeology: from Dartmouth; a rich site with a full set of lessons and images.
  • Akrotiri Frescos: wonderful images from this important Bronze Age site in the Aegean from the Ancient History Encyclopedia..
  • Anistoriton: An electronic magazine of History Archaeology and Art History; includes a number of articles about the Mycenaean Bronze Age, Classical Greece, etc.
  • The Collapse of Mycenaean Palatial Civilization and the Coming of the Dorians: Lesson 28 of the  Dartmouth Bronze Age Archaeology course. It offers sophisticated, current information and analysis; rather technical. A few images are available for this lesson.
  • Crete and the Trojan War: Going Beyond Homer and Sir Andrew Evans: A synopsis of current ideas on this topic by Professor Halford Haskell
  • Linear B: This is the script used by the Mycenean Greeks at the time of the Trojan War.
  • New Light on the Dark Age of Greece. Interesting set of archeological essays by Jan Sammer.
  • TAY: The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey; a chronological inventory of findings about the cultural heritage of Turkey.
  • The Treasure at Troy: An uncritical but lively narrative about the fascinating story of Schliemann and his passion for excavation, which led him to Troy and other wonderful ancient sites, and of his discovery of what he claimed was the treasure of Troy.
  • Troy VII and the Historicity of the Trojan War: This site discusses the archaeology of Troy VII, the one presumably involved in the Fall of Troy. This is Lesson 27 of a course in Bronze Age Archaeology from Dartmouth; very current in material and analysis; rather technical. Each lesson includes an excellent bibliography.
  • Troy/Wilusa/Ilium: a throughly developed site about the archaology of the city of Troy. It includes schematics, maps, discussions, images, etc.

 


TRAVEL
  • Hattusas: Information about it and links to travel options.

 

HISTORY

  • The World of Homer's Troy: Wilfed E. Major offers detailed information and wonderful images about the Bronze Age world of the Trojan War. 
  • The Iliad and the Greek Bronze Age: an overview by John Porter, University of Saskatchewan
  • Troy (Truva): Narration about the history of Troy  and its legends, with many hypertext links to more information. Part of a larger site on Turkey that even includes a section on Turkish food.
  • "Troy in Clearer Perspective": Dieter Hertel and Frank Kolb. Argues against the view of Korfmann  that Troy VI was a major city and trading center. Abstract only. The full article is on JSTOR, a database that can be accessed through the NOVA libraries or many other college libraries.
  • Was there a Trojan War?: An essay  by Manfred Korfmann in Archaeology magazine (2004). Korfmann was the director of the excavations at Troy when he wrote this article.
  • Sea Peoples A Wikipedia article about the mysterious, piratical invaders of the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age.

IMAGES OF TROY AND THE MYCENAEAN BRONZE AGE


ANATOLIAN HITTITE CONNECTIONS TO TROY

  • Bogazkale pictures: Photos and comments about the ancient city (also known as Hattusa) that was the capital of the Bronze Age Hittite Empire.
  • Hittite Monuments: a clickable map of Bronze Age Anatolia with links to images from the various sites.
  • Hittites: a good Wikipedia site on this topic
  • Hittites: Google Search; a wonderful extensive collection of Hittite images with some information on each one.
  • The Hittites: A history of the Hittites including their cities, kings, art and contributions to civilization--clear and current.
  • Tracking the Frontiers of the Hittite Empire: a video of a lecture at the Oriental Institute of Chicago in 2010 by Professor Ann Gunter. A clear and interesting overview with some photos. A great introduction to Hittite archaeology. Her main point is that there was so much uniformity of pottery throughout the entire Hittite Empire that a centralized state control of many aspects of life is suggested. It loads very slowly.
  • Yazilikaya pictures: photos of an ancient site located near Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire. Some reader comments too.
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© Diane Thompson: 8/25/1998; updated: 8/1/2017