Mystery of the Trojan War

Image Credits: Graduatez.com

Image Credits: Graduatez.com

Going by the claims of ancient history, those who survived the Trojan War about 2,700 years went on to establish a city of their own after the fall of Troy. But just Troy, the new town disappeared until recently when archaeologists made some fantastic findings of the place.  Finally, the mystery of the Trojan War is solved 3,000 years later by this remarkable discovery. Read on to find out the September 2018 discoveries of archeologists about the Trojan War.

A Great Discovery

While people believed the fact that The Odyssey and the epic poem of Homer (The Iliad) have a certain amount of myth, archeologists are beginning to understand that most of the stories truly happened. Scholars for entire millennia believed that the Trojan War to be majorly fictitious since there was no physical evidence to back up the stories.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

But the narrative is beginning to change now as studies are now showing we may now have the complete solution to a puzzle that began over 3,000 years ago. Credit goes to several of Greece's Ministry of Culture scientists and archaeologists who have been working to unravel more mysteries about the Trojan War. A team of archeologist uncovered the lost city named Tenea, that discovery solved the questions about what happened to Trojan war survivors. 

For Centuries, No One Knew What Occurred

Homer documented his account about the Trojan War between 400 to 500 years later, even though the War was said to have been around 1,200 and 1300 BC. Before now, Home’s account was the only piece of evidence that the War happened.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

Homer’s story was taken with a pinch of salt by scholars and even by the most optimistic ones. They were skeptical about the authenticity of the narrative and supposed that the epic story would probably have had some embellishments over 500 years. Following the belief of scientists about the story, all efforts to find Troy in the mid-1800s became abandoned. They went as far as moving copies of The Odyssey to the fiction shelves. However, things began to change later on.

The Trojans Migrated

Archeologists would have faced stronger challenges in finding the Lost City of Troy if indeed the recollection of Homer about the war is remotely untrue, as previously claimed by scientists. The people of Troy were killed as the Hellenes burnt their city to the ground. How that happened is an intelligent question to ask. The Greek soldiers overthrew Troy, and they did that with the help of their men who found their way into the walls of Troy by hiding in the famous Trojan horse.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

All the memories of Troy were destroyed and buried by the Greek for over 3,000 years using the unfortunate ability of fire to wipe historical records of the city. Stories have it that Agamemnon, the great king of Greek wiped out Troy and brought the survivors to Greece to find a town of their own.

The Survivors of Troy Founded Tenea

According to the account of Homer, it took Agamemnon (The King of Greek) about ten years to finally take over the city of Troy. Stories have it that Agamemnon was extremely harsh to the Trojans that he took captive after the war. He sold the women into slavery and murdered most of the men, and his actions were linked to either rage for how the battle went or maybe for good old-fashioned blood lust.

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However, Tenea was founded by the surviving Trojans according to Pausanias, the Greek historian who was alive during the second century B.C. Other ancients Greek myths and writings referenced Tenea, but those materials were all that was available about the war until 1873. That same year, archeologists made one of the most significant findings.

The Search for Troy by an Unlikely Man

The discovery of the Tomb of King Tut around the 19th century was the archeological equivalent of the Lost City of Troy discovery in 1873. Also, a businessman with a hobby founded Troy while an archeologist discovered the tomb of King Tut.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

The German-born Heinrich Schliemann migrated to America and later became a US citizen. Schliemann obsession with the Odyssey and Iliad were insatiable, and by the tie he was an adult, he could read both ancient and modern Greek. After retiring from his work at the age of 36, Schliemann dedicated the rest of his life to finding the Lost City of Troy.

He Didn’t Have Permission to Dig

It seems implausible that a businessperson would be the one to unearth the lost city of Troy, but the facts remain that no other scholar was willing to give it a try at that period. Because of the passion and drive of Schliemann, he started digging even without the permission of the Ottoman Government after he had searched for two years.

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His first focus was the Dardanelles; that spot has always been the gateway to the Black Sea from the Aegean Sea. There is a likelihood of the location of Troy in that strategic position as was once the Ottoman Empire. Schliemann began digging at that spot in 1870 until he found something remarkable.

The Site Is Found

As Schliemann continued digging, it became apparent that his 1870 Troy finding was only the first version of the city. It was discovered that Troy was built on top of the ruins of previous versions of itself and it took more in-depth search to find out more about the ancient city.

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It took only specialized archeologists to know that Troy was likely located in a remote spot and not the superficial supposed location. Schliemann got the hint of that information from his copy of the Iliad. He identified Hissarlik, a 100 feet high dirt and focused his effort on the mound. Amazingly, Schliemann didn’t uncover just one Troy; he discovered nine versions of it.

He Took the Gold He Found

Before his shocking discovery in 1873, Schliemann had a firm conviction that he was on the right spot, but no one else was. From the nine versions of Troy he discovered, we now know that Schliemann dug up Troy 2.0, a unique version of the ancient city. In his quest, he found a large building that is believed to be King Priam’s (King of Troy) palace.

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Besides the findings of the palace, Schliemann later discovered a collection of gold which, he named “Treasure of Priam;” he was quick to smuggle them out of the country at that time. Since then, people have not ceased excavation at Hissarlik; scholars even believed that the place is, in fact, the Lost City of Troy. Since the myth behind Troy was now seen as real, people decided to find Tenea. However, there were no significant findings of the place for about 100 years.

40 Years Later After the First Clue

The story of how archeologists found the lost city of Tenea started in 1984, some 35 years ago. That year, some archeologists working at Peloponnese, which is southwest Athens uncovered a sarcophagus. Peloponnese was a neighboring location to the Greek village Chiliomodi.

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Dr.Elena Korka, the lady that led the team at the 1984 discovery, had always felt there was something special about the site. “After I uncovered the sarcophagus, I knew I had to go back for more,” she said. She had waited for such an opportunity to lead the team. Although that took 29 years, the opportunity finally came as she went back to the sarcophagus.

Roman and Greek Tombs Were Discovered

Many exciting possibilities accompanied the discovery of the sarcophagus in 1984. The discovery of a body in the sarcophagus tells us that civilization at that time was on the rise. Towns and villages at that time had a cemetery of some sort, after all.

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At the return of Dr.Elena Korka, and her team to the sarcophagus in 2013, they uncovered several tombs and also made a massive discovery of an ancient road. After threading the discovered path for years, it eventually led them to the site of a Roman mausoleum. The discovery of Dr.Elena Korka was the most important archeological finding of the 21st century. A total of nine tombs were discovered that year.

Archaeologists used drones

Dr.Elena Korka and her team continued in their excavation, and by October 2018, they knew they were unto something amazing. As they carefully uncover layers of dirt upon another, all kinds of artifacts began to appear beneath the soil. The crew began to carefully excavate what would later aggregate to an entire ancient city though n the old-fashioned way.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

For the crew to understand the topography of the site, several old and new methods were combined, such as talking to locals, the use of drone footage and other old fashioned research methods. Incredible discoveries were made after they identified and understood the site. How they knew it was the Lost Coty of Tenea remains the big question.

Citizens of Tenea Did Well

From the findings of the team, they were amazed at the city’s resources and significant wealth. Dr.Elena Korka’s team made a discovery of 200 coins from the Hellenistic era-the period which dates between 323-331 BC and the time Rome fellin 479 AD.

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Many of the coins bear the mark of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (who ruled between 193 and 211 AD) because the Romans had conquered Greece in 146 BC. With all these findings amidst other signs of wealth Dr.Elena Korka’s team discovered, the team concluded that Tenea had experienced significant economic growth in times past.

Conquering the Conquerors

Although history tells us that the Romans conquered Greece, it was the reverse that happened. The Roman saw the culture of the Greek as highly sophisticated and advance to theirs, so, for the next 500 years, the Romans would imitate almost everything they’ve seen about the Greek. They would go on to copy their religious beliefs, art, and architecture.

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The above reason served as a drive for Dr.Elena Korka’s team to continue excavation on the site. They uncovered several tombs that spanned across centuries. Many of the graves contained urns, gold, and silver coins, indicating that the people were wealthy when they lived. The discovery of Roman mausoleum outside the city led to seven other
Roman Hellenistic tombs.

No One Else Ruled Over Them

Experienced archeologists are not oblivious of what to expect when they open a tomb or ancient sarcophagus. Finding coins and urns isn’t uncommon to archeologists. However, in the case of Dr.Elena Korka’s team, they were perplexed considering the kind of coins and urns they found. The gems the team located at the site typified the vast wealth Teneans.

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The coins and urns also exemplified the craftsmanship of the Teneans because they minted some of them. “We found urns that we haven’t seen before. They were in touch with the West,” 
said Dr. Korka. The location of the city and access to both the Aegean Sea and Adriatic further enhanced their vast, diverse possessions. These findings suggest to us that Tenea was at least was wealthy and ruled autonomously at a point in time.

Syracuse Was Founded by Teneans

The team also discovered that the city had more than beautiful coins and goods; the Teneans established relationships across multiple empires. According to a myth up until September 2018, Syracuse in Sicily was founded by Tenea and neighboring city- Corinth in 734 BC.

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In the 3rd century BC, Syracuse experienced peace for about 50 years, which blossomed the economy of the city and wealth across the Mediterranean. Syracuse was one of the most important ports in the ancient world then, but, like Tenea, it was eventually conquered by the Romans.

A Discovery of Immense Wealth

A big jar that may have been used to store all sorts of items were dug up by archaeologists. It was called a pythamphorae. Considering that the jar was crafted with bronze, it is easy to conclude that the owner was most likely wealthy.

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If our big cities today become ancient, all that will likely be left will be some sewage system beneath the ground. It is a similar thing for Tenea. The twelve-foot section of the clay pipe discovered under the ground by Dr. Korka's team of researchers would have been used for their sewer system. It is surprising though since the Greeks were unpopular for moving out their bad water. All they were known for is moving in good water.

“Luxurious”

Among the discoveries of Dr. Korka's team, the uncovering of the inside of a structure which is considered to be the town's center is probably the greatest. Another great finding is the mighty atrium that has columns considered the support for architraves. It is reported that the discoveries so far is only a fraction of what is possible of the 733 square yards even though Tenea is gradually becoming an ancient city.

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According to one of the archaeologists, the flawless architecture, which is the support mechanism of the city proves that the construction was luxurious. Unlike other similar structures in Greece, this one was not only strong but was also well-crafted.

Fine Craftsmanship in Ancient Tenea

From the architecture and personal possessions to all other things around Tenea, it was evident that it was a luxurious city. The age-long belief about Tenea was confirmed following the discovery of floors made with fine materials, clay, stone, or even marble.

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Things like the craftsmanship and skill employed in constructing the buildings in Tenea reveals that lots of trade activities took place in the city. The spoils of their effort show that they were prosperous at that time. Their walls were well-crafted with some entirely covered with mortar.

Life and Death Inside Tenea

Without any of these discoveries, would it have been possible to realize that this city was the Lost City of Tenea? Maybe yes! Although Tenea was prosperous, the people that built the city could do nothing but watch their city burn even as they were taken as prisoners. 

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Following Dr. Korka's findings, a common practice among the people of Tenea was uncovered. Ordinarily, the Romans permitted people to bury their dead, loved ones outside the city. But, this custom was suspended when it came to burying children. It was so because of the attachment parents had on their children.

Homer Is the Beginning

The descendants of survivors of the Trojan War seems to have had a break. They lived luxuriously in Tenea. The question, however, is how they found themselves in that place. Again, it is unknown to archaeologists yet how Tenea varnished from the map.

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The question of how we arrived here should be answered considering that a mystery that has lingered on for years is about to be unraveled. One way to achieving this feat is by calling on the ancients who had provided the clue to begin the search for the cities: Homer and his ancient classic The Iliad.

Helen of Troy

So far, nine "layers" of Troy have been uncovered, thanks to Heinrich Schliemann for unearthing the layers. Scholars generally believe that it was the 6th version of Troy, which existed from 100 to 1250 BC, that the Mycenean Greeks attacked.

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It may look like the Greeks attacked Troy because of her positioning in the Dardanelles, but Homer's The Iliad suggests another event. A great war was sparked up in the ancient world because of the love affair between Prince Paris of Troy and the infamous wife of the Spartan King, Helen of Troy.

The Will of Agamemnon

Homer's The Iliad started from a time where the Trojan War was almost over. There is a flashback in the story that explains the way the Greeks penetrated Troy's walls. It is a story of determination, as seen in King Agamemnon and every region under his rule. They sailed to the shores of Troy and laid siege for a decade.

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Following Schliemann's discovery, historians believe that the fortified obstacles and different positions across Troy reveal that the city was likely under continual harassment. The walls of the city were high too. One will agree that the victory of the Greeks came from being smart and not because they could break the walls.

The Fight of Hector of Troy

It was unlikely that the Greeks would win the war since they were unable to breach the walls of Troy. Hector, Troy’s oldest prince, and the heir to the Trojan throne led an attack that almost made the Greeks flee. He was the greatest warrior of Troy at that time. Although Hector wasn’t in approval of the war, he led his father’s army against the Greek killing 31,000 fighters in the battle.

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Image credits: Graduatez.com

The highpoint of the battle was when Hector fault and killed Achilles's best friend who he thought was Achilles. He immediately retreated alongside his men into Troy's walls. Hector took along with him Achilles' armor. That was the armor Achilles's best friend wore to disguise for the fight. The gruesome death of his friend made Achilles come all out for Hector of Troy.

Ever Head of Achilles?

Achilles sought revenge following Hector's murder of his friend. He asked to fight Hector one-on-one. Hector agreed and wore Achilles armor which he took from Achilles' friend. That is considered a mistake until date because Achilles understood the armor well. Achilles eventually located the loophole in the armor and sunk his blade into Hector.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

After the defeat of Hector by Achilles, Troy reached out to their allies, the Ethiopians and Amazonians. Achilles skill as a warrior saw him defeat more of Troy's best fighters. The battle became intense at a point that Paris shot an arrow at Achilles. The arrow got his heels. The Greeks watched in horror as he finished him.

The Trojan Horse

Agamemnon knew to conquer the Trojans would be a herculean task following the defeat of his best warrior, so he had to rely on another brilliant idea. It was a game of deception popularly known as the "Greeks gift" today. Ithacan King Odysseus came up with the idea, and it involves gifting a Trojan horse that will make it look like the Greeks surrendered.

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Following the acceptance of the Trojan horse gift, the greek soldiers surfaced from the horse. It was at a time of a massive Troy celebration. The Greek soldiers opened the gate to their fellow Greeks to the dismay of the Trojans. At this time, it was too late for them to salvage anything; it was the doom of Troy. The entire nine versions of Tory were burned and buried. It was lost for up to 3,000 years.

Troy Falls

Virgil's Aeneid is literature written around 700 years following the release of Homer's books. Most of what is known about happenings leading to the destruction of Troy is found in it. In Homer's book, The Iliad, he only describes how Tory burned but failed to give detailed information about Troy's destruction.

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After the defeat of Troy, the brain behind the Trojan Horse idea, King Odysseus, embarked on a journey back to Ithaca, his home in The Odysseus. His journey through Greece is followed by the reader. It took him 10 years to reach his destination. What then happened to the Troy people?

It’s Bad Everywhere, Except Tenea

Paris and Param alongside other Trojan characters die in the end in Virgil's Aeneid. Helen escapes from Troy and returns to her former husband, who reportedly forgives her because of her beauty. They settle and live joyously afterward.

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Image credits: Graduatez.com

As expected, the majority of Troy's men were killed while the women were taken captives by the Greeks. Other people were captured and taken prisoners. They were all taken to Greece in the company of Agamemnon and his victorious army. Those who survived in Troy were the founders of Tenea. In later events, Agamemnon was killed and his army eventually defeated.

Tenea: Founded by Trojan Prisoners

The references you will find to Tenea are not many, mostly a handful. There are significant exceptions to that too. This mystery lingers on for 2,700 years as the historical record ends. The idea that Tenea's descendants were the Trojan prisoners first surfaced in 2 AD, and it originated from the Greek historian, Pausanias.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

Oedipus Rex, Sophocle's play, also mentioned Tenea because it posited that Oedipus was from Tenea. Apart from the myth that existed, no one would have found out the truth about Tenea had it not been for Pausanias. A year after the Trojan War, Tenea and Rome produced the citizens of Trojan ancestry according to Virgil's Aeneid. The prisoners of Agamemnon (king of Greece) slowly began to build Tenea after the war into a city they had always lived in before they lost their place. 

The City of Tenea Was Great

It is recorded that the Trojans and their descendants founded two great cities. Both cities lasted for a long time throughout history. Poets say that the descendants of Troy enjoyed prosperity because of their ancestors' horrible fate in troy.

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Cities have always risen and fallen, but only a few make a mark in history. Tenea and Troy have made their impacts, and those impacts cannot be compared with that of many cities, which have existed. Following the wiping off of both cities from the map, new questions are being asked as regards what might have happened to Tenea. 

The Best Is on Its Way...

Tenea's fall is just another fall in the Roman Empire. It is reported that it is just before the Dark age started. The fossils discovered by archaeologists could be traced to the fourth century AD. It was at a time the Gothic King Alaric invaded the Peloponnese.

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Image Credits: Graduatez.com

Some reasons researchers attribute to the abandonment of Tenea in the sixth century are a volcanic eruption, plague, and bad weather. It is reported that King Alaric went further to seize Rome on two occasions and ended the about 2,000 years of dominating Europe. Many discoveries will still be made even as archaeologists begin to unravel the mysteries surrounding the city of Tenea.

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