Troy (Ancient Greek: Τροία, Troía, Ἴλιον, Ī́lion or Ἴλιος, Ī́lios; Latin: Troia, also Īlium; Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 Wilusa or 𒋫𒊒𒄿𒊭 Truwisa; Turkish: Truva or Troya), also Ilium, was a city in the northwest of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), southwest of the Çanakkale Strait, south of the mouth of the Dardanelles and northwest of Mount Ida. The location in the present day is the hill of Hisarlik and its immediate vicinity. In modern scholarly nomenclature, the Ridge of Troy (including Hisarlik) borders the Plain of Troy, flat agricultural land, which conducts the lower Scamander River to the strait. Troy was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion); this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa. According to archaeologist Manfred Korfmann, Troy's location near the Aegean Sea, as well as the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, made it a hub for military activities and trade, and the chief site of a culture that Korfmann calls the "Maritime Troja Culture", which extended over the region between these seas.The city was destroyed at the end of the Bronze Age – a phase that is generally believed to represent the end of the Trojan War – and was abandoned or near-abandoned during the subsequent Dark Age. After this, the site acquired a new, Greek-speaking population, and the city became, along with the rest of Anatolia, a part of the Persian Empire. The Troad, the region containing the former city, was then conquered by Alexander the Great, an admirer of Achilles, who he believed had the same type of glorious (but short-lived) destiny. After the Roman conquest of this now Hellenistic Greek-speaking world, a new capital called Ilium (from Greek: Ἴλιον, Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric, was abandoned, repopulated for a few centuries in the Byzantine era, before being abandoned again (although it has remained a titular see of the Catholic Church).
Troy's physical location on Hisarlik was forgotten in antiquity, and, by the early modern era, even its existence as a Bronze Age city was questioned and held to be mythical or quasi-mythical. In 1822, the Scottish journalist Charles Maclaren was the first modern scholar to categorically identify Hisarlik as the likely location of Troy. During the mid-19th century, the Calvert family, wealthy Levantine English emigrants living in Troad, inhabiting a working farm a few miles from Hisarlik, purchased much of the hill in the belief that it contained the ruins of Troy. They were antiquarians. Two of the family, Frederick and especially the youngest, Frank, surveyed the Troad and conducted a number of trial excavations there. In 1865, Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches on the hill, discovering the Roman settlement. Realizing he did not have the funds for a full excavation, he attempted to recruit the British Museum, and was refused. A chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale and a visit to the site by Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also looking for Troy, offered a second opportunity for funding. Schliemann had been at first skeptical about the identification of Hisarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert. As Schliemann was about to leave the area, Calvert wrote to him asking him to take over the entire excavation. Schliemann agreed. The Calverts, who made their money in the diplomatic service, expedited the acquisition of a Turkish firman. In 1868, Schliemann excavated an initial deep trench across the mound called today "Schliemann's trench." These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Subsequent excavations by following archaeologists elaborated on the number and dates of the cities.
Since the rediscovery of Troy, a village near the ruins named Tevfikiye has supported the archaeological site and the associated tourist trade. It is in the modern Çanakkale Province, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-west of the city of Çanakkale. On modern maps, Ilium is shown a short distance inland from the Scamander estuary, across the Plain of Troy.
Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.
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