Achaeans, Ancient warfare, Architecture, Asia Minor, engineering, Hittites, Military architecture, Military history, Military technology, mycenaean civilization, Mycenaeans, Trojan Horse, Trojan War, Troy
Restored Plan of Troy’s citadel adapted from W. Dorpfeld’s excavations. The successive archaeological and urban levels are noted. Note also the outer and inner walls of Troy VI.
By Periklis Deligiannis
My initial intention was to give an outline of the military architecture of Troy but the detailed studies of W. Dorpfeld, M. Wood, H. Schliemann, R. Neumann, C.W. Blegen, J.L. Caskey, M.Rawson, M. Korfmann, D. Easton and others, most of which are free on the internet, does not leave any room to add something new to the subject beyond the usual data. Therefore, in this article I will deal with the essential result of that architecture, namely the difficulty of conquering the mighty fortress which Troy VI had been.
Which of the archaeological urban levels of the city discovered and excavated by H. Schliemann at the hill of modern Hissarlik was the city of Homer’s epic? This is one of the main problems concerning the Homeric Epic Cycle. It is considered certain that the Homeric Troy corresponds to one of the levels VI (about 1900-1250 BC) and VIIa (about 1250-1180 BC). Wilhelm Dörpfeld who in 1893-94 continued Schliemann’s excavations in Troy, indicated level VI as the Homeric city. Dörpfeld found that the last phase of that level (VIh) was hit by an earthquake and concluded that after the blow, the city was captured by enemies who according to his view they were the Homeric Achaeans. The German archaeologist found that the earthquake caused damage to the city but the destruction was the work of man, a view based on the discovery of extensive fire traces in the VIh destruction level and on archaeological evidence, mainly traces of military activity.
This theory of Dörpfeld and those who agree with him today (e.g. M. Wood and others) is the most believable in my opinion, that is why in this article I will base my analysis on the assumption that Homer’s Troy was the archaeological level VI (phase VIh). In a future article I will deal with the arguments of those who argue that Homer’s city was the level VI and the ones of those who argue that that city was level VII (less likely).
A rare and detailed representation of the total city of Troy (urban area and citadel). Most of the modern representations use to deal just with the architectural and engineering status of the citadel. Most of the defensive features mentioned in the text are noted, but please observe notably the scalar urban distribution of the buildings of the lower city and the citadel, essentially being the fourth defensive line of Troy (Copyright: National Geographic Magazine. Art by William Cook. Source on Troy: Troy project).
Achaeans, Ancient warfare, Argo, Argonauts, Jason, Military history, Minoan civilization, Mycenaeans, naval history, Naval warfare
The Mycenaean Dendra armor (15th c. BC) belongs to the era in which the Argonaut campaign took place. On top of the armor there is a characteristic boar-tusk helmet which in this case is equipped with bronze cheek-protectors.
By Periklis Deligiannis
TABLE: LIST of the ARGONAUTS and their origins
The first two columns of the table quote the legendary heroes of the Argonaut campaign and the city of origin of each one, according to the ancient literature. I composed and added the third column in order to present the peoples/tribes who were the bearers of the traditions or cults of the respective heroes (local deities or agathodemons) or the peoples/tribes inhabiting the listed cities. Hercules is usually referred as a Theban in the ancient texts, but he was a hero/deity of the Achaeans, as possibly was Hylas as well. For this reason I place the Cadmeian people to the city of Thebes, who surely were in control of her in the time of the Argonautica.
ARGONAUT / REGION or CITY / TRIBE(People)
Jason / Iolkos /Minyans
Akastos / Iolkos / Minyans
Admetos / Pherae / Minyans
Peleus / Phthia / Achaeans
Aethalides / Alope / Achaeans
Eurytos / Alope / Achaeans
Echion / Alope / Achaeans
Eurydamas / Ktemene / Dolopes
Asterion / Peiresiae / Lapiths
Polyphemus / Larissa / Lapiths
Koronos / Gyrton / Lapiths
Iphiclos / Phylake / Minyans
Mopsus / Titaros / Lapiths
Orpheus / – / Thracians
Kalais / – / Thracians
Zetes / – / Thracians
Meleager / Kalydon / Aetolians (?)
Laokoon / Kalydon / Aetolians (?)
Iphiclos / Pleuron / Aetolians (?)
Achaeans, Ancient Greece, Αχαιοί, Μυκήναι, Μυκηναϊκός Πολιτισμός, Μυκηναίοι, Σλήμαν, αρχαία Ελλάδα, Mycenaean
Αναδημοσίευση από το σπουδαίο Ιστολόγιο Ανιχνευτές (http://anihneftes.wordpress.com/ για Αρχαία Ελληνική Ιστορία και Αρχαιολογία και http://anihneftes.blogspot.gr/ για Νεότερη Ελληνική Ιστορία κ.α.)
Στοά, ἀρ. φύλ. 292, 24.11.1876
« Περὶ τοῦ σκελετοῦ ὅστις εὑρέθη ἐν Μυκήναις ἡ ἐν Ναυπλίῳ ἐφημερὶς «Ἀργολὶς» δημοσιεύει τὰ ἑξῆς.
Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα εὗρον προσωπίδα χρυσῆν, νεαροῦ ἀνδρὸς καὶ μέγα φύλλον χρυσοῦ, δίκην θώρακος. Ὁποία ὅμως ὑπῆρξεν ἡ ἔκπληξίς των, ὅτε ὑπὸ τὴν προσωπίδα καὶ τὸν θώρακα εὗρον σκελετὸν ἀνθρώπινον σῶον, διατηροῦντα ἔτι μορφὴν ἀνθρωπίνην, εἰ καὶ πελιδνοτάτην, ὡσεὶ καστανόχρουν! Ἦτον ὥς τις μούμια. Ἡ σιαγὼν διατηρεῖ ἔτι ὅλους τοὺς ὀδόντας, 32 τὸν ἀριθμόν. Φαίνεται ὥς τις κοιμώμενος! Τὸ στῆθος εἶναι εὐρὺ καὶ διατηρεῖται ἔτι ὁ θώραξ συνεχόμενος οἱονεὶ ὑπὸ ἐπιδερμίδος.
Εὑρέθησαν δὲ σὺν αὐτῷ μία ὡραία χρυσῆ ζώνη μὲ κροσσοὺς χρυσοῦς, ξίφος μὲ λαβὴν χρυσῆν ἐξαίσιον καὶ πολὺ ὑπέροχον πάντων τῶν τέως ἀνευρεθέντων. Ἔτι δὲ καὶ παραξιφίδιον ὡραῖον, σπιθαμιαῖον. Πρὸς δὲ καὶ (πρῶτον ἤδη) τεμάχια ξύλων κατὰ τὸ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον ἐφθαρμένα. Τὸ μοναδικὸν τοῦτο θέαμα ἐθάμβωσε πάντας. Δὲν ἦσαν πλέον τέφρα καὶ ὀστᾶ. Ἦτον ἄνθρωπος προαιώνιος σύσσωμος. Παράδοξον! Ἐσκέφθησαν νὰ μεταφέρωσι τὸν σκελετὸν αὐτόν, ἀλλ’ εἶδον, ὅτι τοῦτο εἶναι ἀπολύτως ἀδύνατον καὶ ὅτι μόλις τὸν ἐγγίσωσι θὰ διαλυθῇ εἰς τὰ ἐξ ὧν συνετέθη, εἰς τέφραν. Μεγίστη δὲ φροντὶς καταβάλλεται νὰ διατηρηθῇ τὸ λείψανον τοῦτο ἀκίνητον, ἄθικτον εἰς τὸ μέρος, ἐν ᾧ εὑρέθη, νὰ καλυφθῇ δὲ τοῦτο διὰ μεγάλου ὑαλίνου θολωτοῦ πώματος καὶ νὰ στεγασθῇ ἀκόμη, ὡς σεπτὸν καὶ ἀνεκτίμητον ἀγλάϊσμα τῶν ἐρήμων Μυκηνῶν.
Ὁ Κύριος Ἐρρίκος Σχλίεμαν ἀποτελειώσας τὰς ἐν Μυκήναις ἀνασκαφὰς ἔρχεται ἐντὸς τῆς ἑβδομάδος ἐνταῦθα κομίζων τὸ σῶμα τοῦ νεκροῦ ἐκείνου, ὃν ὑπολαμβάνει ὡς τὸν τοῦ Ἀγαμέμνονος. Τὰ τελευταῖα ἀνακαλυφθέντα εἶναι τὰ ἑξῆς: Δύο πλάκες χρυσαῖ σφυρήλατοι, ἑκάστη τῶν ὁποίων παριστᾷ βουκέφαλον καὶ λέοντα καταδιώκοντα ἔλαφον· κύπελλον χρυσοῦν μετὰ δύο σειρῶν τοῦ συμβολικοῦ σημείου τοῦ ἁγίου πυρός, ἕτερον μέγιστον κύπελλον χρυσοῦν· ἕτερον ἐξ ἀλαβάστρου ὕψους 0,25, δύο ἀργυρᾶ κύπελλα, 128 κομβία χρυσᾶ, 4 λαβὰς ξίφους περιβεβλημένας χρυσῷ, δύο ἐπίσης χρυσοῦς σωλῆνας, 11 ξίφη χάλκινα, ἐξ ὧν τὰ δύο μόνον ἀκέραια καὶ μήκους τὸ μὲν 0,94 τὸ δὲ 0,74.
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Achaeans, Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, ναυτική Ιστορία, Military history, Mycenaean, naval history, Naval warfare, pharaoh, Ramses, Sea Peoples, Sherden, Tyrrhenians
By Periklis Deligiannis
An excellent depiction (by Igor Dzis) of the sea battle against the Sea Peoples, in the Nile Delta (Copyright: Igor Dzis 2010)
The ‘Sea Peoples’ (as mentioned in Egyptian and Greek Records – in the later as Pelasgoi, meaning exactly ‘Sea People’) was a tribal union of the Aegean and western Asia Minor, whose invasions in the eastern Mediterranean around 1229-1187 BC caused destruction of cities, states and empires (Hittite Empire) and countless victims. Shortly after the destruction of Troy VI (almost certainly the Homeric Troy) by the Achaeans (Mycenaeans), probably in the middle 13th century BC, began the disintegration of the Mycenaean world because of the prevailing famine and anarchy. These conditions are due to broader socioeconomic, political, commercial and climatic causes, occurring in Asia Minor probably earlier than the Mycenaean territories. The impressive palaces of Mycenae, Pylos and other Mycenaean citadels belong mainly to the 13th century BC, giving a false image of prosperity for them. Nevertheless it was a period of decline for the Mycenaeans, as shown by the archaeological findings.
The Achaean kings (wanaktae) were facing financial problems as their factories were producing about half the products compared with the production of the 14th century BC. They lacked skilled craftsmen and slaves, although their territories were been plagued by overcrowding. The commercial sea routes that they used were becoming more and more insecure, due to the increasing piracy and raids, and their savings had been ‘evaporated’. The monarchs and aristocrats were forced to seek new areas for raw materials, new resources, laborers and slaves, probably lands for colonization, to plunder the goods of other countries and to discover new trading routes. So they destroyed Troy, but soon after they had to abandon Greece en masse, due to the final failure. The Achaean/Mycenaean and other Aegean navigators who suffered this politico-economic collapse, turned to the open sea, and became the famous Sea Peoples already from the first half of the 13th cent. BC. The British archaeologist Elizabeth French (University of Manchester), suggested that Tiryns in Argolis, the last Mycenaean palace that was abandoned by its inhabitants (except Athens), was the base of the Sea Peoples. She supported her theory on the archaeological conclusion that Tiryns had experienced its greatest prosperity (about 1200 BC) when the other Mycenaean citadels had already turned to ruins or ‘lingered out their lives’. In my opinion, Tiryns was probably the base of the two tribes that probably gave rise to the Later ‘wave’ of the Sea Peoples, i.e. the Peleset/Philistines (Peleset/Pulasti in Egyptian, Pelasgians in Greek) and Denyen/Danuna (most probably the Greek Danaans).