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On This Day



On This Day… The Discovery Of Treasure At Troy

Written by: George Chittenden : 24 May 2019

It was on this day, 27th May back in 1871 when archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann supposedly discovered a cache of gold and other artefacts. I use the word supposedly, as speculation about the exact details of his find exists, and many believe that he lied regarding his find. Heinrich Schliemann was on a mission to prove that the legendary city of Troy actually existed, and he was successful. Today the site where he excavated is recognised as the ancient site of Troy, and this site is Hisarlik and is located in what is now Turkey near to the modern city of Çanakkale.

Heinrich Schliemann calculated that the ruler of Troy, king Priam probably hid his treasure somewhere in the city to prevent it from being captured by the Greeks should the city fall. Amazingly the German archaeologist actually found the haul of treasure whilst excavating a trench on the south-western side of the site. As you can imagine the Ottoman authorities wanted to get their hands on the treasure, but Schliemann had other ideas. Speculation exists regarding how the archaeologist managed to get them out of the country, as well as exactly when and where he found them, but they were first displayed to the public in 1877 in London’s South Kensington Museum, which is now known as the Victoria and Albert Museum.

archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann

archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann

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