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Institute of America
On the map at the left, each color represents a different time period and highlights certain archaeological features of each era. Click on the links below to read more about how the settlement and its inhabitants changed over time. Click a settlement layer to select.
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Thank you to Richard C. MacDonald for providing funding for this interactive map.
The main gate to Troy I was located in its southern wall. It was about six feet wide and seems to have been flanked by two towers. Just outside this gate, archaeologists found a monumental stela depicting an anthropomorphic figure with a weapon by its side. It is one of the earliest known stone relief sculptures found in western Anatolia. This monument may have represented a god or protective deity that was tasked with defending Troy’s defensive walls and the citizens within them.
Troy I was one of the most heavily fortified sites in the region during the early Bronze Age. The limestone walls stood over 11.5 feet high and reached a thickness of almost 10 feet.
There have been several small, simple houses that have been uncovered in Troy I, but one particular structure stands apart. This was an early type of megaron-style house. This building has a small vestibule or forecourt, which leads into a larger back room that contains a central hearth. It measures around 60 feet long by 20 feet wide.
The remains of Troy I buildings are visible at the bottom of Schliemann’s great trench.
Within the inner precinct, near the center of the citadel, an enormous megaron building was erected, with a front vestibule and a large room at the back. In the center of this room was a large hearth measuring 13 feet in diameter. This structure, which is over 100 feet long, may have been used during special ceremonies and rituals. It is one of the largest buildings of this era located anywhere in the Aegean.
Towards the end of Troy II’s history a fire broke out in the city, destroying much of the upper citadel and many of its large megaron-style buildings. Thereafter, more modest houses were built that contained several small rooms. This area of the city, near the southeast, was close to the location where Heinrich Schliemann purportedly found many of Troy II’s luxurious artifacts, including “Priam’s Treasure”
One of the new features added during the building of Troy II was a large ramped entranceway paved with stones. This monumental construction measures around 70 feet long and 25 feet wide. This elaborate entrance may have been primarily used as a ceremonial route into the city.
The inhabitants of Troy II spent a great deal of effort constructing their defenses. This was a necessary precaution to protect the city’s newfound wealth. Troy II’s walls stood over 15 feet high and were around 13 feet wide and contained a series of towers.
During this period, the area within Troy II’s walls appears to have been organized into an outer and an inner precinct, where several large megaron buildings were built. The inner precinct may have included public spaces where rituals and ceremonies took place. Excavations have shown that access to this interior was likely through gained through a colonnaded entranceway.
As was the case in the previous settlement, Troy’s main gate was located along its southern wall. This gate would have provided easy access to the city center for the residents of the “Lower City,” a new neighborhood that arose on the low-lying plains below the citadel.
The massive fortification walls of Troy VI were larger than any previously built. They stood around 30 feet high and were 16 feet thick in places. They were composed of finely cut, tight-fitting ashlar blocks. The defensive network included at least three towers and five gates. Their imposing size led German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld to associate the city with Homer’s Troy.
This was the largest of Troy VI’s towers, measuring 59 feet by 26 feet. Once standing almost 30 feet high, this imposing structure also protected a 30-foot deep well that was enclosed within it.
The so-called “Anta House” is a long narrow building that may have been associated with cult activity. During excavation, the house was found to contain evidence of burning, animal bones, and other evidence of religious rituals. These religious activities may also have been connected to the large stone stelae that were erected just opposite it, outside the South Gate.
Measuring nearly 11 feet wide, the South Gate was the primary entrance into the city, connecting the lower city and the citadel by a paved roadway. It was protected by a large tower which still stands over seven feet high. Just outside this gate a series of stone stelae were erected, some of which are still in situ.
Located on the lower-most terrace, the L-shaped building is an impressive 100 feet long. It is noteworthy for the high-quality artifacts discovered there during its excavation, and for its finely constructed masonry. The remains of a few stairs indicate that a staircase once led to a second story. A broad avenue was located between this house and the citadel wall to the south.
The largest building in Troy VI is the so-called “Pillar House,” named for the stone pillars that were found within it and that once supported the roof of its central room. It was a two-story building that may have been the center of textile production activities.
The houses of Troy VI were larger than the preceding periods. They were built upon terraces that surrounded the highest point on the citadel. These were freestanding multi-room structures that sometimes contained a central room and hearth. Several of them show evidence of a second story.
Over the past few decades, geophysical surveys and excavations have revealed an extensive residential area known as the “Lower City” extending over 400 yards south of the citadel. It was protected and surrounded by a deep defensive ditch. Although controversial, this additional residential area suggests that in total Troy VI may have spread across 50 acres and may have been home to as many as 10,000 people.
The west gate, which was open in Troy VI is sealed off in Troy VII, reducing the number of access points into the city.
The monumental nature of Troy VI, especially of the houses, is not found in this period. Instead, many of the large structures are partitioned and subdivided, creating much smaller and more cramped living quarters. This was likely necessary to accommodate the increased population that had moved within the citadel’s walls.
A strange phenomenon that occurred during this period was the prevalent installation of ceramic storage jars, known as pithoi, into many houses. These vessels could reach a height of six feet high, but were customarily buried in the ground, with the just the top of them remaining aboveground. One building in Troy VII contained as many as 23 of them. Many experts believe that this indicates that the inhabitants of Troy VII were stockpiling supplies and may have been worried about their food supply.
A significant portion was added to the defensive fortifications here to further tighten security into and around the city.
This multi-room structure, known as the “Terrace House,” was first built around the thirteenth century B.C., just to the west of the citadel walls. It contained a large central room with a hearth that had at least two smaller rooms attached. As was common in other houses in Troy VII, there was a storage area with pithoi ceramic vessels. The wealth of artifacts found within the building, including burned animal bones, small offerings, and feasting equipment suggests it may have been associated with religious and cult activity during the period of Troy VIIb. This part of ancient Troy is known today as the Western Sanctuary, which is an area that was continuously used for ritual and religious rites for over 1500 years, some of which honor the heroes of the Iliad.
After the earthquake that destroyed Troy VI, the citadel’s defensive walls were repaired and reused by the inhabitants of Troy VII.
A new Temple of Athena was begun in the 3rd century B.C. to replace an older version. It was built entirely of marble in the Doric style. It had 12 columns on its longer sides and 6 on its shorter ones, and measured around 118 feet long and 53 feet wide. The temple required 80 years to complete, but when it was done it was the largest Doric temple in northwest Asia Minor. The building was adorned with carved sculptures depicting scenes from the Trojan War, as well as battles featuring giants, centaurs, and Amazons. Not very much remains from the building apart from some marble blocks, which are strewn around the site. The temple and the goddess Athena were the focus of the city’s greatest festival, an annual celebration that included processions, sacrifices, and athletic and artistic competitions.
Before the new Temple of Athena was begun, a massive terrace needed to be built across the top of the citadel. In order to level the surface area, tons of earth and debris were removed, which unfortunately destroyed the remains of earlier settlements. The enormous terrace measured around 350 feet long and 290 feet wide, taking up a space more than half the size of the entire Bronze Age citadel.
The temple complex contained a colonnaded portico on three of its sides. Only the northern side lacked a portico, in order to preserve the dramatic views from the temple mount to the north across the Trojan plain and the Dardanelles.
The sacred precinct, known as the Western Sanctuary, was the site of cult activities for almost 1,500 years, during which it underwent several different renovations. This area contained a series of small temples, open-air altars, sacrificial pits, and other religious structures that were built on two terraces. Deities worshipped here may have included Cybele, an Anatolian mother goddess, and Dardanus, a mythical ancestor of the Trojans.
An usual circular marble building was located close to the Temple of Athena, beneath which was a 50-foot deep well that was accessed via a long subterranean passage. It is not know precisely what this building or the well was used for, but they may be connected with the ritual of the Locrian maidens.
The bouleterion was a meetinghouse or council chamber where the city’s politicians and leaders assembled. A new structure was likely built during the Hellenistic building program of the 3rd century B.C. to replace an earlier version. It was partially built atop of the massive Bronze Age citadel’s defensive wall.
The odeion was a small theater used for assemblies or musical performances. It may have held as many as 2,000 people and was adorned with colored marble blocks and life-sized statues. The new building was part of the renovation and building campaign initiated under the Roman emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D. A large statue of the emperor himself was discovered amongst its ruins.
A Roman-style bath complex, which commonly contained rooms of hot, tepid, and cold water, may have first been built during the reign of Augustus. It was later renovated by the emperor Hadrian, who added a small nymphaeum that contained statues of nymphs and river gods, as well as various watercourses.
A large stoa-like structure was built during the early Roman period under Augustus. Although it is not know precisely how the building functioned or what it was used for, it was one of the largest buildings ever built in Troy. It measured around 110 feet by 72 feet.