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by Archaeology Newsroom

Troas. In search of the Achaean Camp

Where did the battles of the Achaeans and Trojans take place? Was the battlefield of the Trojan War located in the plains lying north of Troy towards the Hellespont where today’s city lies or inland where the geographer Strabo placed it in the 1st century BC? In Strabo’s day, Troy, which went by the name of New Ilion at the time lay so close to the coast that the geographer thought there was insufficient space for a battlefield. It seems however, as recent geological research shows, that the sea had flooded the coast before Strabo’s time and that the landscape had altered more than once since the Trojan war. In 1872 the discovery of Troy was based on the assumption that the site of the battle was a plain, unchanged since the Prehistoric age. However, alluvial river deposits are still to be found far into the coast north of Troy. The purpose of this article is on one hand to show that the geological event that caused the alteration of the landscape is to be found in verses M:13-30 of the Iliad, and on the other hand to prove that the Homeric narration alludes to the seismic event that destroyed Troy VI in 1275 BC.