Johann Ludwig Heinrich Julius Schliemann was born in Neuboku, Mecklenburg. A Lutheran pastor’s father sparked his interest in Greek history and mythology, introducing him to the realms of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and Schliemann was determined to find Troy one day.
He lost his mother at the age of nine, accused his father of embezzlement, and had to leave school early because of their poverty. He was an assistant seasoning, a wrecked sailor, a civil servant, an accountant, and then a representative of trading companies in Saint Petersburg, where he eventually set up his own company. In 1851, he founded a bank in Sacramento from his brother’s inheritance during the California gold rush, and, through skillful speculation, could call himself a millionaire half a year later.
Schliemann, who has a special talent for languages, said he learned any language in six weeks, plus German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Polish, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Latin, Arabic and Greek. is being.
At the age of 36, he sold his business and settled in Athens to dedicate his life to finding the mythical places described by Homer. The epics of the Greek poet were considered anecdotal at best, which had nothing to do with reality – only Schliemann had a different opinion. In order to prove his truth, he traveled the world, studied archeology in Paris, and meticulously examined the sites of Homer’s epics that follow Homer’s descriptions. In 1869, in his book Ithaca, Peloponnese, and Troy, he came up with a theory that Troy was not at the entrance to Pinarbassi at the entrance to the Dardanelles, as many people had dug at that time, but to the north of it, on the hill. Hasarlik.
He began serious excavations at the site in 1871, at that time without permission, and soon found the remains of nine settlements under one another. An amateur archaeologist considered Homer’s Trojan to be the second oldest, causing irreparable damage that simply penetrated into other layers. By May 1873, he was already disappointed to finish the job when he came across a mass of objects made of gold and silver. He called it Priam’s Treasure, and smuggled it out of the country, so the Turkish government sentenced him to heavy fines (the art treasures can now be seen in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.) At first, no credit was given for its discovery, but its further excavations convinced the scientific community. It is now believed that the “real” Troy was class 7, which was destroyed by fire around 1250 (that is, at the supposed time of the Homer wars).
Schliemann began excavations in 1876 at Messina, near the Lion’s Gate, and then inside the castle. His luck did not let him down either: he found five tombs with the remains of 16 people covered with treasures even more impressive than the Trojans, and the most famous and priceless gold object is the mask of Agamemnon. Although the burials were 400 years earlier than he was supposed to, his coverage of the work and his coverage of the London Times brought him worldwide fame.
Schliemann also discovered Thuringia Castle, another center of Mycenaean culture. At that time he suspected that there was high culture in Crete too, but he didn’t start digging here anymore, he missed the great opportunity. The discoverer of Troy died in Naples on December 26, 1890, his body was taken to Athens by his friends and buried there.
Schliemann’s research completely changed the image of antiquity, his books and articles were the first to spread archeology, and his discoveries excited the public. He first studied literary and written documents and developed a practical methodology for archaeological fieldwork. At the same time, as a “spade engraver”, he also caused immeasurable harm due to his unprofessional activity, destroying many discoveries he did not consider important. But its mistakes and failures also yielded positive results: the lessons learned from the destruction of the Trojans prompted archaeologists to dig more carefully than before.
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