Excavation Sites in 5 Questions: Ancient City of Troy


7 Minute

With more than 5.000 years of history, Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Immortalized in Homer’s Iliad, the Ancient City of Troy “is of immense significance in the understanding of the development of European civilization at a critical stage in its early development” according to UNESCO.

According to Director of Troy Excavations Prof. Dr. Rüstem Aslan, the historic significance of Troy is “because in Troy, we have more than five thousand years of settlement history. We have 10 different layers of 10 different cities.”

Check out our interview with Prof. Dr. Aslan to learn more about the past, present and future of Troy!

Our Excavation Sites in 5 Questions series explores Türkiye's significant archaeological sites through insightful interviews with their excavation directors. Explore all here.

A Short History of Troy 

One of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Troy has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998. The Ancient City of Troy, which preserved its importance throughout history, is located within the borders of the Tevfikiye Village in the province of Çanakkale. The excavations in Troy since 1871 revealed that the city was built and destroyed many times throughout its history. One of the reasons for this is the strategic position of the city between the Asian and European continents and the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The city, which stands out in maritime trade due to its geographical location, never lost its importance throughout the ages. The earliest settlement remains in Troy are dated back to 3000 - 2500 BC. The city was inhabited continuously afterwards and this settlement ended in the Roman Period. This unique archaeological site, with its 10 different layers of ruins, shows the traces of many civilizations throughout history to its visitors. Due to the use of mud-brick in the construction of the houses, the layers have accumulated on top of each other over time, causing it to become an artificial hill. Today, when you visit the city, you can witness archaeological structures from these different layers.

There are many reasons why Troy is so historically famous and important. The most significant of these is Troy was scene of the Trojan War, which was described by Homer, the most famous poet of the ancient period, in the Iliad. When you visit Troy today, you can see a replica of the legendary Trojan Horse which was mentioned in this epic story, and start exploring the ancient city afterwards. On the list of things to see in this historical city are the walls that have become one of the early examples of the ancient world. Apart from this, the ruins include the Temple of Athena, baths, odeon, sacred places and the theater, which was considered to be the city's social area.

Another gem that you must see when you visit the Ancient City of Troy is the Museum of Troy, which impresses its visitors with its modern architecture. It is definitely worth seeing with its rich collections and artifacts. Presenting all the details of the Ancient City of Troy to its visitors, this museum will take you on a journey through time. 

After visiting the Ancient City of Troy and Museum, do not forget to add the nearby Kilitbahir Castle Museum, Assos Archaeological Site, Apollon Symintheion, and Alexandria Troas Archaeological Site to your list.