Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Rita Jones, WEA lecturer and former archaeology lecturer at the University of Surrey, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society entitled ‘Troy Story’.

Heinrich Schleimann first excavated Troy between 1870 and 1894 but only excavated the citadel mound.  He found gold jewellery and other items he described as ‘Helen’s Treasure’ but which was later dated to 2500 BC in the early Bronze Age, 1000 years before Helen.  At the time of Manfred Korfman’s re-excavation in 1988, he considered that Troy must have been bigger than the citadel and this was confirmed by a magnetic resistivity survey of the lower city.  The lower city was surrounded by a defensive ditch, outside of a probable 700 metres of outside walls.  A water tunnel under the lower city, which fed wells, was dated back to the early Bronze Age by a uranium thorium analysis of layers of limestone deposits in stalactites.

It is not clear whether the late Bronze Age Troy described by Homer was ruled by Mycenae or the Hittites.  Locally made Mycenean pottery has been found but Troy was also the city known by the Hittites as Walusa.  Troy was certainly very wealthy.  Over 11 tons of bronze were found in one local shipwreck alone.  It’s strategic position allowed it to control access to the Dardenelles and the Black Sea.  Troy’s wealth was an attractive target for the Greeks.




Troy Story by Rita Jones,