The Ramp

The Ramp

The Ramp - Troy II

From here you look out over the defense walls of the Troy II citadel and its famed -and now partially restored- ramp.

The settlement of Troy II was built upon the remains of Troy I a - Troy I e (= Middle Troy I). This Trojan Second Settlement has been subdivided into eight building phases: Troy II a through Troy II h.

Within this period the defenses surrounding the citadel were enlarged several times, widening the area of the upper city. Such renovation is often apparent in the walling-up of earlier gates.

The four-meter broad wall -330 m long in the latest phase visible here- was of mud brick masonry built upon the limestone foundations before you. It enclosed an area of some 9,000 m2. This impressive paved ramp -originally protected by high mud brick walls- led upwards to the entrance visible above, Gate FM.

Judging from its grandeur and orientation, the eastern entrance complex must have served as the main gateway; the appreciable slope approaching it too must have been bridged by such a ramp. The catastrophic fire that destroyed the citadel of Troy II left a two-meter-deep layer of ashen remains.

To your left you see a street leading to an earlier gate of Troy II. It was above this and to the right -where a small fig tree is now growing from the wall- that Schliemann discovered the legendary "Treasure of Priam". It had been deposited, as we know today, within the tower of an earlier gateway razed during the construction of the ramp. Because of these rich finds in a burnt layer accompanied by this impressive ramped entrance (Schliemann's "Scaean Gate"), the excavator at first selected the city of Troy II as the most likely candidate for the object of his search - the Ilion of Homer. In this, he missed his mark by some 1,250 years. In 1890, however, the year he died, Schliemann conceded his error.

More than twenty "Treasures of Troy" recovered by Schliemann at Troy were dispersed among nine different locations in seven cities throughout the world, many of which -since World War II- have been housed in Moscow and St. Petersburg.