Schliemann's Trench

Schliemann's Trench

Schliemann's Trench - Troy I

During the first three years of his campaign, Schliemann chose to work in a 40-m wide trench laid out N-S across the middle of the mound. This was a sondage 17 meters in depth (opened clear to the bedrock), an attempt to find the "City of Priam." The project resulted in the partial or total destruction of significant architectural structures belonging to the levels above, but at the base of the trench Schliemann laid bare the walls from the early period of Troy I (ca. 2920 BCE) that you see from here.

It was first during the American excavations of the 1930s, however, and then again in the campaigns since 1988 that the period of Troy I was investigated in detail.

Just below you lie remnants of a slanting wall supported by stone fill; this has been interpreted as part of the rampart-like fortifications belonging to the early Troy I period.

The parallel lines of fieldstone you see beyond the rampart represent foundations of relatively spacious "long- houses" of the Early Bronze Age (ca. 2920 BCE). Some of these houses, laid out side by side, display internal divisions separating front and back rooms. Of particular interest is the herringbone masonry (in which alternating stone courses are set in opposing diagonals) a fine example of which is Wall "g". Outstanding among these structures is House 102 from Level I b, which in both form and size suggests a megaron. The superstructures of these houses were presumably of sun-dried mud brick -or possibly of wooden posts and wattle-and-daub. The roofs -of which nothing remained- would have been flat and covered with mud.

The long terrace-wall built in 1988 to protect the scarp was therefore appropriately constructed entirely of sundried mud bricks. It runs along a line approximating the position of the rear walls of the "long-houses."

In the north of the great trench appeared several child burials with skeletons found in the fetal position. In this period it was not at all uncommon to bury children within the settlement.