Researchers find bodies that may date back to Trojan war


ANKARA – Archaeologists in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey have found the remains of a man and a woman believed to have died in 1,200 BC, the time of the legendary war chronicled by Homer, according to a leading German professor.

Ernst Pernicka, the University of Tubingen professor of archaeometry who is leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey, said yesterday the bodies were found near a defence line within the city built in the late Bronze Age.

The discovery could add to evidence that Troy’s lower area was bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, changing scholars’ perceptions about the city of the Iliad.

“If the remains are confirmed to be from 1,200 BC it would coincide with the Trojan war period. These people were buried near a mote. We are conducting radiocarbon testing, but the finding is electrifying,” said Prof Pernicka.

Ancient Troy, located in the northwest of modern-day Turkey at the mouth of the Dardanelles not far south of Istanbul, was unearthed in the 1870s by Heinrich Schliemann, the German entrepreneur and pioneering archaeologist who discovered the steep and windy city described by Homer.

Prof Pernicka said pottery found near the bodies, which had their lower parts missing, was confirmed to be from 1,200 BC, but added that the couple could have been buried 400 years later in a burial site. – (Reuters)