1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Hisarlik (Turkey)


Ruins at Troy (Hisarlik), Turkey

Ruins at Troy (Hisarlik), Turkey

Jon Eben Field

Hisarlik is the modern name for the ancient site of Troy, located in what is now Turkey. First occupied during the Early Bronze Age, 3000 BC, but certainly most famous as the location of Homer's stories of the Late Bronze Age Trojan War, which occurred either at the time of the level known as Troy VI (1800-1275 BC) or Troy VII (1275-1100 BC).

The status of the site as an important regional capital of western Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age has come under some discussion. Because of Hisarlik's connection with Homer, the site has perhaps unfairly been intensively debated. But the site was likely a pivotal one for its day, and, based on Manfred Korfmann's studies, may well be the historic capital of Wilusa.

Archaeology at Hisarlik

Test excavations were first conducted at Hisarlik by railroad engineer John Brunton in the 1850s and archaeologist/diplomat Frank Calvert in the 1860s. Both lacked the connections and money of their much-better known associate, Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated at Hisarlik between 1870 and 1890. Wilhelm Dorpfeld excavated there between 1893-1894, and Carl Blegen in the 1930s. In the 1980s, a new collaborative team started at the site led by Manfred Korfmann of the University of Tubingen.


Archaeologist Berkay Dinçer has several excellent photographs of Hisarlik on his Flickr page.

Easton, D. F., J. D. Hawkins, A. G. Sherratt, and E. S. Sherratt 2002 Troy in recent perspective. Anatolian Studies 52:75-109.

Jablonka, Peter and C. B. Rose 2004 Late Bronze Age Troy: A Response to Frank Kolb. American Journal of Archaeology 108(4):615-630.

Kolb, Frank 2004 Troy VI: A Trading Center and Commercial City? American Journal of Archaeology 108(4):577-614.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Also Known As: Ilion (Early Iron Age name), Troy, Ilium Novum
Alternate Spellings: Hissarlik

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.