Ancient History

Topics: Homer, Mycenae, Heinrich Schliemann Pages: 3 (1020 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Assessment task 1, Heinrich Schliemann, Georgina Hollands, Ancient history, Year 11 Heinrich Schliemann's life was a rags-to-riches story. A poor, uneducated, and motherless boy rose through his hard work lifestyle to the highest heights of wealth. Schliemann travelled the world and learned its languages, married a Greek bride, and together they discovered the treasures of Troy and the citadel of Agamemnon, thereby fulfilling the dream he had chased since childhood. The reality was that Heinrich Schliemann had an ugly conscience when it came to business dealings, and his shady methods spread through both his life and his archaeology. Among the events he reported that have been found to be grossly untrue are his tales of being entertained by the American president Millard Fillmore and his wife in 1851, and his narrow escape from the San Francisco fire of that same year. More disturbing is when he applies these tactics to his archaeology. When Schliemann and newest wife Sophie arrived in Greece, the Turkish government hadn’t yet granted them permission to dig. Schliemann left Sophie in Greece and illegally began digging two trenches at Hissarlik. There he uncovered coins, pottery, and other artifacts, as well as the remains of a wall and evidence that the city was razed and rebuilt several times. The digs were stopped after a month as the owners of the hill objected to Schliemann's practices. The first legal digs began on the 11 of October, 1871. Torrential rains ended the work in November. Eager to reach the oldest layer Schliemann had his workers sink a shaft thirty feet into the ground, and in the process of doing so they destroyed all strata earlier than 2000 B.C. Schliemann was quick to realise his mistake of not recognising the importance of the "accumulated rubble", which was evidence of human occupation from the prehistoric to Roman era. For his digs in 1872, Schliemann hired a French engineer and over 150 workers, and employed the process of...
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