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Friday, August 9: Day 109 – Troy

Troy had a strategic location for controlling the Aegean Sea. There are ten layers to Troy as people fled the city due to fires and earthquakes but returned to rebuild. (There are over 3,000 ancient cities in Turkey; many have not been excavated.)

Troy I existed 5,000 years ago. There was evidence of simple ships. People often had to wait months for fair winds. This small fishing village was a place to gather supplies. They found fish hooks and shells and rough simple pottery.

Many baby bones have been found in mass graves. They are found buried under the houses. Even the elderly are buried in the fetal position. They think that they were left outside to be cleaned off by animals and then the bones were buried.

Troy III The pottery was smoother and nicer and pottery from other countries were found. No coins were found but trading with other countries occurred.

Troy VI The Germans determined that the Trojan War took place during this time. The Trojan war was between Asia Minor and Greece.

The houses were smaller which meant war and many people were living in each house. Also, many different cultures were living here. This meant large scale war.

If things were stored in houses rather than buildings, this was also a sign of war. Many mortars and pestles were found in the houses.

Also, there was evidence of a big fire. Sun dried bricks were cooked due to high temperature. The city of the Troy legend was burned.

Homer wrote The Iliad 600 years later so we’re not sure about this story as a legend or history.

Troy IX was a Roman Troy and certainly known by Paul.

Many of the artifacts from the digs are in Athens and Berlin.

When Achilles killed a warrior and took off the helmet, it was a woman, an Amazon. These fighting women disappeared from history. They cut off their right breast so that they could shoot arrows better. Ouch!!

Ertunga started to tell us the story of Troy, and Rob and I were on the edge of our seats. Ancient storytellers were like the cinema today. Everyone was eager to hear something new. People were waiting for this traveling story teller. When he left, they would retell the story. Names would change. Names of local heros were inserted. Often they filled in the gaps or inserted storylines of their own.

Eris, the God of Strife, was the only one of the gods not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. (Who wants strife at their wedding?) He sent an apple as a gift which read “To the Most Beautiful”. Hera, Athena and Aphrodite thought that they should have the apple. They tried to get Zeus to decide but he was wise to stay out of this dispute between his wife and daughters.

The gods were fighting and so were the mortals, and the gods were choosing sides in order to affect the outcome.

Paris and Hector to went to Greece to get beautiful Helen. Treaties were made and broken (like today) to suit the purposes. People came from all over to fight. One thousand ships were launched to bring back Helen.

We all know how it ends. The Greeks left a horse on the beach and sailed away (so they thought). The Trojans brought the horse inside, had a big celebration, and, in the night men who were hiding inside came out and unlocked the gates for the others. Trojans lost this 10 year war. Can you find us in this picture of a replica?

The movie Troy was not well reviewed, but now I want to see it.

Troy walls tilted inward to avoid having towers put against the walls by the enemy. The city gate was on the corner so that a battering ram could not be used. There was a tower that was strategically placed on the right hand corner. With archers above on the right, the shield in your left hand was useless and your sword hand exposed.

A German named Heinrich Schliemann was obsessed since he was a child with finding Priam’s Treasure buried outside the city walls of Troy. He had interpreters to speak for him and sometimes married them. He had seven wives.

He researched the land and bought it from a farmer. He dug through each city to get to the layer of the treasure in Troy VI with no regard to the time periods that he was destroying. It was called Schliemann’s Trench and still remains. The field of archeology did not exist. They were all treasure hunters. He had about 10-15 local people working for him often long hours.

One day his wife, Sofia, was digging near the ramp. She found a gold coin and brought it to him. He told her to go back and bury it. Suddenly, he announced that the workers could go. He was very excited and said that they were quitting early because it was Sofia’s birthday. Here is where she found it.

Two men went and hid nearby and watched them uncover the treasure. They went to get the authorities but when they returned, the Schliemanns were gone. They had taken everything and left on a small boat.

History will say that Schliemann found treasure not the city of Troy.

Priam’s Treasure was in a museum in Germany. Museums are the first places of plunder in wartime. After WWII, Russia took items in wooden crates and labeled them A, B, and so on based on importance. They were unopened until the 1980’s. The curator had many people to watch the unveiling of all the art objects that had been in storage for years. Russia opened up Box A and it was Priam’s Treasure.

Alexandria Troas

Alexandria Troas was founded by Alexander the Great who claimed it as the ancient city of Troy…or at least nearby.

This city is important to understanding the missionary journeys of Paul.

Paul went here on his second missionary journey. This is where he had his vision to turn toward Macedonia. Acts 16: 6-12

Paul was here on his third missionary journey. Acts 20:7-12

Paul wanted to travel by boat. Sometimes he and his disciples had to wait weeks or months to catch fair winds. Here I am waiting for the fair winds. I think they have arrived.

In the meantime, he certainly would be preaching and teaching the people.

Paul did everything with his own hands. He even made tents as was his trade. Paul’s father was a tentmaker as well and that gave him a Roman citizenship.

Here are remains of the port that existed during the time of the missionary journeys.

As it turned out, the disciples took the boat to Assos and Paul walked and met them there. Maybe he was concerned about the notorious Assos pirates as he was carrying collected money back to Jerusalem? Here is the road in Troas that leads to the remains of the port.

When Paul was in Troas, one can tell from his writings that he felt his days were numbered. He spoke to them for many hours as he sensed that he would not see them again and had much to say.

They were meeting on Sunday, the first day of the week. Everyone had to work on Sunday. It was a work day. Many people had gathered to hear Paul speak. Eutychus was sitting in the window. Paul is known to be long winded. Euchytus fell asleep and out of the window. They thought that he was dead. He might have fallen asleep after a long day of work. Paul was able to revive him.

Baby Mail

My nephew, Hunter and his wife, Karlie, just had baby boy named Wyatt.

I thought that it would be fun to send something from Istanbul.

I found a baby store near our hotel. It was difficult to communicate the size since I wanted it for the autumn months and with sleeves for the climate of Colorado.

We bought a $25 two piece outfit. Next, we asked where the post office was located. After much pointing and difficulty, an English speaker was summoned. Once we arrived at the post office, it was closed and under construction.

Yikes! Now that means I have to carry it. I alerted Ertunga that we need to find a post office en route to our next hotel. He said that we must do it today (Friday) due to the weekend and holidays.

In the small town of Geyikli (ancient Troas), the crowded post office doesn’t usually get a request to mail a package to the United States. There was much translating going on, forms to fill out, weighing, computer research, etc. We used Ertunga’s address as a return address.

It took longer because I wrote CO instead of Colorado. When I told them that, things started to move a little faster. They told us that it would cost $30. Ertunga asked if there was a cheaper way but this was it. They told Ertunga to tell us that it would take 3 days. Ertunga did not believe it. “I live just down the road and you can’t get it to me in 3 days.”

Rob said to go ahead. They gave us a receipt when we were done. I had inadvertently written the wrong last name. I thought that the postmaster (and Rob and Ertunga) was going to faint. Did we have to start all over? He said that he would write the correct last name and initial it. Phew!!

I alerted my nephew to accept this package from Turkey with a return address of someone he didn’t know and delivered to a name different than his own!!

I told Ertunga if something happened and it was returned to him, just give it to a cute Turkish baby boy.

Our work here was done. It took all of us about 45 minutes.

We started to leave and Rob said “Kolay gelsin” and that brought laughter to all of us as you may recall that it means “May your work be easy.” This would be true if we would just leave!!! We left as friends.

We got back into the waiting van with Omar and Rob said, “Brenda, I have just one word for you.”



Aristotle came here and lived 2 years. The city name is derived from his name. He came to visit Hermes and fell in love and married his daughter.

Basalt, strong volcanic rock, is used in many buildings. The acropolis with its Temple of Athena, is at the top of the city, an impressive view of the Aegean Sea.

Assos was known for its pirates. They were able to see you coming from the high vantage point. You must pay for safe passage.

Earthquakes are very common. The western portion of Turkey is on a fault. Most of the ruins were destroyed by earthquakes.

A museum in Boston contains reliefs from Assos.

Day is Done

We had a beautiful hotel with a great view of the blue Aegean Sea.

At a seaside restaurant, we did not have menus but were told to come inside and pick out our dinner.

The restaurant workers did not speak English. It was a fun experience, delicious and the ambience was charming!

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