Discovery of Bronze-Age `Refrigerators' Expands Homer's Troy :
Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The remains of two outsized earthenware pots, a ditch and evidence of a gate dating back more than 3,000 years are changing scholars' perceptions about the city of Troy at the time Homer's ``Iliad'' was set.
The discoveries this year show that Troy's lower town was much bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, according to Ernst Pernicka, the University of Tubingen professor leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey.
His team has uncovered a trench 1.4 kilometers long, 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep. The full length of the trench, which probably encircled the city and served a defensive purpose, may be as much as 2.5 kilometers, Pernicka said in an interview in his office in Mannheim, Germany. Troy may have been as big as 40 hectares, with a population as high as 10,000, he estimates.
The discovery of the trench around the lower town vindicates Pernicka's predecessor, Manfred Korfmann, who faced accusations from a fellow German scholar that he was misleading the public in his interpretation of the ditch, which might have been for drainage. After Korfmann died in 2005, Pernicka took over his work and aims to publish the results of 20 years of digging and research.
What archaeology has shown is that Troy's golden era ended in 1180. Where preceding Trojans had used potters' wheels for about 1,000 years, ceramics found on the site show the technology was lost with the arrival of a new people, probably from the Balkans, who reverted to hand-made pots. The newcomers also built their houses in a completely different style.