Citadel and Megaron of Troy II/III

GPS coordinates: 26.238946, 39.957428

Archaeological site: 

Citadel and Megaron of Troy II/III
Citadel and Megaron of Troy II/III

Description: 

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Troy "The Secrets of Troy (TAN Travel Guide)".

The first structure that you can see in this location is the fortification wall. Unlike the walls of Troy VI, erected from massive limestone blocks, these fortifications were constructed of handmade mud-bricks. They date back to the period of 2250 to 2200 BCE, known as Troy II.

The characteristic reddish colour of the bricks results from the process of their production that required firing them in a kiln. In warm regions with very little timber available to fuel a kiln, such bricks were generally sun-dried. The act of firing the bricks in Troy means that it was located in a forested area with plenty of wood readily available.

The majority of the visible stretch of the wall is a modern reconstruction that protects the original wall hidden within it, still reaching the height of four meters. If you look carefully at the lowest section of the wall, you can find an exposed fragment of the ancient wall, too.

Under the same protective roofing, next to the wall, there is a structure called the Megaron of Troy II/III. Megarons were the characteristic element of the Greek architecture of the Mycenaean period. These were long and relatively narrow halls preceded with open porches decorated with two columns. Their layout foreshadowed the later plan of Greek temples. Inside a megaron, there was a central hearth, and the smoke escaped through an opening in the roof. Megarons had many functions as they served as throne rooms, places of feasts, and religious worship. The best-known megarons can be seen in the Peloponnese in Greece, for instance at Mycenae, Tiryns, and Pylos.

The megaron you can see in Troy was excavated in the 90s of the 20th century when its mud-brick walls resting on stone foundations were revealed. The megaron was built at the same time as the adjacent fortifications. It had the characteristic central hearth and the traces on the floor indicated that it was covered with reed~mats.

This megaron was not the only one discovered at Troy, but the others, to the north, have been only partly excavated. Beautifully decorated ceramics found inside the building suggest that it was used for some religious activities and this presumption is strengthened by the base below one of the walls, thought to have served as an altar. The most magnificent of the finds, the ritual vessel with two handles in the shape of humans, is now in the collections of the Trojan Museum, situated near the archaeological site of Troy. Other finds include metal, rock crystal, horn, agate, and faïence objects as well as figurines and the knob of a sceptre, possibly brought from Egypt. The megaron was destroyed by fire, dated to 2290-2200 BCE, but parts of its whitewashed walls have been preserved up to a height of 1.5 meters.

The curiously looking roof was erected in 2003 to protect the precious ancient buildings in a way that allowed the visitors to see them at the same time. The roof was designed to demonstrate the original height of the Hisarlık Mound before it was significantly reduced during the excavations carried out in the 19th century by Heinrich Schliemann.

The shape of the roof recalls a sail of a ship, billowing in the wind. This reflects the motto that the wind brought wealth to Troy. Strong north-easterly winds made many ancient sailors wait in the nearby bay before travelling to the Black Sea. They must have spent a lot of their wealth in Troy, awaiting for the moment when the almost incessant winds finally stopped.

Visitor tips: 

From the area of the Temple of Athena, walk along the signposted route in the south-western direction, towards the Citadel Walls of Troy II/III. It is a very distinctive place in Troy, and you will quickly recognize it by characteristic modern roofing. After about 40 meters from the temple, you will find yourself in this pleasantly shaded area.

This site is the location of the fortifications of Troy from the period of 2550-2200 BCE, protected by the modern awning. Under the same structure, there are also the ruins of the building known as the Megaron of Troy II/III, from the same period.