Walls, Gate, and Ramp of Troy II

GPS coordinates: 39.957414, 26.237964

Archaeological site: 

Ramp of Troy II
Ramp of Troy II


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

The wooden viewing platform on which you are standing offers a great close-up view of the Ramp of Troy II, but you can also climb up the second platform, to get a broader perspective of the fortifications. The paved ramp led through a massive gate into the interior of Troy II. The city was protected by high walls, built of mud bricks on the limestone substructure. These walls, around 330 meters long, surrounded the area of about 9000 square meters. The visible construction dates back to around 2300 BCE.

In the tale of the Trojan War, the main gate to the city, through which the Trojans went out to fight the Greek warriors on the plain below, was called the Scaean Gate. When the Trojan prince Hector was dying, his last words were directed to his killer, Achilles. He prophesied Achilles's death that would soon follow: "I know you what you are, and was sure that I should not move you, for your heart is hard as iron; look to it that I bring not heaven's anger upon you on the day when Paris and Phoebus Apollo, valiant though you be, shall slay you at the Scaean gates."

This prophecy was quickly fulfilled, Achilles died while scaling the gate of Troy, hit with an arrow shot by Prince Paris, the brother of Hector, but guided by Apollo himself. The arrow hit the hero's heel, the only vulnerable part of his body because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the River Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels.

Many centuries passed after the events described by Homer. When Schliemann excavated at this location, he was convinced that this was the gate that Homer had featured. His belief resulted from three pieces of the puzzle. First of all, the splendid ramp could easily be imagined as the walkway for the Trojan warriors. Secondly, Troy II was destroyed by a great fire as testified by the layer of ashen remains, two meters thick. Again, this fact perfectly fits with the legendary destruction of the Homeric Troy after the Greeks got inside using the Trojan Horse. Finally, near the ramp, Schliemann made one of the most amazing discoveries in the history of Troy's excavations.

In 1873, near the ramp, Schliemann made one of his most sensational discoveries. He found a rich collection of objects, consisting of copper pots, terra cotta goblets, bronze and copper weapons, such as shields, knives, lance heads, and daggers. There were also six silver knife blades, mistakenly identified by Schliemann as coins. However, these listed objects were not the most fantastic part of the collection. The treasure also consisted of silver and gold objects, for instance, a silver vase that contained two extraordinary gold diadems, dubbed by Schliemann as the jewels of Helen. There were also thousands of gold rings and buttons, two gold cups, and six gold bracelets. The collection was completed with other silver vases and a cup made of electrum - a mixture of gold, silver, and copper.

Enthusiastic Schliemann was sure that he had found the treasure of King Priam, and magnificent gold necklaces and earrings once had belonged to the beautiful mythical Helen. In fact, as demonstrated by the dating of the layers of Troy settlements, carried out later, these items had been much older. They were assigned to Troy II which had existed 1,200 years before the destruction of the Homeric Troy.

Schliemann was married to his own beautiful Helen when he excavated at Troy. However, he met her in far less dramatic and romantic circumstances. When Schliemann decided to search for Troy, he realized that he would need a personal assistant with the knowledge of Greek history and culture. He even put an advert that he was looking for a wife in an Athenian newspaper. His bride was a relative of the Archbishop of Athens. Her name was Sophia Engastromenos, and when 47-year-old Schliemann married her, she was only 17. Her best-known photo shows her wearing the ancient treasures discovered Schliemann at Troy. The marriage had three children with highly symbolic names: Andromache, Troy, and Agamemnon.

Enchanted by the treasure, Schliemann secretly took away the rich collection from Asia Minor.When the Ottoman authorities learned about this fact, Schliemann's permission to conduct the excavations in Troy was revoked, and the Ottoman official who was the supervisor of the works in Troy was imprisoned. Amazingly, Schliemann later recovered the permission in exchange for the return of the part of the treasure.

Visitor tips: 

From Schliemann's Trench, walk along the sightseeing route in the south-western direction. After some 35 meters you will get to the location of the Ramp of Troy II. From this place, you can see the Walls of Troy II and the Ramp - its appearance is the result of partial reconstruction.