Troy, as described in Homer's Iliad, is portrayed as the setting for the Trojan War in ancient Greek mythology. According to the story, Eris, who was not invited to the wedding of the goddess Thetis, disrupts the peace of the marriage by throwing a golden apple inscribed with the words "To the Fairest." Unable to decide among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, Zeus passes the decision to Prince Paris. The goddesses offer him various promises to sway his choice. Paris selects Aphrodite, who promises him the beautiful Helen, the wife of Menelaus. Menelaus, wanting to reclaim his wife, gathers Greek heroes like his brother Agamemnon and Achilles and launches an attack on Troy. The siege lasts ten years, and the Greek warriors hidden inside the wooden horse invented by Odysseus capture the fortress of Troy.
Homer's epic poem, the Iliad, is not only the story of the Trojan War but also the story of Achilles. Achilles is the son of the wedding hosts, Peleus and Thetis. Because Achilles' mother is a goddess, he is blessed with immortality at birth by being anointed with sacred waters. However, he remains vulnerable at his heel, the only place where he can be killed because he was held by the heel when dipped in the water. This is why the tendon at the back of the ankle is known as the Achilles tendon.
While Troy was believed to be a mythical city, archaeological excavations initiated by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1870 and later carried out by American archaeologist Blegen before World War II revealed the remains of a very ancient city that had been destroyed and rebuilt nine times on a ridge located on the southern shores of the Dardanelles, in the Troas region of northwestern Anatolia, a few kilometers southwest of today's Çanakkale, on a site called Hisarlık. The sixth layer, dating back to the 15th-12th century BC, corresponds to the Troy described by Homer. The destruction of Troy by the Greeks, as mentioned in Homer's account of the Trojan War, is generally accepted to have taken place in the early ages around 1184 BC.
After thoroughly studying and analyzing the Iliad, Heinrich Schliemann believed that the Troy described by Homer, or the city of Ilios, should be searched for on Hisarlık Hill. Frank Calvert, who conducted minor excavations in Troy, had previously realized that Hisarlık Hill was formed as a mound. The large-scale holes were completed in nine work periods between 1871 and 1874. These excavations, led by Schliemann, who spent a significant portion of his fortune on this endeavor until 1890, accepted the Troy II period as the Troy of the Iliad and discovered the famous Treasure of Priam among the layers of this period. It is said that Schliemann found the treasures of Troy in 1873 and smuggled them out of the country, presenting the jewelry to his wife and saying, "You are my Helen." Before his death, Heinrich Schliemann donated the treasures he had taken from Troy to the Berlin National Museum. After the end of World War II, the Russians, who looted Berlin, seized these treasures and took them to their country. Today, the plundered treasure is exhibited in the Pushkin Museum.