Truth of Troy
The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site. For thousands of years these tunnels have held a secret, until now. They are carved in to the bedrock of an ancient city in North West Turkey. The marks of the workman who made them still visible. Archaeologist Manfred Korfmann uses a new scientific technique that he hopes will uncover a truth about the tunnels. It may reveal something that many have suspected but no one has been able to prove. His technique may take him closer than ever to the hard facts behind an ancient myth. The story of the Trojan war. It's one of the greatest love stories ever. Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world, she's married to a Greek king but she is spirited away to the magnificent city of Troy after she's seduced by the Trojan Prince, Paris. For the Greeks this means war. Their most powerful King Agamemnon assembles an army. A thousand ships from all across Greece set sail to lay siege to Troy and bring back Helen. The siege drags on for ten years. The Greeks can not break Troy's great walls so they resort to trickery. They leave a great wooden horse outside the city and the Trojans pull it inside. Greek soldiers hidden in the horse jump out and open the city gates. Troy is then razed to the ground. The story was composed by the Greek poet Homer almost three thousand years ago. It's so compelling that for centuries people wondered if any of it was true. Was there a war fought for love? Did a coalition of Greek set sail? Did Troy even exist? The first task was to find out when in history the legend was set. Most scholars accept that Homer composed the story in the eighth century before Christ. But it's thought that he was writing about a time hundreds of years earlier, some time in the age of Bronze. At the beginning of this era the pyramids of Egypt were being built. Writing came to Greece. And the invention of bronze weapons revolutionised the face of warfare. It was in the late Bronze Age, around twelve hundred years before Christ, that it is believed the story of the Trojan war is set. Having determined the time the task now facing archaeologists was to find out if Troy ever existed. The first breakthrough was made by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870.
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