Did the Trojan War really happen ?

First: We now know a great deal about the Trojans' enemies in that conflict, the Mycenaeans. These people lived in Bronze Age Greece in small kingdoms centered on palaces. In particular, we know that there was a great palace citadel at Mycenae where a King Agamemnon could have ruled. And at Pylos, where Carl Blegen excavated after his work at Troy,

there is a palace which could have been that of Nestor. We know from some objects found at Troy that they traded with the Mycenaeans. Trade relations could have gone sour, leading to conflict.

Second: The Trojans were allies to a greater power to the east, the Hittites. Several Hittite clay tablets survive which show how wars could develop, and how diplomacy could be used to avoid conflict. Did Troy get caught between two expanding powers, the Mycanaeans and the Hittites?

Third: The newly discovered lower fortifications of Troy VI belong to the period of this clash between the Hittites and the Mycenaeans. They are designed to protect against chariot attack.

Fourth: Archaeologists have found that there are many destruction levels from the period 1300- 950 BCE.

Earthquake, invasion or other catastrophe could account for some of these, but a war (or wars) with the Mycenaeans or their allies is not ruled out.

There are other reasons to believe there was a real Trojan War, too many to list here. We may never know for sure, and we may not believe that incidents such as the Judgment of Paris could really have happened as told! Yet there is room to think that events which really happened (a city besieged and sacked) got mixed up with stories that helped explain why it all unfolded as it did.

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