Friday, May 24, 2013

Doing Research After the Trip

One of the lazy things I like to do is listen to storytellers, rather than do the research.  So, I listened to the story of how Heinrich Schliemann, a rich businessman, became an archeologist (a new profession) and discovered and dug up Troy. Our guide did make clear that Heinrich Schliemann was no angel.  He had promised to share the value of any riches uncovered with his crew, but the day he found some gold, he sent the crew home early (with pay) and dug up all the gold himself and never shared it.

But our guide did not tell us that Heinrich Schliemann didn’t really discover Troy at all.  I don’t know why, but I was suspicious, so I did the research on the web.  I keep remembering the hours  digging around in the library hunting for information. Research is no longer a lot of heavy lifting. It only took a few minutes to find that Frank Calvert, a British archeologist, was the true finder of Troy.  After the British Museum turned him down, Calvert went to Heinrich Schliemann for the money.  Calvert deserves the credit for discovering the true location of Troy.

The Troy of the Trojan Horse story was the 6th Troy.  There were 9 cities built in that location.  The location was finally abandoned when Turkey rose enough that Troy was no longer on the sea, and a new city with a port had to be built.  In our explorations of Troy we found sea shells, but oddly no potsherds.

The city is marked with a wooden horse, large enough for a small army to hide in.  But this horse has windows and a little room at the top.  I find those additions unlikely for a sneak attack.

Still, I enjoyed walking the remains of  this historical city, seeing walls that had been built and rebuilt with pieces of previous walls, and pedestals where statues had been (but are now in museums.) And I was very pleased with my artificial hip.  Several members of our tour group relied on canes.  I was able to climb stairs over a foot high, without banisters.  The wonders of modern medicine combined with a superb physical therapy program!  Most of what I want to do is only accessible with a healthy body. I’m so glad to live in a century where replacement parts make it possible. And I’m glad that research has become easier, too.

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