Troy and Gordion
When Schliemann dug through the strata of Hissarliks hill, he discovered, on the second level from the virgin ground beneath, great walls of a fortress, and in the same level some treasures, all of which he attributed to Priams Troy. His view was invalidated, and properly so, because a correlation with Egypt made it appear too early for Troy. The second level, Troy II, was shown to have been in existence during the Old Kingdom of Egypt, and thus long before the traditional date for Troys fall. The end of Troy VI, identified by Wilhelm Doerpfeld as the Ilion of the siege, was found to have been contemporaneous with the mid-Eighteenth Dynasty of the Egyptian New Kingdom, and was therefore also too early for the Trojan War.
Carl Blegen identified forty-six layers of occupation of the mound of Hissarlik, the Troy of the excavators, but divided them between the nine strata of occupation classified by Doerpfeld. Troy VI was a well-built fortress; Blegen specified eight separate levels of occupation in this stratum alone. It ended in a violent earthquake. Blegen, however, looked for a fortress that fell not due to an earthquake, but in a siege and assault; thus he identified the Troy sung by Homer as Troy VIIa.
The sixth city of Troy is conventionally placed in the fourteenth-thirteenth centuries before the present era, a dating which ultimately depends on Egyptian chronology. Here an observation by Rodney Young, the excavator of the Phrygian capital Gordion,1 needs to be cited:
In their batter as well as their masonry construction the walls of the Phrygian Gate at Gordion find their closest parallel in the wall of the sixth city at Troy. But a gulf of time separates these two constructions in the conventional timetable.
Though separated in time by five hundred years or thereabouts, the two fortifications may well represent a common tradition of construction in north-western Anatolia; if so, intermediate examples have yet to be found.2
Still today no intermediate examples have been found. As to the date of the Phrygian Gate and wall of Gordion, Young wrote:
The Phrygian Kingdom was . . . at the apex of its power toward the end of the eighth century, when it apparently extended as far to the southeast as the Taurus and was in contact with Assyria. This period of power was apparently the time of the adornment and fortification of its capital city.This points to the eighth century for the erection of the city wall and gate.3 Eighth-century Gordion is similar to thirteenth-century Troy, yet intermediate examples of the peculiar way of building the gate and the wall beg to be found.4