Schliemann and Troy

Several years ago on a trip to Greece, we visited Mycenae and became interested in the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and the Trojan Wars.

The Numismatic Museum of Athens in the Schliemann mansion was very nice — and not anything close to being all numismatics. Apparently, Schliemann donated his personal collections. (I think, by that time, it was illegal to exit the country with artifacts as Lord Elgin had done with the Parthenon Marbles.)

We later found that “Priam’s Treasure” (Priam was a king of Troy and the father of Paris), stolen by Russia after WWII, was in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, so we went to Russia to see it.

We also went to Turkey to visit Troy and Pergamon. It was quite a surprise to find that Troy was 16 miles inland along the Meander River and not on the seacoast as expected; this was due to the silting-in of the river delta. Nevertheless, we felt Troy was a bust, as there was so little to see compared to Ephesus or larger archaeological excavations.

Our interest increased further after visiting Pergamon, so we went to Berlin to see the Pergamon Altar. No wonder it was one of the Wonders of the Ancient World along with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!

The main attractions of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin are the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate from Miletus and the Procession Walls of Babylon. There are huge sections of the Procession Walls. We had seen small sections in other museums and learned to identify it. The state of preservation is unbelievable, especially the colors and style.

No Berlin visitor should miss the world-class Pergamon Museum, under penalty of passport revocation.

Louisville, KY