Heinrich Schliemann

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Related to Heinrich Schliemann: Sir Arthur Evans

Schliemann, Heinrich

(hīn`rĭkh shlē`män), 1822–90, German archaeologist, discoverer of the ruins of TroyTroy,
ancient city made famous by Homer's account of the Trojan War. It is also called Ilion or, in Latin, Ilium. Its site is almost universally accepted as the mound now named Hissarlik, in Asian Turkey, c.4 mi (6.4 km) from the mouth of the Dardanelles.
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. He accumulated a fortune in the indigo trade and as a military contractor and retired from business in 1863 to dedicate himself to finding Troy and other Homeric sites. After several years of study and travel, in 1871 he undertook at his own expense excavations at Hissarlik that resulted in the discovery of four superimposed towns. Schliemann's research at Hissarlik represented the archaeological discovery of a Homeric civilization, previously considered by many experts to be legendary. Schliemann related every object he found to the verses of Homer, which he knew by heart. He made other notable excavations at Mycenae (1876–78), Ithaca (1878), Orchomenus, Boeotia (1881–82), and Tiryns (1884–85) and was assisted by Wilhelm Dörpfeld from 1882. His work in Greece demonstrated the existence of the previously unknown civilization of the Greek Bronze Age. Schliemann made two of the most spectacular discoveries in the history of archaeology, finding the "Treasure of Priam" at Hissarlik in 1873 (a trove that included two gold diadems, thousands of pieces of gold jewelry, bronze weapons, and silver and copper vessels) and an even larger treasure of gold, silver, and copper ornaments, masks, and swords at the Shaft Graves at Mycenae in 1876–77. The Treasure of Priam has always been controversial, as Schliemann's accounts of this discovery were inconsistent, and he smuggled the items out of Turkey. Schliemann's work, widely reported by the international press, captured the public imagination and dramatically revealed the great potential of archaeological research. Schliemann wrote several books describing his discoveries and an autobiography (published posthumously in 1892) and left a vast collection of personal papers and records, He acquired American citizenship because he was living in California when it became a state (1850).


See biographies by E. Ludwig (1931), R. Payne (1958), A. C. Brackman (1974), and D. A. Traill (1995); C. Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations and Archaeological and Historical Studies (1977); S. H. Allen, Finding the Walls of Troy (1999).

Schliemann, Heinrich


Born Jan. 6, 1822, in Neubukow; died Dec. 26,1890, in Naples. German archaeologist.

Schliemann, who had amassed a vast fortune through trade, retired from business in 1863 and devoted himself to searching for the sites of places mentioned in the Homeric epics. In 1869 he suggested that the site of Troy was the mound of Hissarlik in Asia Minor. Excavations in 1870–73, 1878–79, 1882–83, and 1889–90 confirmed Schliemann’s hypothesis and proved that Homer’s epic had a sound, factual basis. Schliemann also carried out excavations in Mycenae (1876), on the island of Ithaca (1878), in Orchomenos (1880–81), and in Tiryns (1884–85). Largely selftaught, Schliemann made use of completely unorthodox methodology in his excavations and, despite the fact that he kept detailed diaries and published the results of his excavations, the scientific value of his works is not very great. Of particular importance, however, was Schliemann’s discovery of the “pre-Homeric” Aegean culture, studied scientifically by A. Evans after Schliemann’s death.


Mykenae. Leipzig, 1878.
Ilios . . . . Leipzig, 1881.
Orchomenos. Leipzig, 1881.
Troja. Leipzig, 1884.
Tiryns. Leipzig, 1886.
Heinrich Schleimann: Selbstbiographie, 8th ed. Wiesbaden, 1955.


Stoll, H. A. Shliman. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from German.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Recovered by German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1873, it was stored in the Prussian State Museum before World War II.
The recent announcement that Russia is to mount a lavish Exhibition during this summer of 'Priam's Gold', the art treasures gathered from the site of Ancient Troy, by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), is momentous in more ways than one.
When the first modern Games were on in 1896 he chanced to be in Athens visiting, would you believe, Heinrich Schliemann, the fellow who astonished all and sundry by discovering the site of Troy.
Admittedly Heinrich Schliemann, the man who 'discovered' Troy, spent a few months probing around in the sun-baked soil.
Finding the walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik.
The Gold of Troy'' by Vladimir Tolstikov and Mikhail Treister (Abrams; $60) is subtitled ``Searching for Homer's Fabled City,'' features a biography of Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist whose obsession was locating the real Troy, ultimately accomplished in northern Turkey.
The haul was excavated by German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1873 and spirited off to Berlin, where the Red Army took it in 1945.
The tradition of fieldwork and analysis on the first European civilization initiated by Heinrich Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans was rarely matched within the central and western Mediterranean before the 1960s.
Troja, Mykene, Tiryns, Orchomenos: Heinrich Schliemann zum 100.
Myth, scandal and history: the Heinrich Schliemann controversy and a first edition of the Mycenaean diary.
On the last day but one of his 1873 season, Heinrich Schliemann found at Hissarlik, the mound in west Turkey he had identified as the Troy of Homeric tales, the gold hoard he called 'Priam's Treasure'.