Heinrich Schliemann


"We could describe (Heinrich) Schliemann's excavations on the hill of Hissarlik and consider their results without speaking of Troy or even alluding to it," Georges Perrot wrote in 1891 in his Journal des Savants. "Even then, they would have added a whole new chapter to the history of civilization, the history of art" (qtd. in Duchêne 87). 's life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. A poor, uneducated, and motherless boy rises through his hard work and parsimonious lifestyle to the heights of wealth (Burg 1,2). He travels the world and learns its languages (""), takes a beautiful Greek bride, and together they unearth the treasures of Troy and the citadel of Agamemnon, thereby ...

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and his shady methods pervaded both his life and his archaeology (Burg, 15-31). Schliemann had a habit of rewriting his past in order to paint a more dramatic picture of himself. Among the events he reported that have been found to be grossly untrue are his tales of being entertained by the American president Millard Fillmore and his wife in 1851, and his narrow escape from the San Francisco fire of that same year (Traill 9-13). More disturbing is when he applies these tactics to his archaeology. In December of 1981 Professor David Traill, a Latinist, concluded that the "Treasure of Priam", Schliemann's
most impressive find at Troy, was actually a composite of several small finds uncovered from beyond the walls of the city. Schliemann had collected the pieces from 1871 to 1873 in order to produce a single find large enough to earn him the respect of fellow archaeologists, and also permission from the British to excavate at Mycenae (Calder 33). Twenty years of research ...

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archaeology by building off of the processes of his predecessors. His digs at Mycenae led to Sir Arthur Evans's discovery of the city of Knossos and the lost civilization of the Minoans, precursors to the Myceneans ("The Minoan Costume"). Neither the Minoans nor the Myceneans had existed in anything other than ancient papyri before ; he is considered the father of both Aegean archaeology and Greek studies (Duchêne 81).
Heinrich was born on January 6th, 1822 to Ernst and Luise Schliemann in Neu Buckow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany (": Heros and Mythos"). Luise would die in childbirth in1831 at the age of forty, humiliated by her husband's affair with the family's servant girl. ...

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Added: 4/2/2005 08:56:39 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4809
Pages: 18

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