Sunday, January 6, 2013
Early archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann was born on January 6, 1822, in the German Confederation. He was a fast-moving, fast-talking businessman who got rich cornering the market on commodities and munitions. His passion for Homer drove him to seek the site of the actual Troy in what is now Turkey. Eventually, his excavations of nine levels of archaeological remains starting in 1871 at Hissarlik – using dynamite – destroyed major historical artifacts, including the level thought to be that of the historical city. He also dug at the ancient sites of Mycenae and Tiryns in Greece, but died before he could get his hands on the Palace of Knossos on Crete. Pictured: The so-called “Mask of Agamemnon” (1550-1500 BCE), in repoussé gold, discovered by Schliemann in a burial vault at Mycenae in 1876. It predates the time of an historical King Agamemnon.