Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Visions of Troy Volume 53 Number 1, January/February 2000
By Elizabeth Riorden

There have always been two Troys. One, the setting of the Iliad, is a literary conceit of universal appeal that reflects the concerns of any given epoch. The other Troy is an elusive yet real place for which centuries of travelers, cartographers, and archaeologists have gradually recorded coordinates, dimensions and form. Because of a lack of distinction between the two Troys, wild controversy has arisen over the most basic aspects of the ancient city--where was it, what did it look like, did it ever exist at all?

Elizabeth Riorden, site architect for Troy from 1995 to 1998, traces the history of the envisioned Troy. From imaginative Trojan vistas drawn by 17th-century travelers to three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) models of the city's Bronze Age gates, Riorden examines how the Troy of legend became the Troy of reality.

Elizabeth Riorden is an architect in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1990 she participated in the Troy Project for the first time; from 1995 to 1998 she was the site architect. She wishes to thank Manfred Korfmann of the University of Tübingen and C. Brian Rose of the University of Cincinnati for their support. Thanks also go to Christopher Haussner, Tina Jakob, and Peter Jablonka. Special thanks go to Hans Günter Jansen for his initiation of the CAD model project for Troy.

© 2000 by the Archaeological Institute of America