The Trojan War dated by two solar eclipses

Part of : Mediterranean archaeology & archaeometry : international journal ; Vol.12, No.1, 2012, pages 63-76

The Trojan War was very significant for the ancient Greeks and they dated historical events according to the number of years after the fall of Troy. However, there was already in antiquity no consensus as to the exact date of the war when compared with different epochs. Even after the modern discovery of the ancient city, there has been disagreement among different excavators as to which layer corresponds to the city mentioned in the Iliad attributed to Homer. In this paper an attempt is made to identify the strange obscuration of the sun that occurred during the final battle of the Iliad as a total solar eclipse close to the southern border of the zone of totality. There exists only one solar eclipse that corresponds to the description in the text and this is the total solar eclipse of June 11, in 1312 BC. When I first presented this date in 1986, there was a difference of about 60 years compared with the most common archaeological dating at that time. My date is now fully supported by the latest results from the German-American excavation that identifies the fall of Homer’s Troy with the destruction of the archaeological layer Troy VIh, dated to about 1300 BC. Further independent support is provided by another solar eclipse that dates the reign of the Hittite king Muwatalli II. This king wrote a letter to king Alaksandu in Wilusa, identified as the Hittite name for Ilios, the most frequently used name for Troy in the Iliad. Alexander was another name for Paris who abducted Helen, the crime that resulted in the war. Muwatalli II was king 1315-1297 BC, according to the chronology for the Hittite Kingdom based on a solar eclipse in 1335 BC, during the tenth year of King Mursili II (1345- 1315 BC), the father of Muwatalli II.
Iliad, Homer, Trojan War, Total Solar Eclipse, Achilles, Patroclus, Troy VI, Wilusa, Muwatalli II and Mursili II
Corresponding, I want to express my gratitude to Dr Johan Flemberg, Department of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, for his help in 1986 in finding Edwin Forrer’s handwritten German translation from Hittite of the annals by Mursili II in the great collection of books in Carolina Rediviva, the University Library in Uppsala. He also helped me with the reading of the original Greek text in book 17. Finally, I want to thank my research college associate professor Mary Blomberg, also of the Department of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History in Uppsala, for useful discussions and the correction of my English.
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