Monday, November 20, 2006

The Springs of Troy

In the digs of 1997 and 1998 at Troy, Korfmann's team discovered a cave cut deep into the hill, on the western side of the lower town. The main tunnel is the widest, and stretches nearly 43 feet long, but there are three more narrow tunnels branching from it, one of them exceeding 328 feet in length. An underground reservoir was tapped so that the overflow was channeled outside and stored in tanks. When it was discovered, the channel on the left side alone still delivered almost 8 gallons per hour. In May 2002, in the journal Archaeometry, Mangini and Frank, leaders of the radiometry team from Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, concluded that the oldest layers of calcite growth on the walls date to 4350 (+/- 570) years old, and that the tunnels were probably constructed shortly before that, sometime in the 3rd millennium, during the period of Troy I-II. They were also able to determine that the system was used during the period of Troy VI-VII (1700-1150BC), and later as well in the 8th century, and even Romans times.

This discovery wasn't made until after most scholars had come to agree that the city of Wilusa, mentioned by the Hittites, was in fact the same city that we know as Troy. But it was quickly pointed out anyway that the so-called "Alakšandu Treaty" between the Hittite King and Alakšandu of Wilusa, in paragraph 20, invokes the god of the subterranean watercourse [(Dingir)KASKAL.KUR] of the land of Wilusa (Latacz, 2001, English version Troy and Homer, 2004).


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