Unearthed (2016–…): Season 6, Episode 3 - Lost City of Troy - full transcript

Troy is the legendary lost city at the center of the Trojan War, but its existence has never been confirmed; new discoveries and cutting-edge science might prove if Troy existed and if the ...

Narrator: Mysterious ancient
ruins in northwest turkey

Could this be
the fabled city of troy?

Rose: Troy is such an important
and legendary place

That finding it would be
the discovery of a lifetime.

The famous city is backdrop

To one of the greatest
stories ever told,

The tale of the trojan war.

Brave hero, a beautiful woman,

A cunning trick
this story has it all.

Narrator: But did it really
happen, or is it just a myth?

Could this ruined citadel
provide the answer?

We thought it was all made up,
but what if it's really true?

Narrator: Today, experts
dig deeper than ever before

To solve this ancient mystery

And use innovative
computer modeling

To discover the truth
about the iconic trojan horse.

It's a phenomenal feat
of engineering, craftsmanship,

And skill.

In the search for the truth,

We'll reconstruct
this ancient city.

We'll rebuild its walls, tunnel
into its very foundations,

And investigate
if a man-made horse

Could conceal a secret army

To reveal what really happens
to the city of troy.

EP - 3 - Lost City of Troy

The windswept coast
of northwest turkey

Mysterious ruined buildings
dating back thousands of years.

Could this be
the famous city of troy?

According to legend, troy rises

From the coastal plains
of asia minor.

It's the most powerful city
in the region,

Housing more than
10,000 citizens.

At its heart is a great citadel

Protected by mighty stone walls.

Outside its gates stands a gift
from a hostile greek army

That besieges the city
for 10 long years

A gigantic wooden horse

That will bring about
the destruction of troy.

But is there any truth
to this tale?

Archaeologist brian rose
has been excavating this site

For 30 years.

He investigates how much
of the legend is really true.

The story of the trojan wars,
it's one of the oldest

And most famous stories
ever told.

The tale is first recorded

By the greek writer homer

In about 750 b.C.

He immortalizes the city
and the siege

In an epic poem
called "the iliad."

Rose: Homer left clues to the
location of troy throughout "the iliad,"

And the details are so precise
that many historians believe

He was talking about
an actual place.

Narrator: In the story,
the greeks launch 1,000 ships

And sail across the sea
to attack troy.

They besiege the city
for 10 years.

Rose: It ends because of
the trick of the trojan horse,

Where a monumental wooden horse
with a hollow stomach

In which greek soldiers
have hidden

Is brought into
the city of troy.

At night, the greek soldiers
creep out of the hollow stomach

Of the horse,
open the gates of the city,

Let in the greek army,
and troy is destroyed.

Narrator: For centuries, experts
searched for troy's location.

In northwest turkey,
they find this huge mound.

Buried inside, they find the
remains of a once-mighty city.

Imposing towers
of a fortified gatehouse

Flank the broad entranceway.

It's one of three main openings

In the thick, high walls
of stone and mud brick.

Inside, the city covers 5 acres,

With grand houses packed in
close to one another,

Vying for space
in the protected citadel.

And overlooking them all,
an immense palace complex.

This is a seat of power
and wealth,

A fortified stronghold
that dominates the landscape.

It has all the right hallmarks.

So is this the legendary city
of troy?

Brian hunts for evidence.

The first clue is in
the mighty walls themselves.

Rose: Homer describes
the walls of troy

As being incredibly strong
and incredibly high,

And that's
what you see behind me.

As you look at these walls
of the northeast bastion,

You can see that they fit
his description perfectly.

Narrator: This ruined gateway
in the south of the city

Provides more evidence.

Rose: Homer speaks
of the strength of the gateways

Leading into the citadel

And especially the strength
of the south gateway.

This is the south side
of the citadel,

And this comes pretty close
to that description.

These gates and these towers

Would have been
extraordinarily high,

Clearly built
to withstand a siege

And, indeed,
a series of sieges over time.

Narrator: But although
the citadel looks the part,

It only covers 5 acres,
about four football fields.

It's not big enough
to be the great city

Homer describes.

Archaeologists continue
their search,

Convinced there's more to this
site than first meets the eye.

We started looking outside
the walls of the citadel,

And we found
this enormous lower city

Where there are
defensive systems

Surrounding bronze-age houses

And the pottery that
the residents were using,

Which showed that the city was
far larger than we had expected.

The lower city covers 75 acres

And is large enough
for 10,000 inhabitants.

There were two main zones
of occupation the citadel,

Which is where the wealthy
and powerful would have lived,

And the lower city,
which surrounds us,

Which is where the lower classes
would have lived.

Narrator: This groundbreaking
discovery proves this site

Really is big enough to be
the magnificent city of troy.

But is it old enough?

Experts believe
homer sets his story

Around the beginning
of the 13th century b.C.

But finding out if the age
of this city matches

Is a challenge.

Rose: Excavating in the city is
one of the most difficult things

That an archaeologist can do,
because it's not just one city,

But rather nine of them,
one built on top of the other.

And when we dig down,
we encounter a series of layers.

Each one is a different city.

And some lasted
for a few decades,

And some lasted for
a few centuries.

Narrator: Archaeologists number
the layers from one to nine.

Each layer is a city from
a different period in history.

The city that we're interested
in is from layers six and seven.

That coincides
with the late bronze age,

With the 13th
and 12th centuries b.C.

Narrator: The magnificent citadel
matches the date of the trojan war,

But there's one more piece
of the puzzle.

Is this powerful metropolis
in the right location

To be homer's legendary city?

Ancient texts locate troy
in modern-day turkey,

East of greece and southwest
of the black sea,

Right on the aegean coast.

Homer says the city overlooks
the dardanelles strait

And sits at the mouth of
a mighty river, the scamander.

During the trojan war,

The greek fleet hides
behind the island of tenedos,

Putting troy
within striking distance.

And legend has it
that the gods watch the war

From mount ida,

The final clue
in the hunt for troy.

Rose: Homer's description
of the geography of troy

Matches very closely
this archaeological site.

The aegean is right over there.

The dardanelles is only 4 miles
to the north.

The ida mountain's only
20 miles to the south,

And the island of tenedos
is just over there.

Narrator: The location fits.

The place is real.

This really is the legendary
lost city of troy.

But what can discoveries
around the walls tell us

About whether the epic trojan
war actually takes place here?

The legendary trojan war,

An epic siege that's said to end
with a cunning trick

A gift of a horse
full of warriors.

Archaeologists unearth
the ruins of troy

In modern-day turkey.

Now they search
for new evidence of the war

Around the city walls.

Legend has it these mighty walls

Are the work of the gods
apollo and poseidon.

Thousands of large,
close-fitting limestone blocks

Form an impenetrable barrier.

At the height of troy's power,
they're over 16 feet thick

And 32 feet high,

Taller on average
than the great wall of china.

Inside the walls,
archaeologists unearth

Piles of slingshot ammunition,

Classical siege defense weapons,

And outside, they find bronze
arrowheads and spearheads

More than 3,000 years old.

Are these missiles evidence
of the legendary siege of troy?

Troy's site director
rustem aslan

Has been investigating
this lost city for 30 years.

He's amazed to find
metal weapons here.

Finding bronze-age weapons

Confirms a bloody war
takes place here,

And the citadel's
solid, high walls

Show the trojans are prepared
to withstand a siege.

But what about
in the lower town,

Where most of
the inhabitants live?

Is there evidence
of an attack here?

The ditch is an impressive feat
of bronze-age engineering.

It measures 13 feet wide
and 8 feet deep,

Carved by hand
directly into the bedrock.

Fully completed, it runs
the perimeter of the lower city,

About 7 1/2 miles.

Rustem believes there's only one
reason to dig a ditch this big,

To defend the city
against the ancient world's

Most terrifying weapon
the chariot.

The chariot is the tank
of the bronze age,

A lightweight, wheeled
wooden platform

Pulled by two or four horses.

[ horse neighs ]

One charioteer holds the reins,
while a warrior

In full bronze armor
wields a long deadly spear.

With a top speed
of almost 30 miles an hour,

A few chariots can decimate
infantry on an open battlefield.

[ battle cries ]

But a simple ditch
with steep sides

Can stop a speeding chariot
in its tracks.

[ horse neighs ]

Troy's defensive ditch
and strong walls

Show the city is designed to
withstand a well-equipped army,

Just as homer says.

But these defenses
are only half the story.

Historian nigel tallis is
an expert in bronze age warfare.

He thinks troy's residents
can't afford to wait

For their city to be overrun
by galloping chariots.

They must strike first.

If you sit inside your city,
you're going to run out of food.

There's a danger of disease
and plague.

As they say, the best form
of defense is attack.

You have to take the fight
to the enemy.

Narrator: Nigel believes bands
of trojan warriors leave the city

To take on the enemy
on the plains outside.

Sometimes their leaders
might engage each other

In single combat.

It's an age of kings
and heroes and champions,

And this is the way
you win a great name.

This is how you win
wealth and fortune,

Is through showing
your prowess in battle.

Narrator: In the bronze age,
the outcome of such a duel

Can settle the entire war.

It's a practical way
to avoid bloodshed.

Tallis: Most of the soldiers are
militia, and they're conscripts.

These are your farmers

And people
who make things back at home.

You don't want them
to be needlessly slaughtered.

Narrator: Nigel investigates
how the trojan champions

Might prepare for
this life-or-death battle.

He works with historic weapons
expert hamish macleod,

Who builds replica
bronze-age armor.

This is made of solid plate.

In the time,
it would have been bronze,

And this suit over here

Is made out of the individual
small plates

Sewn onto
a leather bodice underneath.

This amount of bronze

Would be fantastically

Only the very richest and
the most important warriors

Would have
this sort of gear.

Narrator: As well as armor, the
fighters also protect themselves

With heavy shields.

So, this shield here is
big enough to hide behind.

It's also been covered
with cowhide.

Incredibly tough.

And now, looking at this shield,
very distinctive shape.

Could I ask you, please, could
you adopt the en garde position?

Now our warrior is getting
the full protection width

Of that shield,
but with that cutout,

He's now able to present
his thrusting sword forward.

Narrator: Each soldier also
carries a sharp sword.

Macleod: It would have been
cast out of bronze.

Bronze is quite
a brittle material.

If you hit it on the side,
it will either bend or shatter.

That's not good.

The best way to get the sword
to last in combat

Is to make sure you're always
fighting edge on edge.

That's why this blade

Is a lot fatter in the center
than it is at the edge.

That's literally
to give it strength.

Narrator: Each champion's aim
is to find his opponent's weak spot.

Macleod: When we look at our
character here in his full plate armor,

We can see that, really,
the only place

Where you're going
to successfully take him out

Is here, the neck,
the thrust here,

And that's what it's all about.

Narrator: Nigel believes these
battles are short but deadly.

Tallis: The actual combat itself
might be over in seconds,

If you get a lucky shot.

Or it can go on for perhaps
10 minutes or so,

Until the stress and the heat
exhaustion takes its toll,

And you finish your enemy,
or your enemy finishes you.

Narrator: These bloody duels
don't end the trojan war.

The siege of troy goes on
for 10 years.

But who are the attackers?

Are they greek,
as the legend says?

Can evidence found near
the coast reveal their identity?

The ancient city of troy,

Scene of the epic trojan war.

[ battle cries,
swords clanging ]

Searching for truth
in the legend,

Experts locate the city
in modern turkey

And find the remains
of a deadly siege.

But who were the invaders?

Homer writes that a huge
greek army attacks troy.

What evidence is there
that the army is really here?

Close to the shoreline,

Investigators unearth
a strange burial site

Of 95 bodies.

Huge clay jars contain
jumbled human skeletons.

It's a traditional style
of burial in the bronze age.

Nearby, carved beads,
seals, and fragments of pottery

Painted with ocher
date this graveyard

To the time of the trojan war,

But they are not trojan.

Can these be the graves
of troy's attackers?

Archaeologist louise schofield
has been studying

The bronze age greeks
for 40 years.

She investigates the area
where the burial site is found.

She thinks the shape of the bay
could be evidence

That homer's tale of an invading
greek army is true.

In the story, homer describes

How the greeks set up
their camp in a sheltered bay,

Protected on both sides
by headlands,

And it has fresh water nearby,

Both for the people
and the horses.

Louise believes this location
perfectly fits that description.

Schofield: And if you look
at where we are now,

You've got a lovely
sheltered bay

Protected by headlands
and a water source nearby.

So it fits the account
in the story very well.

Narrator: But is this really
the site of an army camp?

A clue may lie in the types
of objects found here.

Schofield: When this area was excavated,
lots of burials were found,

Pottery, weapons,
but no permanent structures.

So that suggests to me that
it may well have been a campsite

Where people were living
without permanent structures

Because they had no idea

How long they were
going to be there.

Narrator: Louise investigates
whether any of the grave goods

Can reveal the identity
of these mysterious attackers.

Are they greek, as homer says?

Schofield: The pottery we see
here is the material that was found

In the excavations
on one of the big headlands,

And it's very
distinctive pottery,

But it's surprising to find it
in such quantities

On the shores of troy.

Narrator: As an expert
on the ancient greeks,

Louise has seen
these designs before.

This style of pottery exactly
matches the style of pottery

That we find at sites
like mycenae in greece.

At the time of the trojan war,

The mycenaens are
a formidable people

Who control most
of southern greece

And the surrounding islands.

Their capital city, mycenae,

Is a mighty fortress
with huge walls

That legend says
can only be the work of giants.

They lay the foundations
for the ancient greek language,

And they produce
intricate pottery and metalwork.

Their fearsome fleet
rules the aegean sea

And is easily able to sail
the 200 miles to troy.

Louise believes finding
this much greek pottery

On the shores of troy
proves the greeks are here.

But why have they come?

In the legend, the war starts
because prince paris of troy

Runs away with the beautiful
greek queen, helen.

Everybody loves the story,

And everybody loves
a good romance,

But would the greeks
of the bronze age

Really have come here
and started a war over a woman?

Narrator: Louise thinks the war
might be less about love

And more about geography.

Schofield: Just down here,
this piece of water,

This is the dardanelles,

And it's the boundary
between asia and europe.

So on the far side of the water,
we've got europe,

And on this side, we have asia.

Narrator: The dardanelles strait
connects the black sea

To the mediterranean.

Today, it's one of
the most important

Shipping lanes in the world,

Carrying oil and 1/5
of all the world's grain exports

From russia to africa
and western europe.

Around 50,000 ships
pass through here every year.

In the bronze age,
it would have been no different.

So this would have been
a very busy waterway,

Ships from various
nationalities traveling

Through the dardanelles
to get access to the black sea.

The site of troy is just 4 miles

From the entrance
to the dardanelles.

It's a vital strategic location.

Close to troy
was the last safe harbor

Before entering
into the dardanelles

And going into the black sea.

And the greeks would wait there

For the winds to be
in the right direction

And to get supplies and to make
any repairs to their ships.

Troy is in the perfect place

To control this vital
trade route.

Its rulers take full advantage,

Levying a tax
on any passing ships.

The city becomes rich
and powerful,

An obvious target
for the warlike greeks.

I think they probably felt
two things,

That, "a," they wanted
to teach troy a lesson,

And "b," troy would have been
a very rich prize

For them to take.

Narrator: For louise, this is
the most likely reason

For the trojan war.

Schofield: Although
it's a lovely romantic story

That the greeks
came here for love,

They're much more likely
to have come here

In search of wealth and riches.

Narrator: The evidence shows
the story of the trojan war

Is based on real events.

But what can clues
from deep below the city

Reveal about
how the war plays out?

Does this epic siege really last
10 years, as homer says?

The historic city of troy

Not just a myth,
but a real place,

Site of the real trojan war.

According to the story, this
epic battle rages for 10 years.

How can the city and its
inhabitants survive a siege

That lasts that long?

Rose: Normally, troy had access
to plenty of food and water.

There were fields
that surrounded the site,

And two rivers that bordered it.

But what do you do
if the greek army

Is camped outside
your battlements?

How do you survive
through a 10-year war?

In the search for clues,

Archaeologist brian rose
returns to troy's lower city.

Here, he investigates
a mysterious entrance.

Looks like no one's been here
for decades,

And I've never seen
so many cobwebs in my life.

Narrator: Whatever lies
behind the entrance

Is off-limits to visitors,

But brian's been given
unique access to investigate.

I can see a little bit of light.

So I should be able
to navigate the corridor.

Narrator: Brian wants
to find out what's inside

And if it can explain
how the trojans endure

A 10-year siege.

Rose: This is incredible.

Narrator: A long, dark tunnel
stretches deep

Into an underground world.

Could this be the key
to how the trojans survive?

Rose: I can see water,

Not terribly much of it,
but there is some.

Narrator: The claustrophobic
labyrinth runs for over 500 feet

Right beneath the city.

Brian believes it's not
an escape tunnel,

But a vast
underground reservoir.

It's summer now,
so the level is low,

But in the wet season,
this would be full of water.

The water comes from
an underground water source,

As well as from rainwater
that collects in the cave

Through several holes
in the ceiling

And then ushers out
through the mouth of the cave.

Narrator: The tunnel could
supply the inhabitants of troy

With all the fresh water
they need.

What this means is that
if there had been a siege,

The residents would have had
plenty of fresh water

To survive, no matter
how long the siege lasted.

Narrator: The trojans have enough
water to hold out for 10 years,

Just as homer describes.

But how do they get enough food?

The answer may lie
in objects unearthed

Back in the upper citadel.

Rose: These enormous storage
vessels are called pithoi.

They were designed
to hold grain primarily,

But also lentils, dried fruits,
and other foodstuffs.

Narrator: The residents bury the
jars in the ground to save space

And protect the contents
from the hot sun.

Some of these storage vessels
are over 6 feet tall,

And in one of the houses,

We found as many as 23 pithoi
sunk into the floor.

Narrator: Brian believes
these underground larders

Could explain how the trojans
are able to survive

Being cut off
from the outside world.

Rose: The fact
that they had so many of these

Suggests that the residents
were concerned about surviving

A very long siege
and having enough to eat.

Narrator: These storage jars
mean the trojans can last for months

Or even years without
running out of food.

But experts believe
surviving a siege is about more

Than just holding out
until the enemy gives up.

It's about fighting back.

The trojan defenders
sneak out at night...

[ battle cries ]

...To seize or destroy
the invaders' weapons...

...And they target
the greek fleet...

...Attacking and wrecking
their ships.

But the greeks are still
determined to take the city.

They attack with siege towers,
battering rams, and ladders.

They even consider
building earth ramps

To get their forces
over troy's mighty walls.

But does this war of attrition
really go on

For 10 straight years,
as the story says?

Brian believes homer bases
his tale not on one epic siege,

But a series of wars.

Rose: Homer describes the trojan
war as lasting for 10 years,

But this is probably
just dramatic license.

We typically speak
of one trojan war,

But in fact, there were many,

Lasting probably
for two centuries,

From about 1400 to 1200.

Narrator: For the defenders,
these repeated short attacks

Have one advantage

They don't need enough food
to last a full 10 years.

During this period, there would
have been opportunities

For the trojans
to restock the settlement,

Because the wars
would not have continued

For that entire period.

Narrator: The evidence
unearthed at troy shows

That the trojan war
really happens.

But does it end with a cunning
trick, as the legend says?

Can cutting-edge
computer modeling

Finally reveal the truth
about the trojan horse?

The tale of the trojan war

One of the most famous
stories in history.

Archaeologists have shown there
really is a war here at troy.

But how does it end?

According to the legend,
after 10 long years,

The greeks appear
to abandon their siege.

They leave behind an offering,

A gigantic wooden horse,

But this gift hides
a deadly secret.

Stuffed inside
are 30 greek warriors,

Taking up all available space.

They hope they can
fool the trojans

Into taking them into the city.

Can there be any truth
in this legend?

Archaeologist louise schofield
searches for evidence

That the trojans might really
fall for the famous trick.

Chilling remains found in
the citadel hint at an answer.

During the excavations at troy,

Dozens and dozens of
horse skeletons were found,

Of which these are two skulls.

The fact that we found so many

Is really unusual
for a bronze age site,

And it backs up
the importance of horses

To the culture of the trojans.

Narrator: Horses are a significant
part of bronze age culture and economy.

They also play
a vital religious role.

People make statues of them
or even sacrifice them

To seek favor from the gods.

It would make perfect sense
that the greeks would leave

A large statue of a wooden horse
on the plains of troy

As an offering to their gods.

Also, given the importance
of the horse to the trojans,

You can see why they would want
to bring it without their city

And offer it
to their goddess themselves.

Narrator: But the legend says
that in just three days,

The greeks build a horse
big enough to conceal

Around 30 warriors.

Could such a feat be possible
for bronze age engineers?

A clue could lie in the nearby
town of canakkale.

When hollywood decided to make
their epic movie "troy,"

This is the way
that they envisaged

The famous trojan horse
as looking,

Made of the remains of
several dismembered greek ships.

Narrator: The greeks are expert
engineers and boat-builders.

Louise believes they used this
incredible ship-building talent

To break the terrible siege
of troy.

Schofield: I don't think they
could have built a wooden horse

From scratch in just three days,
but they had their warships,

And they could have dismantled
those to build such a horse.

Narrator: But is this
replica horse the right size?

Wow. This thing is huge.

It's nearly 40 feet tall.

I wonder if it would have needed
to be this big

To house 30 greek warriors

Or whether it's a hollywood

Narrator: At nottingham trent university,
England, head of engineering

Neil mansfield gears up to
undertake a unique experiment

To investigate how big
the trojan horse has to be.

Mansfield: Question is, can we
really build a wooden horse

That will fit 30 men

And to get it through
those gates to the city of troy?

Narrator: Neil starts with
a modern-day comparison.

Okay. So we're going to be
getting into the van.

Narrator: He wants to know what
size vehicle will hold 30 people.

-In you come.

He estimates this empty van

Could be a good starting point
for the body of the horse.

21, 22.

We've only got 22 crammed
into this van.

So if you make it even bigger
to fit 30 in,

It's going to be enormous.

I can feel the heat
already up here.

Narrator: Neil wants to know
what size the horse needs to be

And whether it will
fit through the city gates.

See what you're up to.

He works with human ergonomist
john lovegrove.

So how big does a trojan horse
need to be

To fit 30
greek soldiers inside?

That's a really
good question.

The first thing you have to do
is think about the size

Of the people
inside the horse.

Skeletal remains show
that 3,000 years ago,

The average greek soldier
was around 5'7" tall.

They would be fit,
smaller than today.

Next, john works out how the
greeks would design their horse.

He bases his model on a ship.

In this model, I've placed
a boat hull inside the horse

And then sat the greek soldiers

Down both
sides of the boat,

And in the center,
we are able to put a third row.

And while the soldiers
are in here,

They probably wouldn't
be wearing their armor?


Storing their armor separately
would keep the warriors cool

And prevent them from
being heard by the trojans.

So if we put them all together,
how big is it?

We have an approximate height
of 5 meters

To the back of the horse,

And then 6, 6 1/2 meters
to the head.

15, 20 feet,
that's pretty big.

Yeah, it's huge, yeah.

Question is,
would that fit through

The gates of troy?

Archaeologists think
the main gate at troy

Is about 13 feet wide
and 16 feet high,

With a mud-brick arch
over the top.

At 20 feet tall,
john's design is too big.

But he believes
with some adjustments,

The trojan horse
could be a success.

It could have been
that the trojans removed

The top
of the gates of troy

To allow the horse
to pass through,

Or I personally think
that it was actually

A much smaller group
of soldiers.

According to the story,
all this squad needs to do

Is overpower the guards
and open the city gates.

So you're saying
with fewer soldiers,

We get a smaller horse.

It fits through the gate,
and that would have worked.


John's new design shows
the ingenious trojan horse

Really could be
the stealth weapon

That ends
the brutal siege of troy.

Maybe there weren't 30 soldiers
inside the trojan horse.

Maybe it was a smaller number.
But we can't forget,

These greeks, they were
outstanding engineers.

They knew what they were doing,

And I think
they could have done it.

Narrator: Building a big
wooden horse is one thing.

Tricking the trojans into taking
it into their city is another.

According to legend,
after the greeks retreat,

The trojans come out to admire
the mysterious horse.

[ applause, crowd chattering ]

Laocoon, a trojan priest,
suspects greek foul play

And hurls a spear at the horse

To prove there are men
hidden inside.

But suddenly, two giant serpents
emerge from the sea...

[ man screaming ]

Narrator: ...And kill laocoon
and his sons.


Worried about angering the gods,

The trojans accept the horse
as a gift

And drag it inside.

[ ropes creaking ]

Myths like this
are often based in truth.

Bronze-age societies
frequently give horses as gifts.

But does this greek gift
of a horse

Succeed in tricking the trojans?

Can new archaeological evidence

Reveal what really happens
in troy's final hours?

Narrator: Troy

Setting of the legendary
trojan war.

Archaeological evidence shows
the city and the war are real,

And the iconic trojan horse
could also be based in truth.

But how does it all end?

According to the story,

The unsuspecting trojans
accept their gift

And bring it within
the city walls.

But under the cover of darkness,

Its stowaways emerge.

A small squad of warriors
cannot take the city alone.

All they must do is open
the gates for the greek army

That has approached
the walls in secret.

[ battle cries ]

Taking the trojans by surprise,

They storm the city
and set fire to it.

Does this furtive act
spell the end for troy?

Archaeologist brian rose
wants to find out

What really happens next.

Is the mighty city burnt
to the ground

By an attacking army
as the story says?

When brian and his team
dig into the city's remains,

They find a clue.

When we first came here
to excavate,

The entire area
was completely covered,

But over the course of the dig,

We found a thick
destruction level,

Up to 4 feet high
in some places,

In which we found
blackened earth,

Burned wood probably from
the roof of the building.

You don't see it now because, of
course, it's all been excavated.

Narrator: The charred layer
shows this city is destroyed

By a major fire,
just as homer describes.

But what happens
to its heroic defenders?

In the story, the trojans are
massacred by the greek invaders.

In this area, as well
as at the south gate

And at the east gate,
skeletons have been found.

Two skulls at the south gate,
a full skeleton here,

Part of a skeleton
at the east gate,

And what's unusual
is that they weren't buried.

Narrator: Does the way
these people are left unburied

Show they're slaughtered
by an attacking army?

The fact that they weren't
buried in these three cases

Means that there was no one
around to bury them,

And they were all at gates.

So it seems reasonable that
they were defending the city

And died during an attack.

Narrator: The brave trojan
warriors fight to the death

Defending their city,
just as homer says.

Troy may be destroyed,
but its story doesn't end here.

A few settlers return
to live in the ruins,

And later, a new city
is built on top.

In 750 b.C., homer writes
his epic tale

And puts troy on the map.

The resident of the city
sell the city

As the location
of the trojan war,

And the tourist industry
takes off.

The persian king xerxes,

On his way to conquer greece
in the 5th century b.C.,

Visits the must-see site.

And the greek king
alexander the great

Comes here 100 years later on
his way to attack the persians.

Rose: Then, as well as now,

The trojan war stands as an
endless source of fascination.

Narrator: But the famous city's
fortunes don't last forever.

After a series of earthquakes
in the 5th century,

The site is abandoned,
and its location is lost.

Troy's story passes into legend,

It's name assumed to be
no more than fiction...

Until now.

Not all of the details
in homer's "iliad" are true.

Many of them are mythological,

But homer was writing about
a real city,

And this is that city.

Narrator: The city of troy,
its legend recorded

In one of the most famous tales
ever written,

A mighty fortress,
a bloody siege

Won with a cunning trick.

For thousands of years,

This story is thought to be
just a fairytale,

But now the truth is revealed.

The trojan war is real,

And so is
the historic city of troy.