The Gold of Troy: Searching for Homer's Fabled City

The Gold of Troy: Searching for Homer's Fabled City

by Vladimir P. Tolstikov, Mikhail Y. Treister
     
 

Thought to have been lost, dispersed, or even melted down during World War II, the marvelous ancient artifacts known as the "Gold of Troy," or "Priam's Treasure," are among the most important antiquities in existence. The two hundred fifty pieces in this fabulous golden trove were unearthed more than a century ago by the German amateur archaeologist Heinrich…  See more details below

Overview

Thought to have been lost, dispersed, or even melted down during World War II, the marvelous ancient artifacts known as the "Gold of Troy," or "Priam's Treasure," are among the most important antiquities in existence. The two hundred fifty pieces in this fabulous golden trove were unearthed more than a century ago by the German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and have been the subject of endless fascination ever since. In this lavish volume, the official catalogue of the "Gold of Troy" exhibition at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, these spectacular objects are reproduced in full color for the first time, and the tale of how they came to light after fifty years in hiding is told in compelling detail. The story begins with Schliemann (1822-1890), a wealthy businessman whose passion was to find the lost world of Homer. Guided by The Iliad to a site in northern Turkey that he "knew" was ancient Troy, he excavated goblets, coins, jewelry, and other treasures of inestimable value, won great fame, and gave the most important finds - "Priam's Treasure" among them - to the Berlin Museum. There they remained until the last days of World War II, when the collection was placed in three crates and hidden in an anti-aircraft installation near the Berlin Zoo. As the Red Army overran the city, the Soviets were the first to reach this cache of gold, immediately realized its historical importance, and shipped the hoard to Russia. In The Gold of Troy are superb color photographs of all 259 artifacts in the Pushkin exhibition, accompanied by extensive individual commentaries. The objects - now generally thought to date from 2600 to 2450 B.C., a thousand years earlier than the fabled city Schliemann was seeking - are from thirteen separate sites excavated by Schliemann from 1872 to 1890, and include priceless jewelry such as diadems, rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and brooches, as well as anthropomorphic figures, vessels, axes, beads, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
When Heinrich Schleimann excavated the site of ancient Troy, he discovered a treasure trove. Convinced that he had found the Troy of Helen and Priam, he named the treasure "Priam's Gold" and eventually gave it to the city of Berlin. At the end of World War II the gold disappeared, and it was assumed in the West that Russian troops had looted it. Most of the art treasures taken by Russian troops at the end of the war eventually turned up back in East German museums, but Priam's Gold was lost until 1994, when the Pushkin Museum admitted that it had been storing the gold in its basement since the end of the war (some of the items still had their German tags attached). This resulting catalog for the collection's first world tour (Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom) presents clear photographs of all 259 items in the Pushkin's holdings. Clear and concise essays by Pushkin curators Tolstikov and Treister put Schleimann, his work, and the artifacts into historical perspective. The pictures are pretty, but the text will be of greatest interest to scholars who have had no access to this historical collection for over 50 years. This is an important book for all art and archaeology collections.Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810933941
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Pages:
239
Product dimensions:
9.86(w) x 11.59(h) x 1.11(d)

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