On This Day

Heinrich Schliemann

Archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann

Profession: Archaeologist

Nationality:
Germany
German

Why Famous: A successful German businessman, Heinrich Schliemann turned his eye toward the prehistorical archaeological sites of the classical world in the 1860s and was the first, with Frank Calvert, to identify the likely site of Troy (Hissarlik) then widely still considered just a myth.

Schliemann's famous finds include Priam's Treasure, a cache of gold jewellery discovered in 1873. Schliemann is criticized today for his archaeological methods, he used dynamite to excavate and dug hastily through what was probably the actual layers of Homer's Troy to reach the city's earliest archaeological layers.

Schliemann was also the excavator of the bronze age site of Mycenae in North Greece, where he found the so-called "Mask of Agamemnon" in 1876.

Although his legacy is problematic, Schliemann's findings and publications did much to popularise and establish the field of archaeology.

Born: January 6, 1822
Birthplace: Neubukow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Confederation
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: December 26, 1890 (aged 68)
Cause of Death: Cholesteatoma

Events in the Life of Heinrich Schliemann

  • 1873-05-27 Heinrich Schliemann discovers "Priam's Treasure" a cache of gold and other objects in Hisarlik (Troy) in Anatolia
  • 1876-11-30 Archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann finds the gold Mask of Agamemnon at Mycenae (modern Greece) "the Mona Lisa of prehistory"

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