Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis

The mound of Hisarlik, in northwest Anatolia, is almost certainly the site of ancient Troy, the setting of Homer’s Trojan War. In the Iliad, the Greek kingdoms, led by King Agamemnon of Mycenae, attack Troy and besiege the city for ten years—finally winning the war by making use of the Trojan Horse stratagem devised by Odysseus (whose ten-year voyage home is recounted in the Odyssey). Although Hisarlik was identified as Troy in ancient times, the site was later lost until the late 19th century, when Heinrich Schliemann began digging there. Now, after more than a century of excavations, we know that Late Bronze Age Troy (called Troy VI by its excavators) was a prosperous city that was destroyed in the early 12th century B.C.E.—perhaps as a result of the war recounted in Homer.