Homer’s Greeks: Bronze Age Mycenaeans or Gang Lords from the Steppes?

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinisi)

After a century and a half of intense, cross-disciplinary investigation kicked off by the pioneering archeological work of Heinrich Schliemann, something of a consensus has emerged about Homer, the Trojan War, and the oral tradition. The historical Trojan War took place somewhere between 1250 and 1200 BC during the late Mycenaean Bronze Age. Though their cuneiform writing (an older version of Greek known as Linear B) suggests that they were more bureaucratic than heroic, their centers of power across the …

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