A brilliant pioneer in field archaeology, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, b. Jan. 8, 1822, d. Dec. 26, 1890, is best known for his excavations at ancient TROY and MYCENAE. His discoveries there were later to establish a historical background for the stories and legends told by Homer and Vergil that had fascinated Schliemann from childhood. Schliemann was largely self-educated. Because his family was poor, he had to leave school at the age of 14 to earn a living. He continued studying on his own, however, showing an exceptional ability to master foreign languages. Soon he began to exploit his remarkable aptitude for business dealings, which enabled him to amass a large fortune early in life and to retire at the age of 41. From then on, he devoted himself to archaeology. He began to dig at Troy, his most famous excavation, in 1870, and later also made extraordinary discoveries at Mycenae, the legendary home of Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Schliemann has been criticized for using methods that seem crude by comparison with the highly developed techniques of today. He deserves great credit, however, for creating method where none had existed and for demonstrating that excavation can be more than a mere treasure hunt--that it can, in fact, restore a knowledge of lost civilizations. Schliemann's work led to continuing investigations that are revealing in ever-widening horizons the wonders of preclassical Greece (6000-1000 BC). Before Schliemann, this civilization was not even known to have existed.
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Heinrich Schliemann biography
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Zdroje: Bibliography: Brackman,