History or myth, aged coin shows Paris of Troy

History or myth, aged coin shows Paris of Troy

ÇANAKKALE-Anadolu Agency
History or myth, aged coin shows Paris of Troy

Turkish archeologists have unearthed a 1,800-year coin thought to feature Paris, an ancient figure some have blamed for starting the legendary Trojan War.

More historically, Paris may have also founded the ancient city of Parion in the coastal Canakkale province, in Turkey's northwest, near the unearthed traces of Troy.

In the myth of Troy, Paris was a Trojan prince who was told to judge a beauty contest between goddesses. He accepted a bribe -- Helen, a Spartan princess -- to throw the contest, but when Helen's husband took the loss of his wife badly, this triggered the epic Trojan War.

Excavations chief Vedat Keles told Anadolu Agency that though the same coins were found around the world, the fact that they were also found here proves that all of those coins belonged to the city of Parion.

Keles said that the name of the ancient city also came from the man, adding: "This has always been a rumor, but this coin proves that this may be true. This coin gives us solid evidence that Paris lived here and may have given the city its name."

"We can say that Parion is the city where Paris was born and raised," he added.

Ancient city of Parion

The excavation team in Parion is working year-round to dig and explore 11 "sectors" of the ancient settlement.

The team is currently focusing most on the city's odeon -- an ancient Greek and Roman structure where concerts and poetry competitions were held -- as well as its theaters and public baths, said Keles.

"The ancient texture of the city has begun to emerge, but we're not just digging. For example, when we go to the odeon, one of the most important domestic buildings in the city, our colleagues are doing a meticulous and tireless study of its architecture.

"So with the discovery of these archaeological structures, the city is growing more comprehensible every day," he added.