Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Heinrich Schliemann (January 6, 1822 – December 26, 1890) was a German archaeologist, born at Neu Buckow , in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the son of a poor pastor. During his early career, as a grocer's apprentice, cabin boy on the Dorothea bound for Venezuela, and after a shipwreck, office attendant and then book-keeper in Amsterdam, he nourished a passion for the Homeric story and an ambition to become a great linguist.
His career began before archaeology developed as a professional field, and so, by present standards, the field technique of Schliemann's work leaves a lot to be desired. Indeed, further excavation of the Troy site by others has indicated that the level he named the Troy of the Iliad was not correct. However, his excavations were largely well done by the standards of his time.
He had a gift for languages and by the end of his life he was familiar with English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Latin, Russian, Arabic and Turkish apart from his native German. Schliemann's language ability was an important part of his previous career as a businessman in the importing trade. The fortune he made there enabled him to retire early and pursue his archaeological interests later in his life.
Schliemann has been accused of embellishing his stories.
On August 1, 1890, Schliemann returned to Athens, and in November traveled to Halle for an operation on his chronically infected ears. The doctors dubbed the operation a success, but his inner ear became painfully inflamed. Ignoring his doctors' advice, he left the hospital and traveled to Leipzig, Berlin, and Paris. From Paris, he planned to return to Athens in time for Christmas, but his ears became even worse. Too sick to make the boat ride from Napels to Greece, Schliemann remained in Naples, but managed to make a journey to the ruins of Pompeii. On Christmas day he collapsed in the Piazza della Santa Carita and died in a hotel room on December 26, 1890.
- Heinrich Schliemann: Heros & Mythos by Wellington King
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