added by archaeologs (1822-90). German scholar famous for his excavations at the Aegean Bronze Age sites of Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns. He spent most of his life in business and made a fortune in international finance before he embarked on work in the Aegean to support his long-held view that Homer’s epics were true and that the cities recorded in them, assumed by scholars to be entirely mythical, were real. His excavations at Troy (on and off from 1871 to 1890), Mycenae (1874-8) and Tiryns (1884-5), with their spectacular discoveries of monumental architecture and treasures of gold and silver, aroused immense public interest and considerable controversy. In recent years there have been criticisms not only of Schliemann’s excavation techniques, but also of his integrity: it has been suggested that he falsified his site reports to support his theories. Whatever the truth of this, and admitting the many errors and misunderstandings apparent in Schliemann’s work, it is nonetheless difficult to deny that Schliemann achieved his main objective — he demonstrated the historical reality of the Homeric world and, in so doing, initiated the development of Mycenaean archaeology.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983