Sunday, May 29, 2022

6 more Anomalies in the Plain of Troy

I have listed the Top 10 anomalies in the plain, by which I meant the most obvious and important ones.  On this page I will list some of the less obvious anomalies in the plain.  

1 The canal cut into the bedrock at Besik Bay 

I mentioned this in my entry on Pliny the Elder.  Today there is a canal leading from the springs at Pinarbasi all the way to the Hellespont.  But it was not always like that.  At Besik Bay, there is a cut into the bedrock that for a long time diverted some or all of the spring water running in the Pinarbasi Su out of the plain and down a slope toward Besik Bay.  In the 1840s enough spring water was being diverted to run mills in Besik Bay, as shown on old maps from the time.  

I have seen no confident statements about the age of the cut there.  It might be ancient, medieval or modern.  

According to Zangger, recent excavators concluded that the beach at Besik Bay was made up of alluvium from the Scamander/Karamendere, not from the Pinarbasi Su.  This suggests that ancient people diverted the Scamander into Besik Bay because it has built up a significant beach.  

In the above image there are two canals marked in blue on the left.  The short one at Kesik Tepe is the Kesik Cut and the long one to the south of that is the canal at Besik Bay. It starts just behind the baseball field shaped marsh in front of Yenikoy.  

2 Dents west of Kalafat 

I have not discussed these yet.  There are a couple of oddities west of Kalafat that deserve to be mentioned.  I thought for a while that the river did it.  But I just don't see how a river does that.  Nor how flood waters and deposition create those shapes.  I have no deep theory about them, but I will point out that they lie between the marsh and the declivity on the west side of Kalafat.  If the marsh drained toward the center of the plain, it could drain down one of those anomalies toward the reservoir above the city.  So perhaps they functioned as a conduit for water.  

In the photo below I have marked the dents and two nearby mounds in yellow. Two other oddities are marked in orange.  West of the dents are some oddly segmented farm fields.  In the marsh west of that is a structure discussed in earlier posts.  This shot is intended merely to provide a little context for the dents.  They sit among other anomalies.  If the marsh drained toward the center of the plain, it could have drained through those segmented fields and created the large dished out area of the dents.

3 The rise in front of Lisgar Marsh 

I have not discussed this one previously. That area seems unnatural to me. It seems to be an elongated mound that curves down in front.  I don't know if there is anything under there, but one of the Spratt maps indicates that there was at one time a notably deep channel there. 

The map below clearly labels an Artificial Cut through the coastline, then to the right of the cut, Lisgar Marsh and Bushes, and then to the right of that, a Deep Bed 

In the photo below, there are two satellite pictures joined at the left. One of them is much lighter colored than the other one.  That is the way Google is right now on this location.  An arrow points to the approximate location of the Deep Bed on Spratt's map. I have partly encircled the anomaly that bothers me.  The area to the east of the Deep Bed seems raised, like an elongated mound.  

Is that mound natural?  I have no idea.  Perhaps some Lidar or other tests could be run to discover the extent of human interventions in this part of the plain.  

4 The rises below Pinarbasi 

I talked about one of these in an earlier post.   Pinarbasi is a village SSW of Kalifat and Troy. There are springs there.  

My feelings have gone back and forth on the first of these.  Is it natural or not?  I am still thinking not. 

Whatever it is, it is not farmed.  Why aren't the farmers making money off of that land?  The second rise is more complex and lies just east of the first one.  

Below are the two rises together in the plain. 

Both rises seem unnatural to me.  I cannot think of anything that might have been far from the city up in the plain like this except villages or water works.  Villages would have been destroyed by flooding.  So, I am thinking there might be water control structures underground here.  As explained below, I believe the two mounds might represent two parts of a former dam.  

5 Judan Lake 

I discussed this in an earlier post. My sense is that if there was a lake in the plain, it was probably man made.  It might have been created by diverting a stream into the plain, and damning it there to create a reservoir for the city.  The lake is circled on the map from Thomas Spratt below.  

Below is a picture of the area.  There actually seems to be a spillway there.  Perhaps there was a dam or weir here that formed the lake.  

The arrow below points to a possible source for the lake water.   Take a look on Google satellite view.  

6 The shapes at the top of the valley 

I discussed this in an earlier post.  I have no good ideas on this other than to say they are very odd, and perhaps they were part of a project to divert the stream into the valley to form Judan Lake.  They might also serve to keep the Scamander/Mendere from inundating the top of the eastern part of the plain,  

Below is an interpretation of what we have seen above.  Two yellow circles represent the citadel and the greater city of Troy.  I am thinking that the two rises below Pinarbasi might be the remnants of a dam, indicated with a light blue line.  The yellow arrow points to the place where the reservoir formed by the Scamander can flow into the Pinarbasi Su, and then out of the plain to Besik Bay.  Above Lake Judan is a stream diverted to fill the lake.  This is Kemere Creek, which meets the Scamander/Mendere just after it enters the plain.  A blue dashed line indicates its course today.  

Something like this would at least explain the alluvium from the Scamander found in Besik Bay.  There are no other anomalies in the plain that would explain how the Trojans diverted the Scamander.  The hills in front of Pinarbasi are the only possible signs of it.  

It occurs to me that a dam in front of Pinarbasi would obviate the need for flood control works lower down in the plain, such as the great berm and its surrounding mounds. There are several ways to go here.  First off, it is not necessarily the case that the dam would preclude the need for the other flood control works.  Secondly, the age of things must be taken into account.  Perhaps the great berm and its associated structures date back to Troy II, and the dam only goes back as far as Troy V.  Perhaps the dam was needed after the lower structures proved tragically inadequate.  Perhaps the dam is the older construction and the berm was built after it failed.  Who knows?  None of us.  We need science to take an interest in this.  

What seems certain is that the plain knew two major water problems, that of having too little water in late summer, and that of having too much water in winter and spring.  The reservoirs help both problems.  They control and capture excess water when it is present, and then provide extra water when the streams are low in summer.  

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24 Anomalies in the Plain of Troy

"From Hısarlık, we can see several other mounds." In Search of the Real Troy