Wednesday, June 8, 2022

How the Trojans Diverted Kamer Creek

After my recent speculations about the diversion of the Scamander, I went searching with Google Earth for a place at which the Trojans might have diverted Kamer Creek to form Lake Judan. I did not expect to find anything, but it turns out there is an anomaly right next to the creek at the crucial point along the creek where it needs to turn to form the lake.    

A yellow line encircles a long, straight berm-like anomaly.   It tapers into the rocky prominence on the left.  Kamer creek passes along its right edge.  

In the photo below, Kamer Creek is diverted into the berm-like anomaly, and then around the rocky prominence.  

Light blue dashes indicate the rest of the current course of Kamer Creek.  

In the diagram above, the yellow lines represent dams.  Blue dots are reservoirs.   A lake at the area of the dot on the right would get the creek to flow around the prominence on the left of the dam, and then to run down to the plain in the direction of Judan Lake, which is the dot on the far left.  

So, the Trojans could have diverted Kamer Creek with a berm and a dam spanning two prominences.  

In the diagram above, light blue lines represent dams.  Blue dots represent probable reservoirs.  Dark blue lines represent diverted water ways. Blue circles represent known marshes, and possible reservoirs. Yellow circles mark the citadel and the greater city in the plain of Troy.  

Below is a map from Heinrich Schliemann.  It uses the name Old Scamander twice on the eastern edge of the plain.  Once where the Kalifatli Asmak reaches the sea, and another time near the top of the plain, where he seems to be only labeling the eastern most fork of the drainage from lake Judan.  

If the Trojans diverted Kamer Creek to form lake Judan and then to flow past the eastern side of the city in the plain, and under Hissarlik, it would explain the deep bed that Schliemann appealed to when he argued that the Scamander used to run in front of Hissarlik.  He argued for that on the basis of the very deep bed at those points along the Asmak.  

So, my theory seems to explain two things.  It explains how the beach at Besik Bay was created by diverting the Scamander into the Pinarbasi Su.  It also explains the deep beds that Schliemann saw.  Those could have been made by Kamer Creek.  

It seems unlikely that the Scamander could have been diverted to both sides of the plain.  It is unlikely, in other words, that the Scamander both made the beach at Besik Bay and made the deep beds described by Schliemann.  What seems most likely is that the Trojans found another water source after they had diverted and controlled the Scamander.  If they diverted and controlled Kamer Creek, their work must have lasted long enough to create the deep beds at the top of the plain that Schliemann described.  

Saturday, June 4, 2022

How the Trojans Diverted the Scamander River

What I am about to discuss is purely speculative.  I cannot prove it.   But I can argue for it.  If there are so far no theories out there as to how the Trojans diverted the Scamander river, at least there is one now.

"Where the winter stream of the Bunarbashi-Su joins the Mendere, there are some immense blocks of irregular shape; they may have formed part of the wall of a small fortress" (Dr Peter Forschhammer, Topography of the Plain of Troy, p 39).  

Forschhammer, who visited the plain of Troy in 1844, tells us that he saw large blocks in the area he calls the winter channel of the Burnarbashi Su, which is a place in front of Pinarbasi where the western most rivulet in the plain can discharge eastward into the bed of the main river in the center of the plain.  That rivulet is today known as the Pinarbasi Su.  

In the map above by Thomas Spratt, the Winter Channel of the Bounarbashi Su appears between the T and the R in Troy. That position is down stream from the large eastward loop that goes around the top most anomaly pictured below. 

In the above photo, there are two raised earth anomalies across from one another, with a canal and road between them. Forschhammer saw the blocks in the area near the left edge of the lower most anomaly.   

Forschhammer suggests the blocks could be the remains of a small fortress, but that fort would have been in the middle of a flood plain, and would not have survived for long.  I think it is more likely that what Forschhammer saw were remains from a dam.  I suspect that what we are looking at in the above photo is 3000 years worth of mud covering the two sides of a failed dam.  The dam is under 5-7 meters of alluvium.  Imagine a two story deep carpet covering the bronze age surfaces and structures.  

Zangger tells us that determining the age of the canal cut into the bedrock at Besik Bay "has never been seriously attempted, although Schliemann argued plausibly that the canal must have been very ancient, because it had accumulated a beach at its mouth in Besik Bay, 1 1/2 square miles in size, and it could not have done so in just a few centuries" (The Flood From Heaven, 1992, 145). In addition, the alluvium in Besik Bay does not come from the springs at Pinarbasi, it comes from the Scamander river, which runs in the center of the plain.  

It follows that the Trojans must have diverted the Scamander out of the plain and into the artificial channel at Besik Bay.  

How did they do it? 

If there was a dam below Pinarbasi, it would have created a reservoir behind it.  If that reservoir was allowed to flow off to the western side of the plain, it would have put the river water into the pre-existing channel of the Pinarbasi Su, running down the western side of the plain.  

So, I propose that the redirection (or partial redirection) of the Scamander/Mendere was achieved by damming the river, and letting its reservoir flow off in a new direction.  

In the diagram above, the yellow arrow points to an area where the reservoir of the Mendere flows off into the channel of the Pinarbasi Su.  The light blue line represents the dam.  The yellow circles mark the citadel and the greater city of Troy. Blue dots represent reservoirs. 

So, how did the Trojans divert the Scamander river?  They dammed it to form a reservoir which they allowed to flow out into the Pinarbasi Su.   Some or all of this water then made its way to Besik Bay, at the bottom of this photo, via a channel cut into the bedrock.  

The dam must have lasted for a long time to have created such a large plain.  If it was built during the era of Troy II and lasted until around the time of Troy VI or VII, it would have had perhaps1400 years to build up the beach (2600 -1200 bce).  

24 Anomalies in the Plain of Troy

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