The evidence indicates that the Mycenaeans probably did sack Troy in around 1250 BCE. But around 1200 BCE sees the the decline of the Mycenaeans . One theory of the Mycenaean fall may be found in Homer and Greek legends. The war took a toll on their civilization. When the kings returned they found their power weakened, and were engaged in power struggles. Odysseus, for example, when he finally arrived at Ithica, found his loyal wife Penelope hounded by suitors. She had reached the point where she had to accept one of them, who would then become the king. Other returning kings, such as Agamemnon, met bad fates. Do these stories have a kernel of truth too? Did the Mycenaean kings have to fight for their place when they came back from Troy? Were they so weakened by 10 years of war, that they never regained their prosperity and power?
As mentioned above, though, it is most likely that the Homeric tradition contains elements of historical fact and elements of fiction interwoven. Homer describes a location, presumably in the Bronze Age , with a city. This city was near Mount Ida in northwest Turkey . Such a city did exist, at the mound of Hisarlık . Homer describes the location as very windy, which Hisarlık almost always is, and several other geographical features also match; so it appears, therefore, that Homer describes an actual place, although this fact does not in itself prove that his story is true.
Major excavations at the site of Troy in 1870 under the direction of German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann revealed a small citadel mound and layers of debris 25 meters deep. Later studies have document more than 46 building phases grouped into nine bands representing the site’s inhabitation from 3,000 . until its final abandonment in . 1350. Recent excavations have shown an inhabited area 10 times the size of the citadel, making Troy a significant Bronze Age city. Layer VIIa of the excavations, dated to about 1180 ., reveals charred debris and scattered skeletons—evidence of a wartime destruction of the city that may have inspired portions of the story of the Trojan War. In Homer’s day, 400 years later, its ruins would have still been visible.