After a destruction at the end of the Bronze Age, believed to represent the end of the Trojan War, and a period of abandonment or near-abandonment during the subsequent Dark Age, the site acquired a new population of Greek-speakers, who built a classical city that became along with the rest of Anatolia a part of the Persian Empire. The Troad was liberated by Alexander the Great, an admirer of Achilles, who he believed had the same type of glorious (but short-lived) destiny. After the Roman conquest of this now Hellenistic Greek-speaking world, a new capital called Ilium (from Greek: Ἴλιον, Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric, was abandoned, repopulated for a few centuries in the Byzantine era, was abandoned again, and is now a Latin Catholic titular see. Most recently it has risen to prominence as an archaeological site.
In the mid-19th century the Calvert family, wealthy Levantine English settlers of the Troad, occupying a working farm a few miles from Hisarlik, purchased much of the hill in the belief that it contained the ruins of Troy. They were antiquarians. Two of the family, Frederick and especially the youngest, Frank, surveyed the Troad and conducted a number of trial excavations there. In 1865, Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches on the hill, discovering the Roman settlement. Realizing he did not have the funds for a full excavation, he attempted to recruit the British Museum, and was refused. A chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale and a visit to the site by Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also looking for Troy, offered a second opportunity for funding. Schliemann had been at first skeptical about the identification of Hisarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert. As Schliemann was about to leave the area, Calvert wrote to him asking him to take over the entire excavation. Schliemann agreed. The Calverts, who made their money in the diplomatic service, expedited the acquisition of a Turkish firman. In 1868, Schliemann excavated an initial deep trench across the mound called today "Schliemann's trench." These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Subsequent excavations by following archaeologists elaborated on the number and dates of the cities.
Today a small village near the ruins, Tevfikiye, supports the tourist trade visiting the Troia archaeological site. It lies within the province of Çanakkale, some 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-west of the provincial capital, also called Çanakkale. The current map shows Ilium a little way inland from the Scamander estuary across the plain of Troy. According to Korfmann, due to Troy's location near the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea, it was a central hub for military activities and trade, and the chief site of a culture he calls the "Maritime Troja Culture," which extended over the region between the Black and Aegean Seas. Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.