The Trojan War was a grander event than even Homer would have us believe.
The famous conflict may have been one of the final acts in what one archaeologist has controversially dubbed "World War Zero" - an event he claims brought the eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age world crashing down 3200 years ago.
And the catalyst for the war?
A mysterious and arguably powerful civilization almost entirely overlooked by archaeologists: the Luwians.
By the second millennium BC, civilization had taken hold throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Egyptian New Kingdom coexisted with the Hittites of central Anatolia and the Mycenaeans of mainland Greece, among others.
In little more than a single generation, they had all collapsed.
Archaeologists can't seem to agree.
Eberhard Zangger, head of international non-profit, Luwian Studies, based in Zurich, Switzerland, says that's because one crucial piece of the puzzle is missing.
Another powerful civilization in western Anatolia played a crucial role in the downfall:
His investigations of the published literature show that western Anatolia is extraordinarily rich in mineral and metal ore deposits, meaning it's likely to have been an important region in antiquity.
Through studies of satellite imagery, Zangger has also found that the area was densely populated during the Late Bronze Age.
Only a handful of the 340 large city-like sites he has identified have been excavated.
Hittite texts talk of several petty kingdoms in western Anatolia speaking versions of a common language - Luwian.
According to Zangger, that means we can legitimately talk of them as forming a Luwian civilization in their own right.
We know from Hittite texts that the Luwian kingdoms sometimes formed coalitions powerful enough to attack the Hittite empire.
Zangger thinks that 3200 years ago the Luwians did just that and destroyed the Hittite Empire (see map, above). Shortly after the demise of the Hittites, Egyptian texts document an attack force they termed the "Sea People".
Zangger says it makes sense to view these Sea People as the Luwians, continuing their campaign for wealth and power and, in the process, weakening and destabilizing the Egyptian New Kingdom.
The Mycenaeans, perhaps anticipating an attack on their territory, formed a grand coalition of their own, says Zangger. They sailed across the Aegean and attacked the Luwians, bringing down their civilization and destroying its key cities like Troy - events immortalized in Homer's Iliad.
On returning to Greece, however, and in the sudden absence of any other threat, Zangger believes the Mycenaeans squabbled and fell into civil war - events hinted at in Homer's Odyssey.
Their civilization was the last in the area to collapse.
Zangger says that only such a sequence of events fits with the evidence documented in ancient texts across the eastern Mediterranean, and also explains why the archaeological record shows that almost every large city in the region was destroyed in warfare at the end of the Bronze Age.
He sets out his ideas in a new book, and
website that launches in English
Bombastic storytelling - But is it true?
So what do other archaeologists make of this idea of a lost Luwian civilization?
Many stopped trying to impose this sort of monolithic cultural identity on ancient peoples decades ago, says Christoph Bachhuber at the University of Oxford.
The textual evidence available is mainly from post-Bronze age and it paints a slightly confusing picture, which could be seen as both supporting and undermining Zangger's theory, says Ilya Yakubovich, a historical linguist at the Philipp University of Marburg, Germany.
Zangger's broader "World War Zero" narrative is also debatable.
Bachhuber calls it "big bombastic storytelling" and points out that today, archaeologists are skeptical that ancient narratives like Homer's approximate historical truth.
Zangger, however, says there are several other ancient accounts of the Trojan War that all tell a similar story to Homer. One, written in the first century AD, even refers to now-lost Egyptian monuments that documented the conflict.
Despite these criticisms, though, there is near-universal praise for the fact that Zangger's ideas will raise the profile of Late Bronze Age archaeological research in long-neglected western Anatolia, which can only benefit the scientific community.