CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı




Anadolu — Genel Bakış

  • the earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region and from the 24th century BC
  • earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians
  • Assyrians colonised parts of the region between the 21st and mid-18th centuries BC
  • the Hittites were centred at Hattusa by the 17th century BC
  • Neo-Hittite kingdoms (c. 1180-700 BC) — amalgams of Hittites and Arameans known as Syro-Hittite states
  • from the 10th to late 7th centuries BC much of Anatolia fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • Cimmerian and Scythian invasions (8th-7th centuries BC)
  • Greeks of the Achaean/Mycenaean culture from the 20th century BC

🗺️ Ancient Orient — Overview map of the ancient Near East

Ancient Orient — Overview map of the ancient Near East (W)



  🕑 Timeline: Anatolia and the Caucasus, 8000-2000 BC

Anatolia and the Caucasus, 8000-2000 BC

Anatolia and the Caucasus, 8000-2000 BC. (LINK)

Between ca. 11,000 and 9000 BC, hunters and gatherers settle the first permanent villages in southeastern and central Anatolia. They produce sophisticated utilitarian tools from readily available resources of animal bone and stone. Perhaps to meet the demands of a growing population, a shift to an economy based largely on farming occurs in the Neolithic period (ca. 11,000-6400 BC). The period is divided into an early phase without pottery and a later phase when pottery is present. Obsidian (volcanic glass) from Anatolia is widely traded across the Near East.

In the Chalcolithic period (ca. 6400-3800 BC) there is a continuity of Neolithic traditions with an increase in the use of copper. In the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3000-2000 BC), the region’s rich resources in such metals as tin and silver attract new populations, customs, and artistic styles from the surrounding regions of Mesopotamia, Syria, and the Caucasus Mountains.

  • ca. 11,000-6400 BC

    The Neolithic period in Anatolia is divided into the Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic, to distinguish settlements that do not have pottery vessels from those later ones that do. The Neolithic is the period during which humans live in villages and first domesticate plants and animals. In Anatolia in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, nondomestic buildings contain large stone sculptures of human figures, and in the later Neolithic, the site of Çatal Höyük has buildings with elaborate wall paintings and modeled reliefs, with animal skulls attached to the walls.

  • ca. 6000-4000 BC

    The southeastern part of Anatolia is settled by peoples from Mesopotamia, who bring ceramics and everyday objects different from those of the local populations. The Mesopotamians move into this area apparently to acquire agricultural products and raw materials such as metal. The Shulaveri-Shomu and other Neolithic/Chalcolithic cultures of the Southern Caucasus use local obsidian for tools, raise animals such as cattle and pigs, and grow crops, including grapes.

  • ca. 4000-2200 BC

    Eastern Anatolia, the Southern Caucasus, and part of the Northern Caucasus are occupied by people of the Kura-Araxes culture (also called the Early Transcaucasian Culture), who make distinctive handmade pottery with burnished black exteriors and red interiors, portable andirons of clay for use in hearths, and new kinds of bronze tools, weapons, and pins. At least in the Caucasus Mountains, these people probably herd cattle.

  • mid-3rd millennium BC

    (some suggest a date in the second half of the fourth millennium BC) A group of large tumulus graves (burial pits placed under mounds of earth) in the northern Caucasus Mountains belong to the Maikop culture. In the best known of these elite tombs, a person is buried under a canopy held up by poles topped by gold and silver bull figurines that appear similar in artistic conception to some standards from the burials of Alaca Höyük in Central Anatolia. Some scholars see similarities between objects from the Maikop graves and some from Mesopotamia as well.

  • ca. 2350-2150 BC

    At the site of Alaca Höyük is a group of burials called the Royal Tombs, which contain elaborate gold jewelry, vessels of precious metal, and stag and bull standards of bronze. Though we may be able to identify the people buried here as Hattians, a local Anatolian population, the significance and function of their art remains enigmatic.


  Prehistory of Anatolia

Prehistory of Anatolia

Prehistory of Anatolia (W)

Prehistory of Anatolia (W)


The prehistory of Anatolia stretches from the Paleolithic era through to the appearance of classical civilisation in the middle of the 1st millennium BC. It is generally regarded as being divided into three ages reflecting the dominant materials used for the making of domestic implements and weapons: Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. The term Copper Age (Chalcolithic) is used to denote the period straddling the stone and Bronze Ages.

Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu), also known by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is considered to be the westernmost extent of Western Asia. Geographically it encompasses the central uplands of modern Turkey, from the coastal plain of the Aegean Sea east to the western edge of the Armenian Highlands and from the narrow coast of the Black Sea south to the Taurus mountains and Mediterranean coast.

The earliest representations of culture in Anatolia can be found in several archaeological sites located in the central and eastern part of the region. Stone Age artifacts such as animal bones and food fossils were found at Burdur (north of Antalya). Although the origins of some of the earliest peoples are shrouded in mystery, the remnants of Bronze Age civilizations such as the Hattian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Hittite peoples provide us with many examples of the daily lives of its citizens and their trade. After the fall of the Hittites, the new states of Phrygia and Lydia stood strong on the western coast as Greek civilization began to flourish. Only the threat from a distant Persian kingdom prevented them from advancing past their peak of success.

Stone Age

The Stone Age is a prehistoric period in which stone was widely used in the manufacture of implements. This period occurred after the appearance of the genus Homo about 2.6 million years ago and roughly lasted 2.5 million years to the period between 4500 and 2000 BC with the appearance of metalworking.


In 2014, a stone tool was found in the Gediz River that was securely dated to 1.2 million years ago. Evidence of paleolithic (prehistory 500,000-10,000 BC) habitation include the Yarimburgaz Cave (Istanbul), Karain Cave (Antalya), and the Okuzini, Beldibi and Belbasi, Kumbucagi and Kadiini caves in adjacent areas.

Evidence of fruit and of animal bones has been found at Yarimburgaz. The caves of the Mediterranean region contain murals.


Remains of a mesolithic culture in Anatolia can be found along the Mediterranean coast and also in Thrace and the western Black Sea area. Mesolithic remains have been located in the same caves as the paleolithic artefacts and drawings. Additional findings come from the Sarklimagara cave in Gaziantep, the Baradiz cave (Burdur), as well as the cemeteries and open air settlements at Sogut Tarlasi, Biris (Bozova) and Urfa.


The Anatolian hypothesis, first developed by British archaeologist Colin Renfrew in 1987, proposes that the dispersal of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Anatolia. It is the main competitor to the Kurgan hypothesis, or steppe theory, the more favoured view academically. Neolithic settlements include Çatalhöyük, Çayönü, Nevali Cori, Aşıklı Höyük, Boncuklu Höyük Hacilar, Göbekli Tepe, Norsuntepe, Kosk, and Mersin.

Çatalhöyük (Central Turkey) is considered the most advanced of these, and Çayönü in the east the oldest (c. 7250-6750 BC). We have a good idea of the town layout at Çayönü, based on a central square with buildings constructed of stone and mud. Archeological finds include farming tools that suggest both crops and animal husbandry as well as domestication of the dog. Religion is represented by figurines of Cybele, a mother goddess. Hacilar (Western Turkey) followed Çayönü, and has been dated to 7040 BC.

Chalcolithic (Copper) Age

Straddling the Neolithic and early Bronze Age, the Chalcolithic era (c. 5500-3000 BC) is defined by the first metal implements made with copper. This age is represented in Anatolia by sites at Hacilar, Beycesultan, Canhasan, Mersin Yumuktepe, Elazig Tepecik, Malatya Degirmentepe, Norsuntepe, and Istanbul Fikirtepe.

Bronz Age

The Bronze Age (c. 3300-1200 BC) is characterised by the use of copper and its tin alloy, bronze, for manufacturing implements. Asia Minor was one of the first areas to develop bronze making.

  Early Bronze Age (3000-2500 BC)

Although the first habitation appears to have occurred as early as the 6th millennium BC during the Chalcolithic period, functioning settlements trading with each other occurred during the 3rd millennium BC. A settlement on a high ridge would become known as Büyükkaya, and later as the city of Hattush, the center of this civilization. Later, still, it would become the Hittite stronghold of Hattusha and is now Boğazköy. Remnants of the Hattian civilization have been found both under the lower city of Hattusha and in the higher areas of Büyükkaya and Büyükkale. Another settlement was established at Yarikkaya, about 2 km to the northeast.

The discovery of mineral deposits in this part of Anatolia allowed Anatolians to develop metallurgy, such as the implements found in the royal graves at Alaca Höyük, about 25 km from Boğazköy, which it preceded, dating from 2400-2200 BC. Other Hattian centers include Hassum, Kanesh, Purushanda, and Zalwar. During this time the Hattians engaged in trade with city states such as those of Sumer, which needed timber products from the Amanus mountains.

Anatolia had remained in the prehistoric period until it entered the sphere of influence of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC under Sargon I, particularly in eastern Anatolia. However the Akkadian Empire suffered problematic climate changes in Mesopotamia, as well as a reduction in available manpower that affected trade. This led to its fall around 2150 BC at the hands of the Gutians. The interest of the Akkadians in the region as far as it is known was for exporting various materials for manufacturing. Bronze metallurgy had spread to Anatolia from the Transcaucasian Kura-Araxes culture in the late 4th millennium BC. While Anatolia was well endowed with copper ores, there was no evidence of substantial workings of the tin required to make bronze in Bronze-Age Anatolia.

  Middle Bronze Age (2500-2000 BC) At the origins of written history, the Anatolian plains inside the area ringed by the Kızılırmak River were occupied by the first defined civilization in Anatolia, a non-Indo-European indigenous people named the Hattians (c. 2500 BC-2000 BC). During the middle Bronze Age, the Hattian civilization, including its capital of Hattush, continued to expand. The Anatolian middle Bronze Age influenced the early Minoan culture of Crete (3400 to 2200 BC) as evidenced by archaeological findings at Knossos.
  Late Bronze Age (2000-1200 BC)  

The Hattians came into contact with Assyrians traders from Assur in Mesopotamia such as at Kanesh (Nesha) near modern Kültepe who provided them with the tin needed to make bronze. These trading posts or Karums (Akkadian for Port), have lent their name to a period, the Karum Period. The Karums, or Assyrian trading colonies, persisted in Anatolia until Hammurabi conquered Assyria and it fell under Babylonian domination in 1756 BC. These Karums represented separate residential areas where the traders lived, protected by the Hattites, and paying taxes in return. Meanwhile, the fortifications of Hattush were strengthened with construction of royal residences on Büyükkale.

After the Assyrians overthrew their Gutians neighbours (c. 2050 BC) they claimed the local resources, notably silver, for themselves. However the Assyrians brought writing to Anatolia, a necessary tool for trading and business. These transactions were recorded in Akkadian cuneiform on clay tablets. Records found at Kanesh use an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines. The records also indicate the names of the cities where the transaction occurred.

    Hittites Old Kingdom

Hattian civilization was also impacted by an invading Indo-European people, the Hittites, in the early 18th century BC, Hattush being burned to the ground in 1700 BC by King Anitta of Kussar after overthrowing King Piyushti. He then placed a curse on the site and set up his capital at Kanesh 160 km south east. The Hittites absorbed the Hattians over the next century, a process that was essentially complete by 1650 BC. Eventually Hattusha became a Hittite centre by the second half of the 17th century BC, and King Hattusili I (1586-1556 BC) moved his capital back to Hattusha from Neša (Kanesh).

The Old Hittite Empire (17th-15th centuries BC) was at its height in the 16th century BC, encompassing central Anatolia, north-western Syria as far as Ugarit, and upper Mesopotamia. Kizzuwatna in southern Anatolia controlled the region separating the Hittite Empire from Syria, thereby greatly affecting trade routes. The peace was kept in accordance with both empires through treaties that established boundaries of control.

Middle Kingdom

Following the reign of Telipinu (c. 1460 BC) the Hittite kingdom entered a relatively weak and poorly documented phase, known as the Middle Kingdom, from the reign of Telipinu's son-in-law, Alluwamna (mid-15th century BC) to that of Muwatalli I (c. 1400 BC).

New Kingdom

King Tudhaliya I (early 14th century BC) ushered in a new era of Hittite power, often referred to as the Hittite Empire. The Kings took on a divine role in Hittite society and the Hittite peoples, often allied with neighbours such as the Kizzuwatna began to expand again, moving into Western Anatolia, absorbing the Luwian state of Arzawa and the Assuwa League.

It was not until the reign of King Suppiluliumas (c. 1344-1322 BC) that Kizzuwatna was taken over fully, although the Hittites still preserved their cultural accomplishments in Kummanni (now Şar, Turkey) and Lazawantiya, north of Cilicia.

In the 13th century, after the reign of Hattusili III (c. 1267-1237 BC), Hittite power began to wain, threatened by Egypt to the South and Assyria to the East, effectively ending with Suppiluliuma II (c. 1207-1178 BC).

Syro-Hittite Era

After 1180s BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, and the collapse of the Bronze Age the empire disintegrated into several independent Syro-Hittite (Neo-Hittite) city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC. In the West, Greeks were arriving on the Anatolian coast, and the Kaskas along the northern Black Sea coast. Eventually Hattusha itself was destroyed around 1200 BC and the age of Empires shifted to that of regional states as the Bronze Age transitioned into the Iron Age.

    Mycenaean presence

There is very little information about early Mycenaean presence in Anatolia. Milet was clearly a center of Mycenaean presence in Asia Minor in the period c. 1450-1100 BC. The zone of intense Mycenaean settlement extends as far as Bodrum/Halicarnassus.

The Mycenaean sphere of influence in Asia Minor is also relatively restricted geographically: Intense Mycenaean settlement is to be found in the archaeological records only for the region between the Peninsula of Halicarnassus in the south and Milet in the north (and in the islands off this coastline, between Rhodes in the south and Kos — possibly also Samos — in the north).

Attarsiya was a 15th-14th century BC military leader who was probably Greek. He conducted the first recorded Mycenaean military activity on the Anatolian mainland. His activities are recorded in the Hittite archives of c. 1400 BC.

British archaeologist J.M. Cook studied the Greek historical tradition about the Carians, and drew attention to the many similarities between the Carians and the Mycenaeans.

Iron Age The Iron Age (c. 1300-600 BC) was characterised by the widespread use of iron and steel. It is also an age known for the development of alphabets and early literature. It formed the last phase of Pre-history, spanning the period between the collapse of the Bronze Age and the rise of classical civilisation. In Anatolia the dissolution of the Hittite Empire was replaced by regional Neo-Hittite powers, including Troad, Ionia, Lydia, Caria and Lycia in the west, Phrygia, centrally and Cimmeria and Urartu in the north east, while the Assyrians occupied much of the south east.
  Western Anatolia  
Mysia (W) Mysia (Greek: Μυσία, Latin: Mysia, Turkish: Misya) was a region in the northwest of ancient Asia Minor. It was located on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. It was bounded by Bithynia on the east, Phrygia on the southeast, Lydia on the south, Aeolis on the southwest, Troad on the west and by the Propontis on the north. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Mysians, Phrygians, Aeolian Greeks and other groups.
    Bithynia (W)

Bithynia (Koine Greek: Βιθυνία, Bithynía) was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Paphlagonia to the northeast along the Pontic coast, and Phrygia to the southeast towards the interior of Asia Minor.

Bithynia was an independent kingdom from the 4th century BC. Its capital Nicomedia was rebuilt on the site of ancient Astacus in 264 BC by Nicomedes I of Bithynia. Bithynia was bequeathed to the Roman Republic in 74 BC, and became united with the Pontus region as the province of Bithynia et Pontus. In the 7th century it was incorporated into the Byzantine Opsikion theme. It became a border region to the Seljuk Empire in the 13th century, and was eventually conquered by the Ottoman Turks between 1325 and 1333.

    Doris (Asia Minor) (W)

Doric Hexapolis
The Doric or Dorian Hexapolis (Greek: Δωρικὴ Ἑξάπολις or Δωριέων Ἑξάπολις) was a federation of six cities of Dorian foundation in southwest Asia Minor and adjacent islands, largely coextensive with the region known as Doris or Doris in Asia (Δωρίς ἡ ἐν Ἀσίᾳ), and included:

    Troad The Troad, on the Biga peninsula, was the northernmost of the Aegean settlements in this period, best known for the legendary and historical city state of Troy. There were probably settlements in this region dating back to 3000 BC and the various archeological layers representing successive civilisations are referred to as Troy I (3000-2600 BC) to Troy IX (1st century BC). Iron Age Troy corresponds to Troy VII-VIII, and coincides with the Homeric account of Troy and the Trojan Wars.
    Aeolis Aeolis was an area of the north western Aegean coast, between Troad and Ionia, from the Hellespont to the Hermus River (Gediz), west of Mysia and Lydia. By the 8th century BC the twelve most important cities formed a league. In the 6th century the cities were progressively conquered by Lydia, and then Persia.
    Ionia Ionia was part of a group of settlements on the central Aegean coast bounded by Lydia to the east, and Caria to the south, known as the Ionian league. Ionians had been expelled from the Peloponnesus by the Dorians, and were resettled on the Aegean coastline of Anatolia by the Athenians to whose land they had fled. By the time of the last Lydian king, Croesus (560-545 BC, Ionia fell under Lydian, and then Persian rule. With the defeat of Persia by the Greeks, Ionia again became independent until absorbed into the Roman province of Asia.
    Lydia (Maeonia)

Lydia, or Maeonia as it was called before 687 BC, was a major part of the history of western Anatolia, beginning with the Atyad dynasty, who first appeared around 1300 BC. Lydia was situated to the west of Phrygia and east of the Aegean settlement of Ionia. The Lydians were Indo-European, speaking an Anatolian language related to Luwian and Hittite.

The Heraclids, managed to rule successively from 1185-687 BC despite a growing presence of Greek influences along the Mediterranean coast. As Greek cities such as Smyrna, Colophon, and Ephesus rose, the Heraclids became weaker and weaker. The last king, Candaules, was murdered by his friend and lance-bearer named Gyges, and he took over as ruler. Gyges waged war against the intruding Greeks, and soon faced by a grave problem as the Cimmerians began to pillage outlying cities within the kingdom. It was this wave of attacks that led to the incorporation of the formerly independent Phrygia and its capital Gordium into the Lydian domain. It was not until the successive rules of Sadyattes and Alyattes, ending in 560 BC, that the attacks of the Cimmerians ended for good.

Under the reign of the last Lydian king Croesus, Lydia reached its greatest expansion. Persia was invaded first at the Battle of Pteria ending without a victor. Progressing deeper into Persia, Croesuswas thoroughly defeated in the Battle of Thymbra at the hands of the Persian Cyrus II in 546 BC.

Following Croesus' defeat, Lydia fell under the hegemony of Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium until finally being absorbed into the Turkish lands.

    Caria Caria forms a region in Western Anatolia, south of Lydia, east of Ionia and north of Lycia. Partially Greek (Ionian and Dorian), and possibly partially Minoan. Caria became subject to Persia, Greece and Rome before being absorbed into Byzantium. Remnants of the Carian civilisation form a rich legacy in the south western Aegean. Caria managed to maintain a relative degree of independence during successive occupation, and its symbol, the double headed axe is seen as a mark of defiance and can be seen inscribed on many buildings. The mausoleum at Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum), the tomb of the Persian Satrap Mausolus, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Other important relics include that of Mylasa (Milas) at one time capital of Caria and administrative seat of Mausolus, Labranda in the mountains high above Mylasa and Euromos (Herakleia) near Lake Bafa.
    Lycia Lycia formed the southernmost settlement in Western Anatolia on what is now the Teke peninsula on the western Mediterranean coast. There many historic Lycian sites include Xanthos, Patara, Myra, Pinara, Tlos, Olymposand Phaselis. Emerging at the end of the Bronze Age as a Neo-Hittite league of city states whose governance model still influences political systems today. Alternating between Persian and Greek rule it eventually was incorporated into Rome, Byzantium and the Turkish lands.
  Central Anatolia    

The west-central area of Anatolia became the domain of the Phrygian Kingdom following the fragmentation of the Hittite Empire during the 12th century BC, existing independently until the 7th century BC, and strongly featured in Greek mythology. Although their origin is disputed, their language more resembled Greek (Dorian) than the Hittites whom they succeeded. Possibly from the region of Thrace, the Phrygians eventually established their capital at Gordium (now Yazılıkaya). Known as Mushki by the Assyrians, the Phrygian people lacked central control in their style of government, and yet established an extensive network of roads. They also held tightly onto a lot of the Hittite facets of culture and adapted them over time.

Well known from ancient Greek and Roman writers is King Midas, the last king of the Phrygian Kingdom. The mythology of Midas revolves around his ability to turn objects to gold by mere touch, as granted by Dionysos, and his unfortunate encounter with Apollo from which his ears are turned into the ears of a donkey. The historical record of Midas shows that he lived approximately between 740 and 696 BC, and represented Phrygia as a great king. Most historians now consider him to be King Mita of the Mushkis as noted in Assyrian accounts. The Assyrians thought of Mita as a dangerous foe, for Sargon II, their ruler at the time, was quite happy to negotiate a peace treaty in 709 BC. This treaty had no effect on the advancing Cimmerians in the East, who streamed into Phrygia and led to the downfall and suicide of King Midas in 696 BC.

Following Midas's death Phrygia lost its independence, becoming respectively a vassal state of its western neighbour, Lydia, Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium, disappearing in the Turkish era.

  Eastern Anatolia    
Cimmeria Cimmeria was a region of north eastern Anatolia, appearing in the 8th century BC from the north and east, in the face of the eastern Scythian advance. They continued to move west, invading and subjugating Phrygia (696-695 BC), penetrating as far south as Cilicia, and west into Ionia after pillaging Lydia. Lydian campaigns between 637 and 626 BC effectively halted this advance. The Cimmerian influence progressively weakened and the last recorded mention is in 515 BC.

Urartu (Nairi, or the Kingdom of Van) existed in north-east Anatolia, centered around Lake Van (Nairi Sea), to the south of the Cimmerians and North of Assyria. Its prominence ran from its appearance in the 9th century until it was overrun by the Medes in the 6th century.

Urartu is first mentioned as a loose confederation of smaller entities in the Armenian Highlands in the 13th to 11th centuries BC, but was subject to recurrent Assyrian incursions before emerging as a powerful neighbour by the 9th century BC. This was facilitated by Assyria's weak position in the 8th century BC. Urartu continued to resist Assyrian attacks and reached it greatest extent under Argishti I (c. 785-760 BC). At that time it included present day Armenia, southern Georgia reaching almost to the Black Sea, west to the sources of the Euphrates and south to the sources of the Tigris.

Following this Urartu suffered a number of setbacks. King Tiglath Pileser III of Assyria conquered it in 745 BC. By 714 BC it was being ravaged by both Cimmerian and Assyrian raids. After 645 BC Scythian attacks provided further problems for Urartu forcing it become dependent on Assyria. However Assyria itself fell to a combined attack of Scythians, Medes and Babylonians in 612 BC. While the details of Urartu's demise are debated, it effectively disappeared to be replaced by Armenia. It was a Persian Satrapy for a while from the 6th century BC before becoming an independent Armenia. To this day Urartu forms an important part of Armenian nationalistsentiment.


In the Iron Age Assyria extended to include south eastern Anatolia. Assyria, one of the great powers of the Mesopotamia region, had a long history from the 25th century BC (Bronze Age) until it final collapse in 612 BC at the end of the Iron Age. Assyria's Iron Age corresponds to the Middle Period (resurgence) and the Neo-Assyrian Empire in its last 300 years, and its territory centered on what is modern day Iraq.

Assyria influenced Anatolian politics and culture from when its traders first came into contact with Hattians in the late Bronze Age. By the 13th century BC Assyria was expanding to its north west at the expense of the Hittites, and to the north at the expense of Urartu. Assyrian expansion reached its height under Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244-1208 BC), following which it was weakened by internal dissent. The collapse of the Hittie Empire at the end of the Bronze Age coincided with an era of renewed Assyrian expansion under Ashur-resh-ishi I (1133-1116 BC) and soon Assyria had added the Anatolian lands in what is now Syria to its empire. Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC) then commenced incursions against the Neo-Hittite Phrygians, followed by the Luwian kingdoms of Commagene, Cilicia and Cappadocia.

Classical Age  


  List of Kingdoms

List of kingdoms

List of kingdoms (W)

Bronze and Iron Age

Before Achaemenid conquest (546 BC).

Name of the kingdom Capital Duration (BC)
Aeolia Smyrna 8th century - 6th century
Arzawa Apasa (Ephesus?)
Assuwa league 1300-1250
Diauehi 1118-760
Doria 1200-580
Gurgum Marqas ?-711
Hatti Hattum 2500-1780
Hayasa-Azzi 1500-1290
Hitti Hattusa 1700-1180
Ionia Delos 1070-545
Isuwa 1630-1200
Karuwa 1250-560
Kaskia 1430-1200
Kizzuwatna Kummanni (Comana ?) 1600-1220
Kummuh Kummuh ?-705
Neša Kanesh 2800-1720
Lycia Xanthos, Patara 1250-546
Lydia Sardis 1200-546
Luwia 2300-1400
Lukka 2000-1183
Mitanni Washukanni 1690-1300
Miletus Miletus [Leading state of Ionian League]
Pala ?-1178
Neo-Hittites Carchemish 1180-700
Phrygia Gordium 1200-700
Troy Troy 3000-700

Classical Age

After Partition of Babylon (323 BC) [by the Diadochi]

Name of the kingdom Capital Duration (BC)
Antigonids Antigonea (Nicaea (?)) 306-168
Armenia 331-1
Bithynia Nicomedia 297-74
Cappadocia 322-130
Commagene Samosata 163-72
Galatia Ancyra 280-64
Paphlagonia Gangra 5th century - 183
Pergamon Pergamon 281-133
Pontus Amasia 291-62

In the table it can be seen that there are no new local kingdoms between the 9th and 3rd centuries BC. This era roughly corresponds to foreign rule (Achaemenid Empire and Macedonian Empire.)



Anatolian Prehistory

Anatolian Prehistory (W)

Anatolia (from Greek Ἀνατολή, Anatole; Turkish: Anadolu "east" or "[sun]rise"), also known as Asia Minor (Medieval and Modern Greek: Μικρά Ἀσία, Mikrá Asía, "small Asia"; Turkish: Küçük Asya), Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula, or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey.


Human habitation in Anatolia dates back to the Paleolithic. Neolithic Anatolia has been proposed as the homeland of the Indo-European language family, although linguists tend to favour a later origin in the steppes north of the Black Sea. However, it is clear that the Anatolian languages, the oldest attested branch of Indo-European, have been spoken in Anatolia since at least the 19th century BC.

Wall painting of a bull, deer and man from Çatalhöyük; 6th millennium BC; reconstruction in their original positions of the bull's heads and the human relief-figure; Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey.


Anatolia in Bronze and Iron Ages

Anatolia in Bronze and Iron Ages (W)

Hattians and Hurrians

The earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region
and are from the Mesopotamian-based Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BC. Scholars generally believe the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians.
The Hattians spoke a language of unclear affiliation, and the Hurrian language belongs to a small family called Hurro-Urartian, all these languages now being extinct; relationships with indigenous languages of the Caucasus have been proposed but are not generally accepted. The region was famous for exporting raw materials, and areas of Hattian- and Hurrian-populated southeast Anatolia were colonised by the Akkadians.

Assyrian Empire (21st-18th centuries BC)

After the fall of the Akkadian Empire in the mid-21st century BC, the Assyrians, who were the northern branch of the Akkadian people, colonised parts of the region between the 21st and mid-18th centuries BC and claimed its resources, notably silver. One of the numerous cuneiform records dated circa 20th century BC, found in Anatolia at the Assyrian colony of Kanesh, uses an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines.

Hittite Kingdom and Empire (17th-12th centuries BC)

Unlike the Akkadians and their descendants, the Assyrians, whose Anatolian possessions were peripheral to their core lands in Mesopotamia, the Hittites were centred at Hattusa (modern Boğazkale) in north-central Anatolia by the 17th century BC. They were speakers of an Indo-European language, the Hittite language, or nesili (the language of Nesa) in Hittite. The Hittites originated of local ancient cultures that grew in Anatolia, in addition to the arrival of Indo-European languages. Attested for the first time in the Assyrian tablets of Nesa around 2000 BC, they conquered Hattusa in the 18th century BC, imposing themselves over Hattian- and Hurrian-speaking populations. According to the widely accepted Kurgan theory on the Proto-Indo-European homeland, however, the Hittites (along with the other Indo-European ancient Anatolians) were themselves relatively recent immigrants to Anatolia from the north. However, they did not necessarily displace the population genetically, they would rather assimilate into the former peoples' culture, preserving the Hittite language however.

Neo-Hittite kingdoms (c. 1180-700 BC)

After 1180 BC, during the Late Bronze Age collapse, the Hittite empire disintegrated into several independent Syro-Hittite states, subsequent to losing much territory to the Middle Assyrian Empire and being finally overrun by the Phrygians, another Indo-European people who are believed to have migrated from the Balkans. The Phrygian expansion into southeast Anatolia was eventually halted by the Assyrians, who controlled that region.


In central and western Anatolia, another Indo-European people, the Luwians, came to the fore, circa 2000 BC. Their language was closely related to Hittite. The general consensus amongst scholars is that Luwian was spoken — to a greater or lesser degree — across a large area of western Anatolia, including (possibly) Wilusa (Troy), the Seha River Land (to be identified with the Hermos and/or Kaikos valley), and the kingdom of Mira-Kuwaliya with its core territory of the Maeander valley. From the 9th century BC, Luwian regions coalesced into a number of states such as Lydia, Caria and Lycia, all of which had Hellenic influence.

Neo-Assyrian Empire (10th-7th centuries BC)

From the 10th to late 7th centuries BC, much of Anatolia (particularly the east, central, and southeastern regions) fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire, including all of the Syro-Hittite states, Tabal, Kingdom of Commagene, the Cimmerians and Scythians and swathes of Cappadocia.

The Neo-Assyrian empire collapsed due to a bitter series of civil wars followed by a combined attack by Medes, Persians, Scythians and their own Babylonian relations. The last Assyrian city to fall was Harran in southeast Anatolia. This city was the birthplace of the last king of Babylon, the Assyrian Nabonidus and his son and regent Belshazzar. Much of the region then fell to the short-lived Iran-based Median Empire, with the Babylonians and Scythians briefly appropriating some territory.

Cimmerian and Scythian invasions (8th-7th centuries BC)

From the late 8th century BC, a new wave of Indo-European-speaking raiders entered northern and northeast Anatolia: the Cimmerians and Scythians. The Cimmerians overran Phrygia and the Scythians threatened to do the same to Urartu and Lydia, before both were finally checked by the Assyrians.

Greek West

The north-western coast of Anatolia was inhabited by Greeks of the Achaean/Mycenaean culture from the 20th century BC, related to the Greeks of south eastern Europe and the Aegean. Beginning with the Bronze Age collapse at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, the west coast of Anatolia was settled by Ionian Greeks, usurping the area of the related but earlier Mycenaean Greeks. Over several centuries, numerous Ancient Greek city-states were established on the coasts of Anatolia. Greeks started Western philosophy on the western coast of Anatolia (Pre-Socratic philosophy).


Neo-Hittite States

Neo-Hittite States (W)

The states that are called Neo-Hittite or, more recently, Syro-Hittite were Luwian-, Aramaic- and Phoenician-speaking political entities of the Iron Age in northern Syria and southern Anatolia that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire in around 1180 BC and lasted until roughly 700 BC. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwian-speaking principalities, like Milid and Carchemish. However, in a wider sense the broader cultural term "Syro-Hittite" is now applied to all the entities that arose in south-central Anatolia following the Hittite collapse, such as Tabal and Quwê, as well as those of northern and coastal Syria.

Late Bronze Age — Early Iron Age transition

The collapse of the Hittite Empire is usually associated with the gradual decline of Eastern Mediterranean trade networks and the resulting collapse of major Late Bronze Age cities in the Levant, Anatolia and the Aegean. At the beginning of the 12th century BC, Wilusa (Troy) was destroyed and the Hittite Empire suffered a sudden devastating attack from the Kaskas, who occupied the coasts around the Black Sea, and who joined with the Mysians. They proceeded to destroy almost all Hittite sites but were finally defeated by the Assyrians beyond the southern borders near the Tigris. Hatti, Arzawa (Lydia), Alashiya (Cyprus), Ugarit and Alalakh were destroyed.]

The Ain Dara temple is an Iron Age Syro-Hittite temple, located northwest of Aleppo, Syria, and dating to between the 10th and 8th century BC




Wilusa (W)

Wilusa, (Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 URUwi5-lu-ša) or Wilusiya, was a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia. It was described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa.

The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle. Many modern archaeologists have suggested that Wilusa corresponds to an archaeological site in Turkey known as Troy VIIa, which was destroyed circa 1190 BC. Ilios and Ilion (Ἴλιος, Ἴλιον), which are alternate names for Troy in the Ancient Greek language, are linked etymologically to Wilusa. This identification by modern scholars has been influenced by the Chronicon (a chronology of mythical and Ancient Greece) written circa 380 AD by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (also known as Saint Jerome). In addition, the modern Biga Peninsula, on which Troy VIIa is located, is now generally believed to correspond to both the Hittite placename Taruiša and the Troas or Troad of late antiquity.

Not all scholars have accepted the identification of Wilusa with Troy. There is an alternative hypothesis, for example, that Wilusa was located near Beycesultan, which was known in the Byzantine era as "Iluza" (Ἴλουζα).

Wilusa per se is known from six references in Hittite sources, including:



Cimmerians (W)

Distribution of "Thraco-Cimmerian" finds. From map in Археология Украинской ССР vol. 2, Kiev (1986)

The Cimmerians (also Kimmerians; Greek: Κιμμέριοι, Kimmérioi) were an Indo-European people, who appeared about 1000 BC and are mentioned later in 8th century BC in Assyrian records. They are believed to have been of either Iranian or Thracian origin, or at least to have had an Iranian ruling class.

Probably originating in the Pontic steppe and invading by means of the Caucasus, they are likely to be those who in c. 714 BC assaulted Urartu, a state in north eastern Anatolia subject to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. They were defeated by Assyrian forces under Sargon II in 705 and turned towards Anatolia, conquering Phrygia in 696/5. They reached the height of their power in 652 after taking Sardis, the capital of Lydia; however an invasion of Assyrian-controlled Anshan was thwarted. Soon after 619, Alyattes of Lydia defeated them. There are no further mentions of them in historical sources, but it is likely that they settled in Cappadocia.


  • 721-715 BC — Sargon II mentions a land of Gamirr near to Urartu.
  • 714 - suicide of Rusas I of Urartu, after defeat by both the Assyrians and Cimmerians.
  • 705 — Sargon II of Assyria dies on an expedition against the Kulummu.
  • 695 — Cimmerians destroy Phrygia. Death of king Midas.
  • 679/678 — Gimirri under a ruler called Teushpa invade Assyria from Hubuschna (Cappadocia?). Esarhaddon of Assyria defeats them in battle.
  • 676-674 — Cimmerians invade and destroy Phrygia, and reach Paphlagonia.
  • 654 or 652 — Gyges of Lydia dies in battle against the Cimmerians. Sack of Sardis; Cimmerians and Treres plunder Ionian colonies.
  • 644 — Cimmerians occupy Sardis, but withdraw soon afterwards
  • 637-626 — Cimmerians defeated by Alyattes.



  Ancient regions of Anatolia

Late Bronze Age regions of Anatolia/Asia Minor (circa 1200 BC) with main settlements


Late Bronze Age regions (c 1200 BC)

Late Bronze Age regions (c. 1200 BC) (W)



Urartu (W)

Urartu, 9th-6th centuries BC

Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands (present day eastern Anatolia).

The written language that the kingdom's political elite used is referred to as Urartian, which appears in cuneiform inscriptions in Armenia and eastern Turkey. It is unknown what language was spoken by the peoples of Urartu at the time of the existence of the kingdom, but there is linguistic evidence of contact between the proto-Armenian language and the Urartian language at an early date (sometime between the 3rd—2nd millennium BC), occurring prior to the formation of Urartu as a kingdom.

The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but went into gradual decline and was eventually conquered by the Iranian Medes in the early 6th century BC. The geopolitical region would re-emerge as Armenia shortly after. Being heirs to the Urartian realm, the earliest identifiable ancestors of the Armenians are the peoples of Urartu.



A modern depiction of the god Ḫaldi based on Urartian originals

With the expansion of Urartian territory, many of the gods worshiped by conquered peoples were incorporated into the Urartian pantheon, as a means of confirming the annexation of territories and promoting political stability. However, although the Urartians incorporated many deities into their pantheon, they appeared to be selective in their choices. Although many Urartian kings made conquests in the North, such as the Lake Sevan region, many of those peoples' gods remain excluded. This was most likely the case because Urartians considered the people in the North to be barbaric, and disliked their deities as much as they did them. Good examples of incorporated deities however are the goddesses Bagvarti (Bagmashtu) and Selardi. On Mheri-Dur, or Meher-Tur (the "Gate of Mehr"), overlooking modern Van (in present day Turkey), an inscription lists a total of 79 deities, and what type of sacrificial offerings should be made to each; goats, sheep, cattle, and other animals served as the sacrificial offerings. Urartians did not practice human sacrifice.

The pantheon was headed by a triad made up of Ḫaldi (the supreme god), Theispas (Teisheba, god of thunder and storms, as well as sometimes war), and Shivini (a solar god). Their king was also the chief-priest or envoy of Khaldi. Some temples to Khaldi were part of the royal palace complex, while others were independent structures.



Kizzuwatna (W)

Kizzuwatna (or Kizzuwadna; in Ancient Egyptian Kode or Qode), is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan river. The center of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia.

The expanded Hittite Empire (red) replaces Hatti, including Arzawa and Kizzuwatna c. 1290 BC and borders the Egyptian kingdom (green)

The country possessed valuable resources, such as silver mines in the Taurus Mountains.

Several ethnic groups coexisted in the Kingdom of Kizzuwatna. The Hurrians inhabited this area at least since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The Hittite expansion in the early Old Kingdom period (under Hattusili Iand Mursili I) was likely to bring the Hittites and the Luwians to southeastern Anatolia. The Luwian language was part of the Indo-European language group, with close ties to the Hittite language. Both the local Hittites and the Luwians were likely to contribute to the formation of independent Kizzuwatna after the weakening of the Hittite Old Kingdom. The toponym Kizzuwatna is possibly a Luwian adaptation of Hittite *kez-udne 'country on this side (of the mountains)', while the name Isputahsu is definitely Hittite and not Luwian (Yakubovich 2010, pp. 273-4). Hurrian culture became more prominent in Kizzuwatna once it entered the sphere of influence of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni, with whom they shared various degrees of kinship.

Puduhepa, queen of the Hittite king Hattusili III, came from Kizzuwatna, where she had been a priestess. Their pantheon was also integrated into the Hittite one, and the goddess Hebat of Kizzuwatna became very important in Hittite religion towards the end of the 13th century BC. A corpus of religious texts called the Kizzuwatna rituals was discovered at Hattusa. Believed to be at present the earliest Indo-European ritual corpus discovered to date.

King Sargon of Akkad claimed to have reached the Taurus mountains (the silver mountains) in the 23rd century BC. However, archaeology has yet not confirmed any Akkadian influence in the area. The trade routes from Assyria to the karum in the Anatolian highlands went through Kizzuwatna by the early 2nd millennium BC.

The kings of Kizzuwatna of the 2nd millennium BC had frequent contact with the Hittites to the north. The earliest Hittite records seem to refer to Kizzuwatna and Arzawa (Western Anatolia) collectively as Luwia.


📹 The History of Anatolia Every Year (VİDEO)

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