ANCIENT ASIA MINOR (7000 BC-AD 36)
FROM HITTITES TO HELLENES
The beginning of the Neolithic Era in 7000 BC heralded the development of settlements and agriculture. Though the oldest evidence of settlements in Turkey is at Hacilar, 25km southeast of Burdur, the most impressive is Qatalhoyiik on the Konya Plain, where early settlers traded razor sharp obsidian blades in the pre-metalworking era. Qayonii, near present-day Elazig, began smelting copper tools, a trade that involved Mesopotamia and the northern Aegean and underwrote the Early Bronze Age (3200-2000 BC) wealth of the Asia Minor cities of Troy and Alacahoyiik.
By the Middle Bronze Age (2000 BC), the Hittite people of Anatolia were trading with the Assyrians to the south, who delivered clothing and textiles in exchange for much-valued gold, silver, and iron. More importantly, the Assyrian traders introduced the first written records to Anatolia; their cuneiform tablets were left behind in the Hatti capital of Kanesh, now Kultepe.
2000 BC The Hittites establish an empire in Central Anatolia.
Eventually, the Hatti merged with the iron-forging Hittites, who migrated south from the Caucasus, adopting Hatti language and religion. The warlike Hittites would dominate central Anatolia for 600 years. From their capital at Hattuşaş (modern Bogazkale), they waged a series of campaigns against their Mesopotamian and Egyptian neighbors. In 1286 BC, the Hittites defeated Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II at Kadesh and acquired Syria in history’s first recorded treaty.
1286 BC Hittites defeat Ramses II and acquire Syria.
Despite Hittite dominance in central Anatolia, other ethnic groups began to settle in the area of present-day Turkey. A series of kingdoms rose and fell during the five hundred years following the end of the Hittite Empire, beginning with the Trojans, made famous by Homer and Virgil. Scholars believe that the fall of their legendary city at the mouth of the Dardanelles, recounted in the Iliad, coincided with the Doric invasions, the mass migration of Sea Peoples across the Aegean, and the end of the Bronze Age, around 1250 BC.
1250 BC Troy falls, marking the end of the Bronze Age.
The kingdoms of Greek Mycenae, Cyprus, northern Mesopotamia, and the Hittite rule of Anatolia ended by 1190 BC, leaving a power vacuum in Anatolia until the unification of the Urartu around Lake Van in 875 BC. With their capital at Tuspa (modern Van), the Urartu demonstrated their engineering skill in the construction of fortresses and canals before being ultimately defeated by the Medes in 580 BC.
1190 BC Hittite dominance in Central Anatolia comes to an end.
The Phrygians were related to the Greeks and built their capital at Gordion, ruled in the 8th century BC by King Midas, of the legendary golden touch. At the same time, Ionia, the central western coast, of Anatolia, was a center of trade, science, and culture.
875 BC The Urartu establish a kingdom in the Lake Van region.
Escaping the Doric invasion, Mycenaean Greeks emigrated here in 1100 BC and flourished in cities like Miletus until subjugated by Croesus of Lydia in 546 BC. It was in Smyrna (modern İzmir) that Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey in the Iordan dialect. Miletus, whose original settlers were the Minoans of Crete, became an early center of Greek philosophy and pre-Socratic thought.
700 BC Phrygians invade Anatolia and build their capital at Gordion.
In the realm of architecture, the enduring Ionic style includes the colossal Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Tire Lydians eventually defeated Miletus and the Ionians, setting up their capital in Sardis. They were an Initiate related people, famous for huge royal tombs and the invention of dice and coined money. The fabulously wealthy King Croesus was routed by Persian Cyrus in Cappadocia in 547 BC, ending the 140-year-old Lydian empire.
600 BC and etc.. Lydians establish their capital at Sardis in Western Anatolia.
In the absence of any political cohesion between the Greek city-states, Cyrus II rapidly extended the Achaemenid Empire of Persia along the coast of Asia Minor and made forays into Greece. Cyrus replaced the city-states with a structure of subordinate satrapies (administrative regions) ruled by wealth- hoarding tyrants. Persian culture rarely spread beyond its courts, and apart from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus; little remains from this period today. Greek resistance to Persian rule precipitated the fateful Ionian Revolt of 499 BC, leading to the famous Persian Wars against Athens and Sparta.