Anatolia the First Home of Civilizations

Excavations of prehistoric sites carried out under the Republic have produced amazing evidence about the history of human civilisation. Early paleolithic remains, including exceptionally important cave paintings, have been found in the caves of Karain, Beldibi near Antalya.

Excavations of prehistoric sites carried out under the Republic have produced amazing evidence about the history of human. Radio-carbon tests carried out at Hacilar have shown that the site was settled in approximately 7040 BC. At Catalhoyuk (6500 – 5650 BC) 12 different layers of culture, each presenting a specific interest, have come to light. This mound can be described as a summa of prehistoric culture. Neolithic monochrome pottery found at Çatalhoyuk is the oldest pottery which has so far come to light in Anatolia. The development of the potter's art can be traced on the same site through the late neolithic and the chalcolithic periods. Catalhoyuk was humanity's first centre of creative endeavour, and as such it is unequalled in the world. Radio-carbon tests have shown that the finds at Hacilar date back to 5400 – 5200 BC.

Hacilar experienced its golden age in chalcolithic times (5500 BC), from which both stone and metal implements have come down to us. Remains from the same period have come to light at Canhoyuk in Anatolia. Anatolia lived through the late chalcolithic age in the 5th and 4th millennia BC. Evidence unearthed at Beycesultan indicates that this was a period of comparative stagnation. Thus it appears that Anatolia which was well ahead of Mes¬opotamia in the 7th and 6th millennia BC, fell behind by 3000 BC when writing was invented, and reverted to primitive, prehistoric village culture. Then the Bronze Age started in Anatolia around 3000 – 2500 BC, the date of the first settlement of Troy which exhibits similarities with Cycladean Bronze Age culture. However, while one area of Anatolia forged ahead, the rest of the country remained backward.

HATTIC CULTURE (2500-2000 BC). Progress was resumed in Anatolia around 2500 BC with the advent of the Bronze Age. Hattic and Hittite sources in central Anatolia describe the people of the time as Hatti. The Hatti, who settled in Anatolia in prehistoric times, were undoubtedly well ahead of their contemporaries in cultural development. The Bronze Age layer at Alacahoyuk has yielded much interesting material in this respect. Of similar interest is the contemporary layer of Troy II on the shores of the Aegean, i.e. well away from the Hatti – Hittite area. There is evidence of complete destruction at is one of the most interesting religious centres in Anatolia, its rock-face carvings depicting religious ceremonies as well as the gods and kings of the State.

Troy around 2200-2100 BC, the date at which Indo-European tribes first penetrated into Asia Minor. There is very little development from then on until 1800 BC (Troy VI), Indicating that Troy had temporarily become a backwater.

PALEO-HITTITE CULTURE (1750-1450 BC). Soon after its foundation, the Old Kingdom of the Hittites captured first Aleppo, then the great Mesopotamian city of Babylon be¬tween 1620 and 1590 BC. The Hittites brought the cuneiform script from Mesopotamia in the 18th to 17th centuries BC, although they also used hieroglyphic writing. Develop ment continued uninterrupted throughout the two centuries. Brilliant monochrome pot¬tery found at Alacahoyuk and at Alisar Acemhoyuk represent a new forward step in the development of art. Living standards had clearly also risen appreciably.

THE GREAT HITTITE EMPIRE (1450-1200 BC). Between the 15th and 14th centuries BC, the

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