major sites of that period are Troy
I and II, Kültepe, Alacahöyük.
Social hierarchy is well organized inside
the strong walls of the city including a
palace where the king lives. A great advance
in metallurgy is notable from the rich finds
of gold, silver, bronze and copper. In the
13 burial chambers of Alacahöyük, jewels,
weapons, vases, statuettes, ritual metal
standards in the shape of sun dials have
been discovered, showing the richness, the
wealth and the thechnological primacy of
Alacahöyük - Stag statuette,
2nd half of 3rd millenium BC.
2500 BC - 2000 BC - THE HATTIS
people who lived in Central Anatolia before writing
was introduced, is known through Hittite sources.
The Hattis or Hattians gave their name to Anatolia
which was then called "the Land of the Hattis".
Of an advanced intellectual level, they strongly
influenced the Hittites by their religious rites,
official ceremonies and mythology. Located outside
the Mesopotamian area, it is the first civilized
nation from this period which name and, in a way,
language (completely different of the Indo-European
Hittite language) and religion are known to us.
This highly developed and homogeneous civilization
played a preponderant role in mining and metalworking.
1950 BC - THE ASSYRIAN TRADERS COLONIES
history started in Anatolia with the introduction
of the Assyrian language. Assyrian traders
from northern Mesopotamia came to Asia
Minor, attracted by its natural ressources.
They used the cuneiform script and cylinder
seals. Most of the tablets found at Kültepe
(Kanesh) are about trading activities (contracts,
juridical and book keeping documents). These
traders had the privilege of exterritoriality,
and around the Hittite cities, they established
markets called "karum" (the ancestors
of the bazaars) that comprised many rooms
and sometimes two storeys. They bartered mostly
textiles and expensive garments for copper.
Gold and silver was at the root of the exchanges
of goods which were carried on monkeyback.
Kanesh Baked clay tablet 1900 BC
2000 BC 1200 BC THE HITTITES
BC - An immigrant Indo-Europeanpeople
arrived in successive waves from the north of
the Black Sea or Caucasus, taking one by one the
Hatti state-cities, and imposing themselves upon
the populations of Central Anatolia. They made
alliances with the natives (the Hattis or Hattians),
married their women, integrated themselves into
the local culture and even adopted the worship
of many native deities, giving birth to the Hittite
civilization. They adopted the Hattian place-names
and proper nouns, naming also Anatolia as the
"land of the Hatti" (the modern use
of the term Hittite derives from the Old Testament).
They founded many principalities, but towards
the end of the 18C BC, the kings of Kusara (Alacahöyük
located in the basin of the Halys/Kizilirmak)
Pithana and his son Anitta
manage to impose their hegemony.
BC - The Old Hittite Kingdom: Hattusili
I established its strategic capital in the
fortress-city of Hattusa
and he unified Anatolia. The Hittites developed
a hieroglyphic writing which can be seen
on their seals and public buildings. A new
aesthetic conception appeared as well as
the cyclopean wall system, unknown until
then in Anatolia. The new state was so powerful
that a few generations later Mursili I (about
1620-1590) conquered Aleppo and Babylon
causing the collapse of the Hamurabi dynasty.
Following the assassination of Mursili I,
the central government weakened and loosing
their power, the Hittites temporarily came
under the rule of a people from Asia, the
Hurrites, who were Indo-Aryans settled
in Upper Mesopotamia and in northern Syria,
and who established the Kingdom of Mitanni
Hittite Hieroglyphic inscriptions
Peace treaty of
Kadesh is recorded as the first international
treaty in the world. Also mutual defense
pact and dynastic marriage were concluded
between the Hittites and the Egyptians.
Around 1200 under both internal and external
pressures, the Hittites were unable to resist
the onslaught of the "Sea Peoples",
Aecheans come from the Aegean Sea. They
overran Anatolia, devastated a great number
of cities starting with Troy
(Homer's Iliad tells, in a way, the poetic
history of these unfortunate events), then
. The destruction of the civilizations of
Asia Minor engendered a period called "Dark
Age" that lasted two centuries in Western
Anatolia and four centuries in Central Anatolia.
Treaty of Kadesh
discovered in Hattusa
Archaeological Museum - Istanbul
1200 - 700 - The
after the fall of the Hittite Empire, small Hittite
independent states were formed in northern Syria
(Aleppo, Hama), in south-eastern Anatolia and around
the Taurus Mountain range such as Milid (Malatya),
Sam'al (Zincirli), Karkemish
(karkamis), Gurgum (Maras),
Kizzuwatna (Cilicia), Sakçagözü.....In turn they
were conquered and destroyed in the course of various
Assyrian campains between the 8C and the 7C BC.