11C-10C BC : The Achaen migrations :
the famous Troyan War, sung by Homer, marks the
apogée of the (Greek) Aechaens' maritime expeditions
in the Aegean Sea. Following the destruction of
the Kingdom of Troy and
the annihilation of the Hittite
Empire, the Anatolian peoples were not able
to resist the Greek expansion and colonization
that spread inland from the coasts of the Aegean
Sea. About 1100 BC, the Aechaens,
driven away by the Dorians who
had invaded Thessaly, the Peloponnese, Crete and
the Cyclades, were forced to flee from Greece
and settled on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor.
The colonization started with the Aeolians
(mostly farmers) who settled in the northern parts
of the Aegean region founding cities like Lesbos,
Pitane, Elea, Gryneion, Kyme, Aigai, Larisa, Smyrne.
A new wave, the Ionians and the
Aecheans, settled in the central
parts of the Aegean region which became the refuge
for literature and art that had been banished
by the Dorian warriors from the Greek peninsula.
Then the Dorians themselves arrived,
pursuing those they had expelled, and they settled
in the south of the Aegean region founding Cnidus
Lindos Lalysos and Camiros in Rhodos, Cos Island.
of them founded a confederacy. From the
8C BC onwards, the Ionian confederacy
was the most important and prosperous with
its twelve famous cities of Miletus,
Samos, Chios and Erythrae (Smyrna
joined the confederacy much later when it
was occupied by the inhabitants of Colophon)
that were destined to play an important
role during the first millenium. At the
foot of Mount Mycale stood the Panionion,
a meeting place where the cities of the
Ionian Confederacy held their council and
celebrated a yearly festival (end of summer),
called Panionia, in the sanctuary dedicated
to Poseidon Heliconios. For the improvement
of their cities, the members would discuss
politics, business, trade, farming processing,
art, science etc... and would share their
problems, trying to find appropriate solutions.
The commercial and cultural influence of
these cities spread over Anatolia where
they opened new trading posts.
The art and culture
that developed in these cities owe a great
part of their originality to the last long
contacts they had with the Phrygian, Lydian,
Lycian and Carian cultures. With the contribution
of the Assyrian, Hittite, Urartian, Babylonian,
Syrian, Aramean, phoenician and Egyptian
contacts, the cities not only developed
a poetic literature and a unique art, but
also laid the foundations of the exact sciences
with the creation of positivism and research,
based on the objective observation of nature.
From the 6 C BC, due to these scientific
activities, the cultural leadership of the
Near-East passed to the Anatolian Ionian
cities. In architecture,
while the end of the 7C BC already witnessed
the development of the Aeolian style, the
first half of the 6C BC saw the birth of
Ionian art. The slender proportions and
the elegance of the Ionic order symbolized
in one of the most beautiful achievements
of the time was the Artemision,
Ephesus – Gold figurine
of a woman, 7C BC
900 - 600 BC : The Urartu Kingkom
was established in eastern Anatolia, around
with Tushpa as the capital. The Urartians,
a people of Asiatic origins and descendants
of the Hurrites,
were sheperds and farmers who attained to
a high level of comfort, culture and civilization.
They clevely used the reliefs to build their
fortresses, palaces and temples which they
surrounded with cyclopean walls. They also
dug huge irrigation canals. Renowned metallurgists,
they created very fine objects made of bronze
which they exported to the Mediterranean basin.
In search of new raw materials and as they
were trying to extend their domination to
south-eastern Anatolia and to northern Syria,
they were confronted to the Assyrians. In
590 BC their kingdom was overthrown by the
Bronze lion statuette, 8C BC.
800 - 696 BC - The Phrygian Kingdom: the
Phrygians, who originated from Thrace, were
among those invaders known as "Sea
peoples" who are thought to be responsible
for the final destruction of the Hittite Empire.
They settled on the ruins of the Hittite cities,
however, the first archaeological evidences
of their civilization appeared only in the
middle of the 8C BC when Gordion,
the first capital of this very powerful but
ephemeral kingdom, was founded. Phrygia was
famous for its legendary King, Midas
of the "golden touch", and for King
Gordius' intricate knot which was cut by Alexander
the Great. Phrygians excelled in metalworking,
woodwork and weaving. In 696, Gordion was
destroyed by the Cimmerians. After the invasion,
the Phrygians showed a renewal in other centers
located between Afyon
(the monumental rock-cut reliefs at Midasşehir/Yazılıkaya).
But when Phrygia came under the domination
of the Lydians and later the Persians,
it declined considerably. During the Hellenistic
Period Phrygia was taken by Antigone,
Lysimachus, the Seleucids, the Galatians,
Pergamum and it was finally annexed to the
Roman Province of Asia.
Ram’s head situla, end of 8C BC.
650 - 546 BC: The Lydian Kingdom:
Lydia was a prosperous state, which, from
the reign of king Gyges (687-652) rapidly
acquired a great political power( Greek
Ionian cities were under its protectorate).
The capital was Sardis
where the Pactolos (Sart Çayı)
flows. The stream bore silver and gold
nuggets, a natural amalgam called electrum.
Economically developed (they were traders
and bankers), under king Ardys (652-615),
the Lydians for the first time in history
minted and used coins made of electrum
for the purpose of exchanging goods. Towards
the middle of the 7C BC, Lydia was devastated
by the Cimmerians but nevertheless succeeded
to surmount this crisis: through the impetus
given by its famest and legendary king
Croesus (560-546), it became the
main power in Asia Minor during the first
half of the 6C BC. The minting technique
improved by separating the metals, and
a new monetary system of gold coins and
silver coins was created. The coins now
bore an official seal of king (head of
lion and bull) to guarantee their value.
Having overestimated his strength and
wealth, Croesus, in 546 the last king
of Lydia was defeated by Persian king
into the conquest of Asia Minor.
electrum coin at the time of King Ardys
Gold coin at the time of King Croesus
Silver coin at the time of King Croesus
origins are still not very well known, occupied
Caria, a country of mountains and valleys poor
in agricultural and other resources, located between
Miletus and Halicarnassus.
This rough and uncouth people entered history
as mercenaries in the service of the Egyptian
pharaohs, the Ionians and later the Persians
who subjected them from 544-543 onwards. Thanks
to that, Caria seems to have retained some kind
of independence, although they joined the Ionian
revolt against the Persians after 499, and that
they were subjugated by the Athenians between
466-412. From the 4C BC Caria was ruled by satraps.
The most famous was Mausolus (377-353),
and despite his joining the "revolt of the
satraps" and a
Persian garrison being retained at Halicarnassus,
he craftily developed Caria into an independent
power and he was even confered the title of king.
Halicarnassus was famous for the Mausoleum,
which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
lived in Lycia, a region extending from Dalaman
stream in the west to the outskirts of Antalya
in the east, and can be considered as one of the
first Anatolian people, and the first tribe to
live without interruption in the Mediterranean
region. The area was settled in the 3rd millenium
BC, but the Lycians, who called themselves “Termilae”,
are known through Hittite
sources which refered to them as the“Lukkas” who
spoke the Lucian language. During the Battle of
kadesh the Lycians were allied to the Hittites
against the Egyptians. The Iliad also tells that
during the Trojan Wars,
the Lycian king named Sarpedon came to help Troy.
By living in a coastal mountainous region made
the Lycians value their freedom and independence,
and master the seas. During the Persian
Conquest, Lycians, like the inhabitants of
prefered mass suicide than rather be captured.
The Persians, who never established complete control
over the Lycians (the revolt of Limyran
ruler Pericles) forced them under the Carian sovereignty
of Mausolus. In 333 BC Alexander
the Great encountered practically no resistance
from the Lycians who considered him as a saviour.
But in reality Lycians ceased to be free, passing
under the rules of his diadochs
Antigonus, Lysimachus, the Ptolemies who imposed
the use of Greek as the official language, and
the Seleucids before their defeat by the Romans.
Lycia, which had been given to the Rhodians for
their support to Rome, refused to bow and finally
was granted its independence in 167 BC. The Lycian
League, with Patara
as the capital, was established with democratic
principals. A “Lyciarch” was elected by a senate
that convened every autumn at a different city.
The league continued to fonction after Lycia became
a Roman province in 46 AD. In 141 and 240 AD,
the prosperous region was struck by an earthquake
and both Rome and rich local inhabitants contributed
to the repairs and rebuilding. Christianity
developed relatively early and many Lycian cities
became bishopric centers with Myra
as metropolis and Saint Nicholas as the most famous
Lycian Christian. From the 8th century these cities
disappeared one after the other subsequently to
The most visible traces of Lycian culture can
be seen in the numerous tombs that have survived.
Lycian funerary architecture of the classical
period (5-4C BC) displays quite unique
characteristics: the Lycians, who were
skilled woodworkers, copied in stone the
design, construction technique and decoration
of their wooden houses.
The most visible traces of Lycian culture
can be seen in the numerous tombs that
have survived. Lycian funerary architecture
of the classical period (5-4C BC) displays
quite unique characteristics: the Lycians,
who were skilled woodworkers, copied in
stone the design, construction technique
and decoration of their wooden houses.