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Ancient Anatolia (Turkish Anadolu)

Anatolia was the homeland of a large complex of civilizations -- the earliest of which extended back thousands of years before the beginning of the Bronze Age. The Bronze age covered some 2000 years of history and civilization in the Near East -- roughly from the late fourth to the late second millennium BC. It was a period characterized by many great achievements in the development of human society and civilization within the region. Yet there was no sharp or sudden break with what had gone before: in their earliest phase many Bronze Age sites reflect no more than a gradual and sometimes almost imperceptible cultural development out of the preceding Chalcolithic Age. There was (1) no major cultural revolution (2) no evident intrusion of newcomers into Anatolia -- except in the Cilician Plain and (3) very few signs of destruction of existing communities. A number of the features of the Chalcolithic cultures persisted in the new age with little or no change (See *A Below) .....

By the middle of the third millennium (Early Bronze II) there were wealthy ruling houses and important centres of civilization in various parts of Anatolia. Notable amongst these were Troy - Poliochni - Beycesultan - Tarsus (ibid) .....

Before the end of the third millennium there were three known groups of people in Anatolia who spoke Indo-European languages; in the west the Luwians -- in the north the Palaians -- and in central or eastern Anatolia the speakers of a language called Nesite (ibid) .....

Relief of the God Sarruma and Hittite King Tuthalia: ANCIENT ANATOLIA (Discover Turkey)

Early in the second millennium the Assyrians established a number of merchant colonies in Anatolia. The appearance of these colonies marked the beginning of a major new era in Anatolian history -- the era of the written record. The Assyrian merchants kept copious accounts of their business transactions on clay tablets written in Old Assyrian cuneiform. In archaeological terminology the period of the Assyrian colonies -- covering the first two centuries of the second millennium -- is commonly known as the Middle Bronze Age. Twenty one such settlements are attested in Assyrian texts. Three have been located: Hattusas -- Alisar -- Kultepe ..... In the wake of the colonial period the geopolitical configuration of Anatolia was to change dramatically. A new power was eventually to emerge -- one which was to have a much more profound and lasting impact on the Anatolian landscape -- the Late Bronze Age Kingdom of the Hittites (ibid) .....

(*A) The Kingdom of the Hittites (1999)
Trevor Bryce (Oxford University Press)
Library of Congress # DS 66 B75

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The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium