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Anatolian Civilizations

Anatolian Civilizations

The first major central authority was established by the Hittites in Anatolia. It couldn’t be determined where exactly they came from. Living as principalities, Hittites created a central government by merging. Hattusili I who made Hattusha the principality center of Hatti developed old Hittite government. King called Tabarna and queen called Tavananna ruled the government. King’s stand-alone decision-making authority is limited by the council pankush which was noble council. 


In 1.450s B.C., Hittite Kingdom was developed as a great power by Tuthalia II. This period also called the Hittite Imperial Period. Kadesh Treaty is the first written treaty made between Hattusili III and Ramses II in 1.270 B.C. after the war with Egyptians. Suppiluliuma II (1.200-1.190 B.C.) is the last emperor of Hittites. At the end of this period, sea tribes, who attacked Anatolia, made a great destruction on Hittites, and eliminated the weakened Hittite Empire. Burnt, destroyed and desolated Central Anatolia entered a dark age till 750 B.C. Political gap before Hittite period showed itself again. Some Hittite princes who was able to save their lives from anarchy, continued to live for some time in the south as city principalities. This period is called the Late Hittite Period (1.200-700 B.C.). At the end of the 8th century B.C., those principalities lost their freedom and joined to the Assyrian Empire.

In the reign of the powerful Hittite, Hurrians lived in eastern Anatolia. Hurrians were divided into several tribal with their chiefs. Environmental threats led them to unite, so that Urartu Government (850s B.C.) was established. Its capital was Tushpa, today’s Van. As becoming a strong country Urartu was eliminated at the end of the 7th and beginning of the 7th centuries B.C.

Phrygians, who came with the migration which eliminated Hittites in the beginning of 12th century B.C., emerged as a central government in 750 B.C.

Gordion was the capital of this highly cultural nation. Cimmerians burned the capital Gordion in 696. Nevertheless, Phrygians lived their lives as principalities preserving their cultural traditions in various parts of Central Anatolia until the Persian invasion.

Lydians, who lived in Gediz and Cayster region, became one of the strongest countries since 7 B.C. Lydians became rich and strong by mining gold and forging it in their capital, Sardis. Lydians are the first to use money. Thereby, money brought significant commercial developments after taking place of exchange in world trade. In the 6th century B.C., Persians under the command of Kyros attacked Lydia Government. Two powerful countries warred, and after 14 days of siege of Sardis, Lydian Government eliminated. So, sovereignty of Persians began in Anatolia.During this period, Anatolia was administered by satrapies (governors).


Meanwhile, Ionic tribes who colonized in western Anatolia since 1.000 B.C. established a developed civilization by building important cities. In 650s B.C., western Anatolia became the world’s most advanced civilization.