Anatolia, starting from the early Paleolithic period, has provided rich opportunities to hunter-gatherer groups. Even rock paintings and primitive stone tools are found in natural caves and rock shelters, major settlements are in Istanbul such as Yarımburgaz Cave, Karain in Antalya, Beldibi, Öküzini and Belbaşı Caves.
In The Mesolithic Period (ca. 16.000-10.000 B.C.) instead of big animals, small and agile animals took place. Hunter-gatherer groups used different hunting tools to hunt these animals.
In the Neolithic Period (ca. 10.000-5.500 B.C.), first foundation of today’s civilization, village settlements were started in the fertile soil between Euphrates and Tigris rivers. In this period that time period differs from area to area, natural and primitive shelters changed to village life, hunting and gathering changed to agriculture and animal husbandry. Production started. Mankind bound to soil learned new discoveries quickly, and made dwellings and stone temples by drying mud bricks under the sun. Göbeklitepe open air temple site, where excavations continue near Şanlıurfa, was built in 10.000 B.C. and it’s the oldest religious building in the world. Urban settlements following the large number of villages are:
Various metals that are used after the Neolithic period are one of the factors determining the ages. By using copper besides stone, the Chalcolithic Period (5.500-3.000 B.C.) was entered. Copper instruments took place of stone during this period. Population began to grow, residential areas became common. Important Chalcolithic settlements in Anatolia are Hacılar (Burdur), Can Hasan (Karaman), Yumuktepe (Mersin), Beycesultan (Denizli), Kuruçay (Burdur) and Arslantepe (Malatya).
Early Bronze Age (3.000-2.000 B.C.) begins with obtaining bronze by mixing copper and tin. People started to live in cities surrounded by walls in this age which first kingdoms were established. Mining and trade became more important in addition to agriculture and animal husbandry. In 2.500 B.C., Central Anatolia was shared between Hattie Principalities who were the local people of the area. It lacked a strong central authority. During this period, important steps had been taken in urbanism, architecture and several works of art. Troy (Çanakkale), Beycesultan (Denizli), Alacahöyük (Çorum), Alişar (Yozgat), Gözlükule (Mersin) can be considered as the settlements of this period.
In 3.000 B.C., inscription was started to be used in Mesopotamia. Cuneiform reached Anatolia by trade with Assyrian in between 2.000 and 1.750 B.C. During this period, Kültepe (Kayseri) arose as an important center. In 1.750 B.C., Assyrian colonists left Anatolia.
colonists left Anatolia.
Fate has put Turkey at the junction of two continents. As a land bridge, a meeting point and a battleground, it has seen peoples moving in both directions between Europe and Asia throughout recorded history. That human traffic has left monuments and debris, dynasties and lasting cultural legacies, all of which have contributed to the character of modern Turkey. Turkish history is such a hugely rich patchwork of overlapping eras and empires that it boasts figures, events and phenomena familiar even to the layperson.
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