45. The Greek Periphery, Anatolia

The Greek Peripery, Anatolia

We now arrive to the east of Greek lands in what would become one of the most influential regions to Greek history on its periphery. Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor would have a history of human habitation stretching back over 1 million years, with other sites dotted throughout the region pointing to its continued habitation for the hundreds of thousands of years following.

As the world was coming out of the Ice Age some 12000 years ago, it would enter the Neolithic Age. Hunter-gatherers were seen to have been the only groups to have occupied all the inhabited areas of the world. Though, recent discoveries in Anatolia would start to question the long-held views of hunter-gather societies. The Sites of Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe would suggest these groups were able to organise themselves on a far grander scale than previously thought.

As the Millennia passed distinct cultures would start to form with most settling into a sedentary way of life. This would see civilisations form around powerful centres ushering in the Bronze Age and the rise of empires. One of the greatest to emerge in Anatolia would be the Hittites, also developing through Indo-European migrations from the north. Much around the Hittites remains mysterious, though in more recent years, steady progress on translating the many Hittites text found at its capitol Hattusa is starting to give us a glimpse into the empire’s workings.

Though, Anatolia would also feel the effects of the Bronze Age collapse with the Hittite Empire vanishing from history, with only traces of its culture found amounts some of the fragmented kingdoms that would scatter the region. With the collapse would see a number of new comers to the region, one of these would be the Greeks, decedents of the Mycenaeans, who would dot the western coast with many of their cities.

Additional Resources

 

Maps of Bronze Age Anatolia 

Archeaological sites of Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe 

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