By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
Anatolia has many topographical and climatic zones and natural resources. Gold, silver, copper, iron, and possibly tin were available in the mountains.
Anatolia conducted extensive metal trade: it was rich in copper, silver and gold; however, it was poor in tin, necessary for bronze alloy.
Early Bronze Age, 3300 - 2000 BC
In the Early Bronze Age (circa 3300 – 2000 BC), many small culturally distinct kingdoms developed. Some were wealthy, and objects made in precious metals have been recovered at sites such as Troy, Alaca Hoyuk, and Horoztepe. This wealth probably grew from control of metal deposits, trade routes, and agricultural resources.
Karum Period, 2000 - 1750 BC
At the start of the 2nd millennium BC, Anatolia consisted of independent city-states and small rich kingdoms. The Land of Hatti spanned central and norther Anatolia; the language Hattian was of the Caucasian language group. Anatolia conducted extensive metal trade: it was rich in copper, silver and gold; however, it was poor in tin, necessary for bronze allow.
The rich merchants of Assur established karums (trade colonies with no political affiliation) within territory of Anatolian kingdom. The primary Anatolian karum was Kanesh (aka Nesha, modern Kültepe). The karums brought literacy to Anatolia for the first time. The Assyrian trade colonies ended in the mid-18th cent BC.
The Assyrian Colony period of the Middle Bronze Age (early second millennium BC) saw an acceleration of contacts with Mesopotamia. Merchants from northern Mesopotamia brought tin and cloth to Anatolia in exchange for silver, and they established settlements (karums) in Anatolian cities as far north as Bogazkoy. Assyrian tablets recovered in the karum at Kultepe have yielded a wealth of cultural and economic information. Another major karum was at Acemhoyuk, where the palace of the local ruler revealed evidence of sumptuous furniture embellished with ivory plaques.
Middle and Late Bronze Age: Hittite Period, Rise of Empires
At the start of the 2nd millennium BC, Anatolia consisted of independent city-states and small rich kingdoms. At this time, names of an Indo-European people known to us as the Hittites first appear. By the 17th century, they had founded a kingdom in central Anatolia with the capital at Bogazkoy. The Land of Hatti spanned central and norther Anatolia; the language Hattian was of the Caucasian language group.
The Hittites were continuously engaged either in conflict or in political alliances with other Anatolian states, with Mesopotamian powers, and with Egypt. In the Hittite Empire period (1400 – 1200 BC), they controlled much of southern Anatolia and Syria, holding Egypt at bay. Shortly after 1200 BC, all the Hittite sites were violently destroyed by a still unknown enemy. They remained unoccupied for many years until the Phrygians built settlements above the Hittite ruins.
Origin of Hittite State
Hittites (originally Indo-European) first entered Anatolia in the mid-3rd millennium BC. Their power was noticed by Anatolian kingdoms in the early 2nd millennium BC. Ethnic Hittite Kanesh king Pithana and his son Kussara king Anitta united their kingdoms. In ~1650 BC, Kussara king Labarna I moved the capital of this Hittite kingdom from Kussara to Hattush, renamed it Hattusha and renamed himself Hattushili ("from Hattush"). The Hittite kingdom was the first to control all of Anatolia and it remained based at Hattusha until it collapsed in 1200-1180 BC.
Old Hittite Era
In 546 BC the Persians captured Sardis, the capital of the Lydian Kingdom and a city which they had long coveted. Thereafter Anatolia remained under the control of the Persians for 200 years. The political changes which occurred during this period also influenced the culture and art created within this East-West meeting-ground. At the newly established seats of the Persian satraps (provincial governors) such as Dascyleium (ergili near Lake Manyas), Sardis (in the vicinity of Manisa) and Halicarnassus (Bodrum) objects of art were produced both under Anatolian and under Persian influence. Stelae and reliefs discovered at he Dascyleium excavations reveal the characteristics of this new style which is a synthesis of eastern and western cultural traditions meeting for the first time, a so-called Ionian-Persian style of Anatolia, in which the dominant (royal?) Persian art demonstrably adopted a great deal from the Ionian style of Anatolia. For example: Cybele, the native mother goddess of Antaolia, is shown as winged and wearing a high cap. These are traits peculiar to Eastern art.