Prehistory of Anatolia
The prehistory of Anatolia stretches from the Paleolithic era through to the appearance of classical civilisation in the middle of the 1st millennium BC. It is generally regarded as being divided into three ages reflecting the dominant materials used for the making of domestic implements and weapons, Stone Age, Bronze Age, the term Copper Age is used to denote the period straddling the stone and Bronze Ages. Anatolia, known by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is considered to be the westernmost extent of Western Asia, the earliest representations of culture in Anatolia can be found in several archaeological sites located in the central and eastern part of the region. Stone Age artifacts such as bones and food fossils were found at Burdur. After the fall of the Hittites, the new states of Phrygia and Lydia stood strong on the western coast as Greek civilization began to flourish, only the threat from a distant Persian kingdom prevented them from advancing past their peak of success. The Stone Age is a period in which stone was widely used in the manufacture of implements.
In 2014, a tool was found in the Gediz River that was securely dated to 1.2 million years ago. Evidence of paleolithic habitation include the Yarimburgaz Cave, Karain Cave, examples of paleolithic humans can be found in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, in the Archaeological Museum in Antalya, and in other Turkish institutions. Evidence of fruit and of animal bones has been found at Yarimburgaz, the caves of the Mediterranean region contain murals. Original claims of 250, 000-year-old, Middle Pleistocene, Homo sapiens footprints at Kula, remains of a mesolithic culture in Anatolia can be found along the Mediterranean coast and in Thrace and the western Black Sea area. Mesolithic remains have been located in the caves as the paleolithic artefacts. Additional findings come from the Sarklimagara cave in Gaziantep, the Baradiz cave, as well as the cemeteries and open air settlements at Sogut Tarlasi and Urfa. Because of its location at the intersection of Asia and Europe. Neolithic settlements include Çatalhöyük, Çayönü, Nevali Cori, Aşıklı Höyük, Boncuklu Höyük Hacilar, Göbekli Tepe, Kosk, Çatalhöyük is considered the most advanced of these, and Çayönü in the east the oldest.
We have an idea of the town layout at Çayönü, based on a central square with buildings constructed of stone. Archeological finds include farming tools that suggest both crops and animal husbandry as well as domestication of the dog, religion is represented by figurines of Cybele, a mother goddess. Hacilar followed Çayönü, and has dated to 7040 BCE. Straddling the Neolithic and early Bronze Age, the Chalcolithic era is defined by the first metal implements made with copper and this age is represented in Anatolia by sites at Hacilar, Canhasan, Mersin Yumuktepe, Elazig Tepecik, Malatya Degirmentepe and Istanbul Fikirtepe
23rd century BC
The 23rd century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2300 BC to 2201 BC.2334 BC –2279 BC, Sargon of Akkads conquest of Mesopotamia. C.2300 BC, Indus Valley Civilization flourishing in modern day eastern Pakistan - western India, C.2300 BC, Metals start to be used in Northern Europe. C.2300 BC, Unetice culture emerges in the modern day Czech Republic, C.2300 BC –2184 BC, Disk of Enheduanna, from Ur, is made. It is now in University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, C.2300 BC –2200 BC, Head of a man from Nineveh is made. It is now in Iraq Museum, Baghdad, C.2300 BC, Canal Bahr Yusuf is created when the waterway from the Nile to the natural lake is widened and deepened to create a canal. C.2288 BC, Queen Merye-ankhnes and her son Pepy II is sculpted, the alabaster statuette is now at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York. C.2285 BC, high priestess of the moon god Nanna in Ur, was born, C.2278 BC, Pharaoh Pepi II starts to rule. C.2254 BC –2218 BC, Stela of Naram-Sin, probably from Sippar and it is now in Musée du Louvre, Paris.
C.2250 BC Earliest evidence of cultivation in Central America. C.2240 BC, capital of the Akkadian Empire, becomes the largest city in the world, surpassing Memphis, C.2220 BC Scord of Brouster farmstead established in Shetland, Scotland c.2220 BC Mount Edgecumbe volcano erupts near present-day Sitka, Alaska. C.2215 BC, A Guti army swept down from the Zagros Mountains and they took Agade, the capital of Akkad, and destroyed it thoroughly. C July 2215 BC, Comet Hale-Bopp visits the inner solar system, Sargon of Akkad, founder of the Akkadian Empire and the earliest empire builder in recorded history 2279 BC—Death of Sargon I
Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia)
The first settlement in southern Mesopotamia was Eridu. The Sumerians claimed that their civilization had been brought, fully formed, to the city of Eridu by their god Enki or by his advisor, Adapa U-an. The first people at Eridu brought with them the Samarran culture from northern Mesopotamia and are identified with the Ubaid period, the Sumerian king list is an ancient text in the Sumerian language listing kings of Sumer, including a few foreign dynasties. The best-known dynasty, that of Lagash, is omitted from the kinglist, dates are approximate, consult particular article for details Uruk III = Jemdet Nasr period Permanent year-round urban settlement may have been prompted by intensive agricultural practices. The work required in maintaining irrigation canals called for, and the surplus food enabled. The centres of Eridu and Uruk, two of the earliest cities, had successively elaborated large temple built of mudbrick. The development and system of administration led to the development of archaic tablets around 3500 BC-3200 BC, while there is no evidence they ever reigned as such, the Sumerians purported them to have lived in the mythical era before the Flood.
Throughout its Bronze Age existence, the document evolved into a political tool, the SKL blends prehistorical, presumably mythical pre-dynastic rulers enjoying implausibly lengthy reigns with later, more plausibly historical dynasties. Although the primal kings are historically unattested, this does not preclude their possible correspondence with historical rulers who were mythicized, some Assyriologists view the predynastic kings as a fictional addition. Only one ruler listed is known to be female, Kug-Bau, “the tavern-keeper, the earliest listed ruler whose historicity has been archaeologically verified is Enmebaragesi of Kish, c.2600 BCE. Reference to both Enmebaragesi of Kish and his successor in the Epic of Gilgamesh has led to speculation that Gilgamesh himself may have been a king of Uruk. Lagash in particular is directly from archaeological artifacts dating from c.2500 BCE. The SKL is important to the Bronze Age chronology of the ancient near east, the fact that many of the dynasties listed reigned simultaneously from varying localities makes it difficult to reproduce a strict linear chronology.
The following extant ancient sources contain the SKL, the Apkullu-list, Dynastic Chronicle, Scheil dynastic tablet, California Tablet, WB62, the last two sources are a part of the “Weld-Blundell collection” donated by Herbert Weld Blundell to the Ashmolean Museum. WB62 is a clay tablet, inscribed only on the obverse. It is the oldest dated source containing the list, WB444 in contrast is a unique inscribed vertical prism, dated c.1817 BCE, although some scholars prefer c.1827 BCE. The mythological antediluvian section of the SKL has the following entry, shea suggests that Alulim was a contemporary of the Biblical figure Adam (whose name and character may have been derived from Adapa of ancient Mesopotamian religion. In a chart of antediluvian generations in both Babylonian and Biblical traditions, professor William Wolfgang Hallo associated Alulim with Adapa, the earliest known use of the name Adam as a genuine name in historicity is Adamu
27th century BC
The 27th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2700 BC to 2601 BC.2700 BC-2660 BC, Early Dynastic period ended in Ancient Egypt. This period includes 1st and 2nd Dynasties, C.2700 BC, Merit-Ptah is worlds first female physician mentioned by name. C.2700 BC, Old Kingdom started in Ancient Egypt,2686 BC, End of Second Dynasty, start of Third Dynasty. C.2685 BC, Bull lyre, from the tomb of Queen Puabi and it is now in University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. C.2681 BC – c.2662 BC, Reign of Djoser, Pharaoh of Egypt, C.2667 BC, Pharaoh Djoser starts to rule. C.2648 BC, Pharaoh Djoser dies,2630 BC –2611 BC, Vizier of Egypt, constructs the Pyramid of Djoser 2613 BC, Egypt—End of Third Dynasty, start of Fourth Dynasty. C.2613 BC –2494 BC, The Great Sphinx at Giza is built, C.2601 BC – c.2515 BC, Great Pyramids at Giza are built for Menkaure and Khufu. C.2697 BC, The Yellow Emperor starts to reign in China, C.2640 BC, The cultivation and weaving of silk starts to be a closely guarded secret in China.
C.2685 BC, Bull lyre, from the tomb of Queen Puabi and it is now in University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 2627 BC –2000 BC, Construction of the Caral metropolis in Peru 2600 BC, the civilization began using the mature Indus script for its writing system. 2600 BC, End of the Early Dynastic II Period and the beginning of the Early Dynastic IIIa Period in Mesopotamia,2700 BC, Mesoamericans begin to plant and domesticate corn. 2900 BC –2334 BC, Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period, first Pharaoh of the Third dynasty of Egypt Imhotep, Vizier of Egypt and architect Merit Ptah, chief physician in Egypt
29th century BC
The 29th century BC is a century which lasted from the year 2900 BC to 2801 BC. c.2900 BC, Beginning of the Early Dynastic Period I in Sumer. C.2900 BC –2400 BC, Sumerian pictographs evolve into phonograms,2900 BC –2334 BC, Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period. C.2900 BC –2600 BC, Votive statues from the Square Temple of Eshnunna were made, one of them is now in the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. 2897 BC, Hùng Vương established the Hồng Bàng Dynasty in Vietnam,2890 BC, Pharaoh Qaa died. End of First Dynasty, start of Second Dynasty,2880 BC, Estimated germination of the Prometheus Tree c.2874 BC, The 365-day calendar year was installed in ancient Egypt, with fixed lunar months of 30 days +5 epagomenal days. 2852 BC, The beginning of the period of the Three August Ones, possibly causing the Burckle crater and Fenambosy Chevron. Ur becomes one of the richest cities in Sumer
Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its states, urban organization, works of art. Among the centers of power emerged, the most notable were those of Pylos, Midea in the Peloponnese, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in Argolid, to which the culture of this era owes its name. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant and Italy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language, Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems. At the head of society was the king, known as wanax. Various theories have proposed for the end of this civilization. Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have suggested.
The Mycenaean period became the setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology. The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is generally termed as the Helladic period by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece. This period is divided into three subperiods, The Early Helladic period was a time of prosperity with the use of metals, the Middle Helladic period faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type dwellings and cist grave burials. Finally, the Late Helladic period roughly coincides with Mycenaean Greece, the transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean. Moreover, it revealed that the bearers of Mycenaean culture were ethnically connected with the populations that resided in the Greek peninsula after the end of this cultural period. Various collective terms for the inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece were used by Homer in his 8th century BC epic, the Iliad, in reference to the Trojan War. The latter was supposed to have happened in the late 13th – early 12th century BC, Homer used the ethnonyms Achaeans and Argives, to refer to the besiegers.
These names appear to have passed down from the time they were in use to the time when Homer applied them as terms in his Iliad. There is an reference to a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B records in Knossos, Crete dated to c.1400 BC
25th century BC
The 25th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2500 BC to 2401 BC. c.2900 BC –2334 BC, Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period. C.2500 BC, Rice was first introduced to Malaysia c.2500 BC, C.2500 BC, Assyria is established. C.2500 BC, Cylinder seal from Sumer and its impression are made and it is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. C.2500 BC, Excavation and development of the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni at Paola, Malta, C.2500 BC, Valley Temple of Khafra, Giza, is built. C.2500 BC, Khafra from Giza Valley, Temple of Khafra is made and it is now kept in Egyptian Museum, Cairo. C.2500 BC, People in Peru rely on fish, C.2500 BC, Skara Brae is abandoned after approximately 600 years of occupation. C.2500 BC –2000 BC, Mohenjo-daro is about 7 square miles in size and has a population of c.20,000 to 50,000, C.2494 BC, End of Fourth Dynasty, start of Fifth Dynasty in Egypt. C.2494 BC –2345 BC, Sculptors at work, relief from Saqqara and it is now at Egyptian Museum, Egypt.
C.2494 BC –2345 BC, The Seated Scribe and it is now in Musée du Louvre, Paris. 2492 BC, Traditional date for the foundation of Armenia by Hayk. c.2450 BC, End of the Early Dynastic IIIa Period. C.2450 BC, Kish is lost to Hamazi tribesmen of the Kurdistan mountains, C.2410 BC, By this time, kings in Sumer have ceased to be automatically high priests of the city deity. Infiltration and conquest of Mesopotamia by ancient Semitic-speaking peoples begins, C.2400 BC–2200 BC, Construction of Stonehenge Megalithic culture begins to spread through Europe and the western Mediterranean. Earliest signs of Corded Ware culture from the Caucasus, southeastern Spain is settled from the Mediterranean, by people using Prehistoric Egyptian-style pottery. Amorites and Canaanites occupy Syria and Lebanon,2492 BC—Hayk founds Armenia 2491 BC—Mythical Chinese Emperor Zhuanxu 2490 BC—Menkaure is Pharaoh. 2465 BC—Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, Userkaf is Pharaoh 2458 BC—Sahure is Pharaoh 2446 BC—Neferirkare Kakai is Pharaoh 2426 BC—Shepseskare is Pharaoh c.
Its heartland lay in the Indus River in Pakistan, but settlements spread as far as the Makran coast, Afghanistan, eastern Punjab and Saurashtra. They included cities like Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Dholavira, ports like Lothal, Sutkagen-dor and Sokhta Koh and they used irrigation to farm and constructed cities. The two main cities had sewage systems, trade tokens, and hieroglyphs, there were even baths at one of the villages, besides the great baths of brick in each city
History of Mesopotamia
While in the Paleolithic and early Neolithic periods only parts of Upper Mesopotamia were occupied, the southern alluvium was settled during the late Neolithic period. Mesopotamia has been home to many of the oldest major civilizations, entering history from the Early Bronze Age, Mesopotamia literally means between rivers in ancient Greek. The oldest known occurrence of the name Mesopotamia dates to the 4th century BC, it was more generally applied to all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but almost all of Iraq and southeastern Turkey. The neighbouring steppes to the west of the Euphrates and the part of the Zagros Mountains are often included under the wider term Mesopotamia. A further distinction is made between Upper or Northern Mesopotamia and Lower or Southern Mesopotamia. Upper Mesopotamia, known as the Jezirah, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad, Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf.
In modern scientific usage, the term Mesopotamia often has a chronological connotation. It is usually used to designate the area until the Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD, with Arabic names like Syria, two types of chronologies can be distinguished, a relative chronology and an absolute chronology. The former establishes the order of phases, periods and reigns, in archaeology, relative chronologies are established by carefully excavating archaeological sites and reconstructing their stratigraphy – the order in which layers were deposited. In general, newer remains are deposited on top of older material, absolute chronologies are established by dating remains, or the layers in which they are found, through absolute dating methods. These methods include radiocarbon dating and the record that can provide year names or calendar dates. By combining absolute and relative dating methods, a framework has been built for Mesopotamia that still incorporates many uncertainties. In this framework, many prehistorical and early historical periods have been defined on the basis of culture that is thought to be representative for each period.
These periods are named after the site at which the material was recognized for the first time, as is for example the case for the Halaf, Ubaid. When historical documents become widely available, periods tend to be named after the dominant dynasty or state, examples of this are the Ur III and Old Babylonian periods. While reigns of kings can be securely dated for the 1st millennium BC, there is a large error margin toward the 2nd. Despite problems with the Middle Chronology, this chronological framework continues to be used by many recent handbooks on the archaeology, a study from 2001 published high-resolution radiocarbon dates from Turkey supporting dates for the 2nd millennium BC that are very close to those proposed by the Middle Chronology. This transition has been documented at sites like Abu Hureyra and Mureybet, Jarmo Samarra culture Halaf culture The Fertile Crescent was inhabited by several distinct, flourishing cultures between the end of the last ice age and the beginning of history
The Copper Age was originally defined as a transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The archaeological site of Belovode on the Rudnik mountain in Serbia contains the worlds oldest securely dated evidence of copper smelting from 5000 BCE, the multiple names result from multiple recognitions of the period. Originally, the term Bronze Age meant that either copper or bronze was being used as the hard substance for the manufacture of tools. In 1881, John Evans, recognizing that the use of copper often preceded the use of bronze and he did not include the transitional period in the tripartite system of Early and Late Bronze Age but placed it at the beginning outside of it. He did not, present it as a fourth age, in 1884, Gaetano Chierici, perhaps following the lead of Evans, renamed it in Italian as the Eneo-litica, or Bronze-stone transition. The phrase was never intended to mean that the period was the one in which both bronze and stone were used. The Copper Age features the use of copper, excluding bronze, litica simply names the Stone Age as the point from which the transition began and is not another -lithic age.
Subsequently, British scholars used either Evanss Copper Age or the term Eneolithic, around 1900, many writers began to substitute Chalcolithic for Eneolithic, to avoid the false segmentation. It was that the misunderstanding began among those who did not know Italian, the -lithic was seen as a new -lithic age, a part of the Stone Age in which copper was used, which may appear paradoxical. Today Copper Age and Chalcolithic are used synonymously to mean Evanss original definition of Copper Age, there was an independent invention of copper and bronze smelting first by Andean civilizations in South America extended by sea commerce to the Mesoamerican civilization in West Mexico. The literature of European archaeology, in general, avoids the use of Chalcolithic, the Copper Age in the Middle East and the Caucasus began in the late 5th millennium BCE and lasted for about a millennium before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age. The transition from the European Copper Age to Bronze Age Europe occurs about the same time, an archaeological site in Serbia contains the oldest securely dated evidence of coppermaking from 7,500 years ago.
In Serbia, an axe was found at Prokuplje, which indicates that humans were using metals in Europe by 7,500 years ago. Knowledge of the use of copper was far more widespread than the metal itself, the European Battle Axe culture used stone axes modeled on copper axes, even with imitation mold marks carved in the stone. Ötzi the Iceman, who was found in the Ötztal Alps in 1991, examples of Chalcolithic cultures in Europe include Vila Nova de São Pedro and Los Millares on the Iberian Peninsula. Pottery of the Beaker people has found at both sites, dating to several centuries after copper-working began there. The Beaker culture appears to have copper and bronze technologies in Europe. The term Chalcolithic is not generally used by British prehistorians, who disagree whether it applies in the British context, in Bhirrana, the earliest Indus civilization site, copper bangles and arrowheads were found
Ochre Coloured Pottery culture
The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture is a 2nd millennium BC Bronze Age culture of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is a contemporary of and successor to the Indus Valley Civilization, the OCP marked the last stage of the North Indian Bronze Age and was succeeded by the Iron Age black and red ware culture and the painted gray ware culture. Early specimens of the ceramics found near Jodhpura, Rajasthan date from the 3rd millennium. The culture reached the Gangetic plain in the early 2nd millennium, recently Archaeological Survey of India discovered copper axes and some piece of pottery in its exacavation at Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Ochre Coloured Pottery culture has potential to be called as a proper civilisation something like Harrapan civilisation, the term copper hoards refers to different assemblages of copper-based artefacts in the northern areas of the Indian Subcontinent that are believed to date from the 2nd millennium BC. Initially, the copper hoards were known mostly from the Ganges-Yamuna doab, characteristic hoard artefacts from southern Haryana/northern Rajasthan include flat axes, double axes, and antenna-hilted swords.
The doab has a related repertory, artefacts from the Chota Nagpur area are very different, they seem to resemble ingots and are votive in character. The raw material may have derived from a variety of sources in Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha. Some scholars regard the OCP culture as late or impoverished Harappan culture, V. N. Misra regards the OCP as only a final and impoverished stage of the Late Harappan culture and designates this phase as Degenerate Harappan. Together with the Cemetery H culture and the Gandhara Grave culture, kallur archaeological site Yule, P. Metalwork of the Bronze Age in India, Munich, C. H. Beck, ISBN 3-406-30440-0 Yule, P. Hauptmann, A. Hughes, the Copper Hoards of the Indian Subcontinent, Preliminaries for an Interpretation, Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz, pp.36, 193–275, ISSN 0076-2741 Gupta, S. P
Cycladic civilization is an Early Bronze Age culture of the Cyclades, Greece, in the Aegean Sea, spanning the period from approximately 3200–2000 BC. These figures have been stolen from burials to satisfy the Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century, only about 40% of the 1,400 figurines found are of known origin, since looters destroyed evidence of the rest. Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala, which showed signs of copper-working, each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities. The chronology of Cycladic civilization is divided into three sequences, Early and Late Cycladic. The early period, beginning c.3000 BC segued into the archaeologically murkier Middle Cycladic c.2500 BC, by the end of the Late Cycladic sequence there was essential convergence between Cycladic and Minoan civilization. There is some tension between the systems used for Cycladic civilization, one cultural and one chronological.
Interest lagged, but picked up in the mid-20th century, sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose. The context for many of these Cycladic Figurines has thus been mostly destroyed, another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c.3300 and 2000 BC, when it was submerged in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. Excavations at Knossos on Crete reveal an influence of Cycladic civilization upon Knossos in the period 3400 to 2000 BC as evidenced from pottery finds at Knossos, Cycladic art Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art History of the Cyclades