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Anatolia in the Antiquities

Due to its unique location as a land bridge between continents, multitudes of cultures have inhabited the Anatolian peninsula throughout time, each one leaving its mark (see Map 2). Archeologists are still making discoveries, including settlements and artifacts dating from the Paleolithic Age, before 10,000 BC. Roughly in chronological order, known civilizations that called Anatolia home include the Hattians, Hurrians, Hittites, Luwians, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Greeks, Assyrians, Mitanni, Scythians, Cimmerians, Urartians, Carians, Commagene, Cilicians, Arameans, Kaskians, Mushki, Palaic, Corduene, Armenians, Romans, Colchians, Iberians, Georgians, Kurds, Seljuk Turks, Ottomans, and now modern Turks.

Settlements of note include Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey, which was featured in the June 2011 issue of National Geographic and which was determined to be one of the oldest religious temples (circa 10,000 BC). Another is Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic center (7,500 BC) designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Byzantium, which was established by Greeks around 660 BC, and which was later known as Constantinople and later still as Istanbul. The ancient city of Ephesus, site of one of Christendom’s Seven Churches, was where John the Apostle may have preached and where the Virgin Mary may have lived out her years.

Also of note is that Turkey is home to two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World [Mausoleum of King Mausolus at Halicarnassus (modern-day Bodrum) and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus]. Further, Turkey protects eleven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including: Troy; Hattusha the Hittite Capital; Cappadocia; and Çatalhöyük, and has submitted thirty-seven additional sites for UNESCO World Heritage site designation.

Map 2. Regions in Ancient Anatolia

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