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Paleolithic Age

 
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Paleolithic Age, also known to be the old stone age, begins somewhere between 2 million years ago and ends 10.000 years before our time. This time period marks the beginning of the existence of the ancestors of man.The early man in the Paleolithic age did not know to farm and raise crops but lived on picking up vegetables, fruit and on hunting. In search of the new food sources and to be able to hunt animals, he moved from place to place , and gathered in small groups. His dwelling was in rocky areas, under big rocks and in caves. In areas where this condition could not be met he made easy and primitive shelters out of wood. Around 40.000 BC he started making simple stone tools for hunting and protection purposes. Between 40.000 and 10.000 is the glacial age on earth. Not being able to move much due to the climate, the primitive man utilized the skin of the animals that he hunted by successfully carved stones. To make clothes he used pins made out of bones and saw animal skin covers for himself. During this hard time of survival , he was able to discover and to control fire and by doing so he happened to have passed an important step in his development which helped him be separated from the animals. In this same period the earliest notion of the need to believe in an other world or in a mightier power can also be traced. In the graves that were dug for the dead as simple holes he left food by the side of the deceased and this is interpreted to be his faith in afterlife. To sum up, the hard conditions of life in the glacial age led the early man develop better socially and technically. The passage from the very primitive man, namely Home Neanderthal, to the ancestor of the modern man, namely Home Sapiens who is dated to between 10.000 and 8.000 may also be considered in this period.In the last phases of the Paleolithic age the early man could make tools in order to make different new tools. The first works of art emerged in this era too: paintings made on cave the walls and various art objects such as low reliefs and figurines.The intellectual life of the man was beginning. Moreover, animal bones, teeth and shells the ornate objects demonstrate the first aesthetic concern in man.


The fact that in Paleolithic Age, the Asia Minor is extremely rich in fossils and fragments of human beings and animals, of stone, of bone and of vegetation, as well as of works of art reveals that Anatolian land was intensely inhabited during this period. The most important place in Anatolia where all the three phases; Upper, Middle and Lower in the Paleolithic Age can be seen, is the Karain Cave on the 30 km northwest of Antalya. In this respectively big cave, there are various living sections from each of the three phases of the Paleolithic Age. Among the finds are many carved stone and bone tools, moveable art objects, remains of the bones and teeth of Homo Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens, burnt and unburned animal and bread fossils. Karain cave in the Paleolithic Age is not a crucial excavation site only for Anatolia but also for the Near East.


Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age / 10000 - 8500 B.C.)
This period gives way to the most impressive development of the human kind New Stone Age. Middle Stone Age is a period of transition of the human from Old Stone Age to New Stone Age. Hunting and the collecting of plants continued to be the main supply of food, but the human began to store the food in storages for later consumption. Domestication of Animals is the main development of this period, we see the dog as domestic animal. From the wall paintings, we understand that the artistic qualifications of this period are almost equal to preceeding Old Stone Age, and a little level of development was achieved, probably the human has been busy with the invention of new things that had made their lives easier.


Neolithic Age (8000 - 5500 B.C.)
This period reveals a new step in the history of mankind with the development of the established and settled societies and production of food. Anatolia once again gives the most comprehensive sites in the world for this age with Çayönü, Hacılar, Çatalhöyük and Köşkhöyük excavation sites.


The Çayönü settlement which is not far from the city of Diyarbakır has been unearthed by the expedition teams under the leadership of Cambel, Braidwood, Mehmet Özdoğan, Wulf Schirmen and it is dated back to 7250 - 6750 B.C. In the middle of the settlement is a center and around it are monumental, rectangular structures and houses. The foundation of the structures is stone and above is sun-dried brick. The inhabitants of Cayonu are the first farmers of Anatolia. They raised sheep and goat, and domesticated dog. The woman figurines among the finds discovered are the earliest traces of the Mother Goddess cult.


The Hacılar Settlement, brought to the daylight by James Mellart, located on the 25 km southwest of Burdur, is dated back to 5700-5600 B.C. The walls and the floors of Hacilar houses which are made of mud-brick on stone foundations are lime mortared and red painted. Wooden poles for supporting flat roofs and ladders to suggest that some structures had two stories are discovered. In every house, there are goddess figurines made of clay, in standing and sitting postures. Different from other settlement areas, the dead are buried outside the cities. The pottery in Hacilar is well fired and comes in red, brown and yellow colors.


The Çatalhöyük settlement, on the 52 km southeast of Konya and north of the town of Çumra is, dated back to 6800-5000 B.C. and it is the most developed center of the Near East and the Aegean. The excavations have shown that the city with ten different settlement levels was built according to a designed plan. This is achieved by arranging the rectangular planned houses next to one another around the courtyards. There are no stone foundations in Çatalhöyük and all the houses carry flat roofs. Houses were made up of mud brick and they all were built according to the same ground plan. They have no doors. Instead the entrance to them is through windows on the ceilings by using portable ladders. The windows for air and light are placed on the topmost part of the walls near the roofs. The houses are composed of wide living rooms, storage rooms and kitchens. In the rooms there are seats and furnaces. The dead are buried under the seats in the houses after having been dried in the sun.The walls of the houses are decorated with bull heads and paintings. These paintings which signify the rituality in the community are placed in a corner in the houses rather than in a special separate location within the settlement area. Bull heads are formed in high reliefs, like statues, and some of them are made by the covering of original bullheads with clay. In the formation of the wall paintings, red, brown, black, white and pink dies on top of the gray mud brick are used. Among the motifs used are geometrical designs, flowers, stars, circles and in some parts depictions of life as well as human hands, deities, human figures, hunting scenes, bulls, birds, vultures, leopards, wild deer and pigs, lions and bears. A depiction of the eruption of a volcanic mountain ( very likely, the Mount Hasan, near Cappadocia) is the oldest known scenery painting.


In Çatalhöyük, we can also trace the early stages of farming. This is also accompanied with the worship of the Mother Goddess along with the holy animal, the bull. The Mother Goddess stands for fertility and multiplication of man. In the excavations carried in Hacılar and Çatalhöyük, hundreds of Mother Goddess statutes have been found. She, with her sexual organs in exaggeration is almost always depicted nude and lies down in the postures of crouching, and specially in the process of birth-giving . The fact that similarly designed Mother Goddess statues could also be found in the Near Eastern and Aegean cultures signifies the existence of matriarchal societies in these regions in the same time periods. The Goddess Kybele comes into sight around the 7000 B. C. ( Most of the finds from this period are on display in Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.


As for Köşkhöyük; during the excavations carried by Ugur Silistre in Köşkhöyük, near Niğde, ornate pottery pieces and statues have been discovered.


Chalcholithic Age (Copper Age / 5000 - 3000 B.C.)
In this period, in addition to stone tools copper pieces also come into sight. The need to change valuable goods (ceramics, textile) for both raw and shaped mines helped the trade develop, and this brought the exchange between peoples and the preparation of inventory listings with the beginning of communication. Symbols, hieroglyphs, writing with pictures, came into use. By the end of the 4000 BC cities emerged and the first steps of the human civilization were made.


Burdur-Hacılar level 5 (5500 B.C.) is the oldest site in Anatolia where metal objects are discovered. Regarding technique and forms; the handmade pottery production reached to an advanced level here and the single-colored, polished, ceramic pots were produced as an alternative to the metallic pots which were respectively more valuable. The surface of the pots is finely polished with a special technique to create a metallic effect.


One other important settlement area of the Chalcholithic period in Western Anatolia is the Beycesultan site, going back to 4000-3000 B.C., located on the 5 km southeast of town of Çivril in Denizli, excavated by Seton Lloyd. Here, some of the mud-brick structures with a rectangular plan look like long megaron houses (megaron is a long and narrow room that has a hearth in the center). Inside the structures are hearths, seats along the walls and storage. Here, in a pot, is discovered a collection of silver and copper rings, part of a dagger and metallic pins. The ceramic of this period has a background of gray, black and brown.


Canhasan site, on the 13 km northeast of Karaman town in Konya, unearthed by David French was a bridge between west and east Anatolia and Mesopotamia for trade and cultural exchange. Copper rings and bracelets are among the most important finds here. Anatolia which had the most advanced culture on earth during the Paleolithic period has lost its leadership in the Chalcolithic period to Mesopotamia and Egypt, after writing was discovered there Due to the fact that writing got to be used in Anatolia a thousands years later, the level of culture here could not go beyond that of Neolithic period primitive village, even though people were using metal in daily life.


Bronze Age (3000 - 1200 B.C.)
The Bronze period begins around 3000 in Anatolia, around 2500 in the Aegean and Crete, around 2000 in Europe. Bronze is obtained by mixing copper and tin (% 90 copper, % 10 tin). In this period apart from bronze tools other kinds such as copper, gold and electron, which is an alloy of natural gold and silver are also produced for using in religious ceremonies. The people in this period lived in cities surrounded with fortification walls. Houses are built in rectangular shapes on stone foundations with sundried brick walls and. Agriculture, animal husbandry, merchandise and mine production are the means of life.


Alacahöyük, 67 km to Yozgat city and 3 hours away from Ankara is the most advanced settlement area in Anatolia from this period. The rich graves discovered here are in shapes of regular stone rooms. The dead is put in the center of these rooms with gifts, in a posture that the knees are pulled up to the belly ( hocker position). Sacrificed and presented during the ceremony, bull heads and feet are left on top of the roofs. Goats and sheep are also sacrificed. They might have been served to the attendants at the funeral. The graves are thought to be used for many generations. Most of the gifts are composed of gold, silver, electron, bronze objects and decorative items such as diadems, necklaces, hairpins, bracelets, earrings made of precious stones like amber, rock crystal, etc. Bronze and gold weapons, sun discs, deer and bull figurines, goddess statues of religious services are invaluable works of art discovered here. For the first time in this period do we find bronze spear heads in Anatolia. They resemble very much to their counterparts in Mesopotamia and Syria which is an interesting point.


Another important place in the bronze age is Troy, Level 1. dated back to 2900-2500 B.C. This first city in Troy, now partly unearthed is wrapped up with a 90 meter wall. Houses are in megaron type again and the entrances are from the narrow sides. Walls are stone and set in the herring bone pattern. Troy, Level 2. is dated back to 2500-2000 B.C. It is built on top of Troy Level 1. The inhabitants of this level come from the Aegean and Balkans like those of the first level. It is also surrounded with walls but this time they are 20 meters longer. The expedition team uncovered a royal residence that belongs to a king on one of the hilltops. Heinrich Schlieman, the German businessman who dug the Trojan mound in 1870, discovered a treasury at this level of Troy 2. Knowing Homer's Iliad by heart, he was in search of King Priamos's treasury and for years he believed the treasury he had discovered at the site was so. In the last years of his life, however, he was going to learn that the treasury actually belonged to a different level, the level 2, thus, to a different time period.


The Anatolian Civilizations From 1200 B.C. To Present
There were major changes in Anatolia in the wake of the Aegean migrations, which took place at the end of he second millennium. This event brought - about the fall of the Hittite Empire and the first half of the 1st millennium B.C., late Hittites, Urartians and Phrygians, who had established kingdoms in different areas of Anatolia, took over control. At the same period, the Greek arrived in Western Anatolia, via islands, as a result of the disruptions caused by the Dorian Migrations. After settling in Western Anatolia, they unified with local people and established the foundations of the Ionian civilizations. In this way the first colony settlements were founded. This period is characterized by motifs drawn by compasses and is called the 'Protogeometric Age' (1100 - 950 B.C.). Then it's followed by the 'Geometric Age', represented with the alteration of round shaped motifs into angular ones.


The art, which has been always important in Ionia, had witnessed major developments, both in terms architectural and sculptural characteristics, under the oriental influences. The foundations of giant temples were established in this period. The anatomical characteristics of the human body were worked out more realistically on the sculptural work in comparison with the ones from protogeometric or geometric ages. Big marble statues were first made in 670 BC. and the painted pottery of the Eastern Greeks, which were decorated with animal friezes, continued to be produced under the vigorous influences of Anatolia.


The big sized pieces of art produced during the Archaic period, a continuation of the orientalising style, also establishes the characteristics of this style to a certain extent. The statues and the Ionian architecture of the Western Anatolian culture of this period established the infrastructure of 'Classical Age' of the Western Aegean.


There were Carian and Lycian civilizations in the southwestern Anatolia during 700 - 300 B.C. The rock tombs of these civilizations are the most distinguished traces which were left by them in this region of Anatolia. On the other hand, the control of central Anatolia was under the Lycian Kingdom and the center of the Kingdom was at Sardis. By extending their boundary up to Kızılırmak, they took over the control of Phrygians and owing to good relations with Ionian city-states; they also included Ephesus into their territory and became the most powerful state of the region. They minted the first metal coin in the seventh century B.C., and re-proved their importance.After Lydia was vanquished by the Persian Empire in 546 B.C., the civilizations in western Anatolia intermingled with Greek and Persian civilizations resulting in the creation of a Greco-Persian style. This situation was ended with the invasion of Anatolia by Alexander the Great, and a new period called 'Helenistic Age' started (330 - 30 B.C.). After the death of Alexander the Great, as a result of the internal struggles between his generals this powerful kingdom was shared by them, and most of Anatolia entered the rule of Pergamon King, western Anatolia entered the rule of Romans.


Anatolia, which became a part of the Roman Empire by means of a will, was Romanized by peace rather than war, and continued to preserve its own traditional cultural characteristics. These regional characteristics were dominant even in the most powerful periods of the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire split into two, the old Greek city 'Byzantion' became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (330 B.C.) and received the name of 'Constantinopolis' in honor of the name of the Emperor. Byzantine art is a mixture Roman art, which came into being in Anatolia with dominant regional characteristics, with the characteristics of Christianity. The Byzantium civilization had a life of nearly thousand years in the span of time between The 4th and 15th centuries.


The Oğuz Turks, who had been living at the west of transoxiana, accepted the Moslem religion in the 10th century and in order to spread it, they started raids to Byzantine territory. The Malazgirt Battle, which took place in 1071, opened the doors of Anatolia to Turks. The Seljuk Turks, who arrived in İznik and accepted it as their capital, turned to Anatolia to a province of the Great Seljuk State. After the collapse of the Great Seljuk State, the Anatolian Seljuk State was established and the capital was moved to Konya.


The Anatolian Seljuk State came to an end as a result of the Mongol invasions and Anatolia entered the rule of İlkanid Turks. For a spen of time it was governed by different Turkish rulers, then living in different regions in Anatolia. On the arrival of the Kayı Tribe of Oğuz Turks in Anatolia, the Seljuks Sultan showed the Söğüt area near Byzantine territory as a place for them to settle. Thus the foundations of an Empire, which would continue for 600 years was established. Expanding their borders, the descendants of Osman captured Bursa and made it the capital. After sometime they captured the Byzantine lands on Thrace and moved their capital to Edirne. In 1453 İstanbul became the capital and turned out to be a culture and art city. Ottoman art is a synthesis of the Turkish-Islamic art and Anatolian culture.


Towards the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire became very weak and thus occupied from four sides. In 1919 the Independence War started and in 1923 the Turkish Republic was declared

 
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