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[Anatolian Civilizations] [Ancient civilisations]


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During the gradual collapse of the Hittite civilization, Phrygians who came from the West, namely Macedonia and crosses the Bosphorus, settled at the Valley of Sakarya River at first. Later on, they steadily spread over the East and they established a kingdom with Gordion (Polatli) as the capital. So far, however, no Phrygian foundling dating before 9th century BC has been founded in any of the Phrygian cities.

Phrygia, which was at the junction point of Anatolia’s oldest roads, constituted a crucial point between Aegean and Asia Minor states. Particularly in the 8th century BC, Anatolia became a vital point due to the fact that highway trade gained importance. The famous king of the Phrygians is Midas (738-694 BC). At the beginning of the 7th century BC, the Phrygian Kingdom was invaded by the Cimmerians, Gordion was gone to ruin, and the King Midas committed suicide (694 BC). However, the Phrygians rallied their strength and reconstructed Gordion. In the first half of the 6th century BC, under the Persian threat, the Phrygian civilization moved to the West and lived its second golden age between Afyon and Eskisehir. Although the Phrygians began to lose their political power in the 6th century BC, they existed at this region until the 2nd century BC.

The Phrygians lived in cities which were surrounded by city walls. They buried the dead into a wooden chamber with their precious goods, constructing an artificial mound filled with stones and soil at the top. The height of these mounds ranged from 5 to 50 metres. By examining these tomb foundlings, it can be understood that the Phrygians excelled in metalwork, weaving and embroidery. The geometric patterns prevalent in wooden, ceramic and rocky monuments have an authentic characteristic of their own.

There are many rocky monuments between Eskisehir and Afyon. There are geometric embellishments on the monuments. In the middle of the front, there are niches similar to doors and on some of the monuments; a relief of the queen with two lions is present in these niches. Kybele (Cybele) sacred places are generally built on rock cliffs since it was believed that the goddess was living in sacred places.

Kybele, who was worshiped from the very early Neolithic ages in Anatolia and was called Kubaba by the Hittites and the Luwians, was nature herself beyond being the goddess of nature for the Phrygians. They embraced this goddess to such an extent that they considered that all the states and kingdoms were hers. As a consequence of this, Kybele was regarded as a Phrygian goddess although she was a very deep-rooted Anatolian goddess.

The Phrygian pottery was very highly developed. Those who dwelled in the West of Kizilirmak and came there from Macedonia were using potteries which were mostly grey and black in colour and had a metallic gleam. Whereas, a multi-coloured type of pottery was prevalent in the East. Embellishments, whose contours are determined and whose interior parts are filled with spots and hatchings, are composed of lion, chamois, bull and eagle motifs.