Ancient Cities of Turkey

Ancient Cities of Turkey
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  • Yayınevi

    : YEM Yayın


    :Yaşar Yılmaz

    Baskı No

    : 1

    Baskı Tarihi

    : Ocak 2014


    : İngilizce


    : 9786054793235

    3 iş gününde kargoya verilir

İlginizi çekebilecek ürünler

Because Anatolia and Thrace have historically served as land bridges joining Europe and Asia, these areas today enjoy an abundance of ancient and antique city sites. One would be hard-pressed to find any other plce that has such magnificent and unique historical remnants. Dating to 9600 BC, Göbekli Tepe, the world's oldest site yet discovered site, is located in Eastern Anatolia, while the antique cities built in the years of 2000 BC by the Hatti and the Hittites are dotted across Central Anatolia, and the most famous antique cities of the classical period are located along Anatolia's Aegean coasts.

While visiting the antique cities, one can easily find traces of all the historical periods of Anatolia, including the Luvian-Pelagas, who are considered to be the forerunners of all the peoples settled on this land, to the Hittities, the Macedonians, the Roman, the Byzantines, and the Seljuks to the Ottomans.

This book presents its readers with118 ancient cities, all derived from the inventorybuilt on Yaşar Yılmaz's 3,5 year of visits to, and careful photographingof, each of the sites. The photographs are further enchanced by brief, but satisfying, descriptions of the sites compiled from historical resources. Information is provided on the most significant monuments and ruins that once formed the urban core of each site, including their market places, fountains, theaters, and baths, while historical personages and the unique social, cultural, economic, and political structures of each site are also discussed.

The book also provides an up-to-date road map and directions on how to find the sites.

The antique city sites have been arranged according to the unique topography of the land and in such a way that they can be visited in relatively short visits. These eight major regions begin with the Marmara region, and then continue on with the Aegean region (Aegean, Inland Aegean, Southwest Aegean), the Mediterranean region (Western Mediterranean, Central Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean) and finally the eight region (Central Anatolia and Western Black Sea).



Yaşar YILMAZ Hakkında


1974’te İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi’nden inşaat yüksek mühendisi olarak mezun oldu. 1975-1992 yılları arasında serbest olarak inşaat ve taahhüt işleri yaptı. İnşaat Mühendisleri Odası Yönetim Kurulu Üyeliği görevinde bulundu.

Mimarlık, grafik tasarım ve sanat gibi birbirinden farklı kategorilerde yüzlerce kitap için tıklayın!



Anatolia is quite rich in terms of ancient cities. Considering that Hittite cuneiform date back to the early 2000s BC, this means that we can refer to written sources that are around 4000 years old. Anatolia’s location as a bridge between Asia and Europe constitutes one of the major factors behind its historical wealth. The historical sites of surprising antiquity and diversity in this area are rarely to be found in other areas. Anatolia not only is home to the oldest built structure ever discovered in the world, in Göbekli Tepe, a structure dating back to 9600 BC, but also ancient Hattians and Hittite cities from the 3000-2000s BC in Central Anatolia, and the most famous cities of antiquity on the Aegean coasts. Prior to the excavations at Çatalhöyük, Mesopotamia had been believed to be the starting point of civilization. The discovery through the Çatalhöyük excavations that the “transition to settled life”, considered
a turning point for civilizations, took place here and the discovery of findings from the 9000s BC made us all proud to live in the same land as Çatalhöyük. It was here that the first people who came out of Africa established settlements, around the 7400s BC. Çatalhöyük is now included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

A visit to these ancient cities provides us with the possibilities of seeing the traces of the history of many civilizations, from the
Luwians-Pelasgians, considered the forefathers of the people of these lands, to the Hattians and the Hittites, from the Romans to the Eastern Romans (the Byzantines), and from the Seljuks to the Ottomans.

More than 150 ancient cities in Anatolia have survived to our day. This number is almost double that of the current cities of Anatolia.
In antiquity a settlement was only termed a “city” if, along with public institutions, it also had an urban nucleus consisting of a marketplace, a fountain, a theater, a school and a bathhouse. In the absence of these structures a settlement was considered a town or a village, rather than a city. These prerequisite structures played an important role in the development of urban culture. We too take into consideration such structures when we distinguish ancient cities from other settlements.

Most of the cities that have survived to our day date to the Roman period. The Romans repaired some cities built before their time and enlarged and modified others, in line with their advanced engineering knowledge. Apart from the Seljuk and Republican periods, the Roman period represented that period in Anatolia when most public works took place. Roman interest in Anatolia in a sense resembles Ottoman interest in Arabia. The Ottomans carried out unilateral public works in Arabia without either subjecting it to tributes or to levy because of their religious belief that was of Arabic origin. Similarly, the belief that a hero from Troia (Aeneas) founded the city of Rome constituted the primary reason for the special importance that the Romans attached to Anatolia. Anatolia occupied a privileged position in the eyes of Roman rulers who believed that that their origins lay in Anatolia. Moreover, they were also aware of the strategic importance of Anatolia’s rich natural resources in terms of keeping Syria, Palestine and Egypt under their control. As a result they founded new cities in Anatolia and repaired old cities in line with their advanced engineering skills. It is thus that the Anatolian cities that have survived to our day all display traces of the Roman period and it is obvious that, even if they were founded before the Roman period, they were subsequently Romanized.

The Anatolian cultural legacy, which includes so many ancient cities, is largely due to contributions of such indigenous and diverse peoples as the Lydians, the Phrygians, the Lycians, the Mysians, the Karians, the Cappadocians and the Urartians and it is thus that the rich and original works and cultural diversities of each region should also be considered and studied. The Sumerian culture to the southeast, the Asian culture to the east, through the Persians, and the Egyptian culture to the south, by sea, have all made major contributions to Anatolia’s cultural wealth.
A number of different cultures that reached Anatolia merged and formed a synthesis in the early stages of history, emerged in the dawn of contemporary humanity, and resulted in the development of people who still influence our daily lives. Among hundreds of thinkers we can cite the great Milesian mathematician and physicist, Thales-Pythagoras;
the Ephesian founder of dialectic philosophy, Heraclitus; the Smyrnaean Homer; and the father of history from Halicarnassus, Herodotus. Although indigenous languages such as Karian and Lycian have disappeared, their works have survive to our day thanks to their copies in Hellenic, which became widespread after Alexander.

The Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, which is a continuation of the architectural form of the Haghia Sophia built close to one thousand years earlier, constitutes an example of how cultures in this area assume previous heritages. We are also able to witness a similar continuation in place names. Most place names of Hittite origin in Anatolia have been internalized and continue to be used by the people of Anatolia. For example, we see that the Hittite Anzila was known as Zela in Roman times and is now called Zile; the Roman Pergamon is now called Bergama, the Saroz River is known as Sar›z, Ancyra as Ankara, Caesarea as Kayseri and Mylasa as Milas, and thousands of other names have been preserved for hundreds of years.

We should also remember that the Lycian cities in southwest Anatolia formed federal, democratic structures –though not in the current sense– hundreds of years before Christ and that the principles underlying the foundations of places like Patara, Tlos, Cibyra and Oenoanda inspired the USA’s federal structure.

We know that people in antiquity built their cities on mountain peaks that were difficult for an enemy to access, while in the period of empires they built in plains where it was easier to take security precautions.
Cities built out of necessity on rugged, barren mountain peaks were mostly isolated from water sources. Many of these ancient cities, including Selge, Sillyon, Aegae and Termessos, show us how water reached these steep sites, how solutions were found that provided cities with water for many months, and how rain water was preserved in specially insulated wells without wasting a single drop. Considering that water sources are rapidly being wasted, it is obvious that we could learn a lot from these cities. The heating techniques and the degree of sophistication of the sewage systems used in Ephesus, Perge and Phaselis should also not be disregarded.

The way cities were planned and laid out, which began in Anatolia
a long time ago, both changed and developed during the Roman period. Urban areas dedicated to commerce, education, housing and the public were planned in advance. Miletus, Priene and Cnidus were among the first cities to implement the grid plan, where streets cut each other at right angles (the Hippodamus plan), a plan that continues to be used frequently by urban planners even today. In addition to temples and marketplaces (agora), theaters also occupied an important place in antique city plans. The construction of theaters even in those cities built on steep mountain peaks derived from the people’s perception that theater constituted a means of public education. Besides a site for the staging of festivities, banquets, collective announcements and pantomime shows, open air theaters were also used for performances by traveling performers. In theaters one can see the changes made to accommodate the gladiator fights and wild animal shows that became so popular in major city theaters during Roman times. Therefore, when visiting archaeological sites, one should pay attention to the fact that the orchestra edges of some theaters were raised via walls.

In the rich, nomadic ancient city culture of Anatolia, attention should also be paid to the differences seen in those structures built in the period dominated by polytheist religions, and those built under monotheist religions. The magnificent products of the polytheist period were not able to maintain their former glories when Anatolia came under the domination of monotheist religions. This was only natural: the dogmatic and conservative aspect of monotheist religions changed the social life of cities and brought about the destruction of many structures, starting with temples and theaters. An attentive visitor will notice the difference between the elaborate structures of the polytheist Roman period and the superficiality of the monotheist Eastern Roman period, when dogmas replaced rationality and engineering.

Visitors to our ancient cities will understand by looking at the layout of the cities, the choice of venue location, the architectural elements and sculptural details visible among the ruins what was produced thousands of years ago by people living in these lands. I hope that each and every curious visitor entering an ancient city will be changed by the visit.


Yaşar Yılmaz

Bodrum, August 2013





A1  Alexandria Troas  

A2  Antandros  

A3  Apollonia ad Rhyndacum  

A4  Assos 

A5  Bizye  

A6  Blados 

A7  Constantinople  

A8  Cyzikus  

A9  Nicaea  

A10 Nicomedeia  

A11 Parion 

A12 Perinthos  

A13 Troia (Troy)  



B1  Aegae  

B2  Amyzon  

B3  Arpasa  

B4  Ephesos  

B5  Erythrai  

B6  Clazomenae  

B7  Cyme  

B8  Magnesia ad Meandrum  

B9  Mastaura  

B10 Metropolis  

B11 Miletus  

B12 Notion  

B13 Nysa  

B14 Orthosia  

B15 Pergamon  

B16 Perperene  

B17 Phocaea  

B18 Piginda  

B19 Priene 

B20 Sardes  

B21 Smyrna  

B22 Temnos  

B23 Teos  

B24 Tralleis  


C1  Aizanoi  

C2  Aphrodisias  

C3  Blaundos  

C4  Hierapolis  

C5  Celaenae  

C6  Laodiceia  

C7  Philadelphia  

C8  Tripolis  



D1  Alabanda  

D2  Alinda  

D3  Amos  

D4  Didyma  

D5  Euromos  

D6  Halicarnassus  

D7  Hyllarima  

D8  Iassos 

D9  Castabos  

D10 Caunos 

D11 Cedrai  

D12 Cnidus  

D13 Cyon  

D14 Labraunda  

D15 Lagina  

D16 Latmos  

D17 Mylasa  

D18 Stratonicea 



E1  Antiphellos  

E2  Apollonia  

E3  Arycanda  

E4  Balboura  

E5  Boubon  

E6  Idebessos  

E7  Cadianda  

E8  Cibyra  

E9  Xanthos  

E10 Kyaneai  

E11 Letoon  

E12 Limyra  

E13 Myra  

E14 Nisa  

E15 Oenoanda 

E16 Olympos  

E17 Patara  

E18 Phaselis  

E19 Pinara  

E20 Rhodiapolis 

E21 Sidyma  

E22 Simena  

E23 Telmessos  

E24 Termessos  

E25 Tlos  



F1  Adada  

F2  Pisidian Antioch  

F3  Aspendos  

F4  Kremna  

F5  Lyrbe-Seleuceia  

F6  Milyas  

F7  Perge  

F8  Sagalassos  

F9  Seleuceia Sidera  

F10 Selge  

F11 Side  

F12 Sillyon  

F13 Vasada  



G1  Anavarza  

G2  Anemourion  

G3  Apandos  

G4  Diocaesarea  

G5  Elaeussa-Sebaste  

G6  Kastabala  

G7  Comana  

G8  Magarsa  

G9  Mampsista  

G10 Soli  



H1  Amastris  

H2  Ancyra  

H3  Anzilia  

H4  Hattusha  

H5  Kieros  

H6  Pessinous  

H7  Teion  




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