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Ancient Civilizations of Anatolia

General information about history and periods of Anatolia and its ancient civilizations.

Paleolithic Period in Anatolia

The longest of the cultural periods temporally spans from the beginning of documented human activity through to 12,000BP. What we know from this age is that humans were using tools chipped from pebbles, flint, animal bones, wood, and any other potential material, while finding shelter in caves and other rock shelters as 'extended families-groups'. As hunter-gathers, they did not use any farming nor food cultivation techniques. Fire was being used to manipulate raw foods in cooking and heating, and also served as protection from predatory wildlife. The Palaeolithic age is categorised into three sub periods: Lower, Middle and Upper. The Epipalaeolithic phase relates to the start of human manipulation and control over nature, just before the advent of food cultivation.

Dursunlu, near Konya Akşehir in Central Anatolia is the oldest Lower Paleolithic site in Anatolia providing a date in nearly 1 million years BP.  In the Marmara Region the most significant Paleolithic site is Yarımburgaz cave where excavations have also been carried out. It consists of two cavities called lower and upper caves.The first place that comes to mind, when the subject is Paleolithic of Anatolia, is Karain Cave. Karain Cave plays a crucial role in the establishment of the Paleolithic chronology of Anatolia. This cave provides a cultural sequence of Lower, Middle, Upper and Epipaleolithic Ages that appear in deposits of a thickness for nearly 11. Üçağızlı Cave is the best site reflecting Upper Paleolithic Period in Anatolia. Located in the borders of Hatay Province in Southern Anatolia, the cave lies near the sea with an altitude of 18 m. The only place providing all stages of Anatolian Epipaleolithic Chronology is Öküzini Cave. It is located 1, 5 km northeast of Karain Cave. Another Epipaleolithic settlement excavated recently is Direkli Cave located in the vicinity of Kahramanmaraş.

Reference:, Taşkıran, Harun. “The Paleolithic and Epi-paleolithic of Anatolia.” Der Anschnitt (Beiheft) 31,(2016): 125-134.