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Encyclopedia > Asia Minor

Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, "rising of the sun" or "East"; compare "Orient" and "Levant," by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana "mother" and dolu "filled"), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to the Asian portion of Turkey.

Asia Minor lies east of the Bosporus, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean (See also Map of Turkey).

Because of its strategic location at the intersection of Asia and Europe, Anatolia has been a cradle for several civilizations since prehistoric ages, with neolithic settlements such as Catal Höyük (pottery neolithic), Cayönü (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A to pottery Neolithic), Nevali Cori (PPN B), Hacilar (pottery neolithic), Göbekli Tepe (PPN A) and Mersin. The settlement of Troy starts in the Neolithic, but continues up into the Iron age.

Major civilizations and peoples that have settled in or conquered Anatolia include the Hattians, Luwians, Hittites, Phrygians, Cimmerians, Lydians, Persians, Celts, Tabals, Greeks, Armenians, Romans, Goths, Kurds, Byzantines, Seljuk Turks and Ottomans. These peoples belonged to many varied ethnic and linguistic traditions. Through recorded history, Anatolians have spoken both Indo_European and Semitic languages, as well as many languages of uncertain affiliation. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages have radiated. Other authors have proposed an Anatolian origin for the Etruscans of ancient Italy.

Today the inhabitants of Anatolia are mostly native speakers of the Turkish language, which was introduced with the conquest of Anatolia by Turkic peoples and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century. However, Anatolia remained multi-ethnic until the early 20th century (see Young Turks). A significant Kurdish ethnic and linguistic minority still exists in the southern regions.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Asia Minor (1102 words)
Toward the end of this period, Asia Minor was swept by the Phyrgians and the Hittite Empire was destroyed.
Asia Minor was now a permanent province of Rome and would remain so long after the fall of the west.
The new Roman province of Asia Minor was a land of prosperity and highly defined culture.
History of Anatolia - All About Turkey (585 words)
Asia Minor juts westward from Asia to within half a mile (800 meters) of Europe at the divided city of Istanbul, where two suspension bridges over the strait of Bosphorus link the two continents.
Asia Minor is also bordered by the Sea of Marmara on the northwest.
In about 2000 BC Asia Minor was in the hands of the Hittites, who migrated from the area east of the Black Sea.
  More results at FactBites »



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