Anatolia means civilization. It is a geography where the firsts made history at the same time.
Understanding Anatolia might even mean understanding human beings because amazing times have been experienced in many fields that influenced humanity such as science, technology, medicine, literature, and so on in this territory. Here is a short exploration around Anatolia where the firsts that made history took place, and you will see that this is actually the beginning…
Signing for peace
Although Herodotus of Bodrum is accepted as the first historian, in reality, it is the Hittite King Mursili II. He explains everything from his king father’s rules to the flow of state life in detail in his annals. This is the first of its kind as a written record of history. The Kadesh Peace Treaty is the first written peace treaty in history. It was signed between Ramses II, the Egyptian pharaoh, and Hattusilis III, the Hittite King, after the Battle of Kadesh in Syria in 1285 BC. In addition, Queen Puduhepa of Anatolia is the first woman to place her signature next to her husband’s as his equal.
The first street to be illuminated regularly at nights is known to be Herod Street of Antakya in world history. Antakya used to be the third largest city of the world with its population of 750.000 in the 2nd century AD. The protected oil lamps positioned over the marble pillars that took place on two sides of the street used to provide continuous illumination.
Nature is an inheritance
The first ‘national park’ of human history is located in Anatolia. It is known that the region where today’s Manyas Bird Paradise is located called Paradeisos (paradise) by the Persian governors was placed under protection in 500 BC and a series of regulations were enforced to prevent pollution. The governor did not stop only at enforcing those regulations, he also had a sewer dug to prevent a possible waste water leakage to the lake.
Money, money, money!
The first known bank of the world is the Artemis Temple, located in the ancient city of Sardis near Manisa. The priests of the temple were the bank workers.
River and philosophy
Heraclitus was among the most famous of the nature philosophers. He was born in Ephesus in 550 BC and had lived there until his death. He had examined the previous theories of entity, and suggested that no entity did not occupy the same form all the time but kept changing its form continuously. His saying “No man ever steps in the same river twice” made him the father of dialectic and famous throughout history.
A life lesson from an animal
Aesop the first poet to become famous with his tales later called fables, making an edifying or cautionary point and often employing as characters animals that speak and act like humans, was born in Kyzikos (The Kapıdağ Peninsula, Erdek) in the 6th century BC.
The first seven churches of Christianity are located in Anatolia:
Smyrna (İzmir), Ephesus (İzmir- Selçuk-Efes), Laodikeia (Denizli-Goncalı), Sardis (Manisa-Salihli), Pergamum (İzmir- Bergama), Philadelphia (Manisa-Alaşehir) and Thyatira (Akhisar).
The path of water
The location that is where the principle of computational fluid was first applied to the architectural science in the world is Laodikeia. The rulers and the architects of the city had brought water to the city by using the principle of computational fluid 1500 years before Galileo.
From Manisa to Iran
The first known road network of the ancient period used to start from Sardis near Manisa and reached to Susa, located in today’s Iran and among the important cities of Persia, the biggest kingdom of the period. Built by the Persian, another section of the road that is dated 600 BC used to reach to the Aegean Sea. Said to exist 800 bridges, over 100 caravanserai and inns on this 9 meter wide giant commercial artery had a surface layer that reached up to 60cm. It was matchless at the time.
The city plan
The earliest city plan is found in a fresco dated 6200 BC located in Çatalhöyük, Konya-Çumra. The fresco that depicts the eruption of volcanic Mount Hasan is the first landscape painting of the world. It is possible to discover the first plans of the city’s architecture.
One of the two important libraries of the ancient period, one located in Bergama and the other in Alexandria of Egypt, was the Royal Library of Alexandria. The first book binding, the first use of parchment, codex and index order were realized in Bergama in history.
The first census
The first population census of history was taken in Anatolia during the reign of Augustus, the Roman Empire. Later, lectors had taken a census in Rome, taking advantage of their experience in Anatolia.
A revolution in law
If we consider that Magna Carta of the English is dated 1215 AD, we can tell that the Hittites and Anatolia was 2700 years ahead of them. ‘Personalizing punishment’ in the world history of law, Telepinu, who made history with his laws, was among the important Hittite kings.