The word derives from the Turkish Anadolu and describes the highlands between Lake Van and the Aegean Sea. The land lies within the zone of the Fertile Crescent, with enough winter rainfall to facilitate dry farming, and is home to various wild varieties of cereals that were domesticated as early as the 10th millennium B.C. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers both originate in the mountains of Anatolia, and their valleys formed a natural link to the lowlands of Mesopotamia. Neolithic sites, such as Catal Huyuk, Hacilar, and Cayonu, demonstrate the rich material culture of these settled communities of the seventh to sixth millennia B.C. The country had a wealth of metals, such as silver,gold, and copper, and third-millennium Bronze Age sites, such as Alaca Huyuk, show the considerable skills of local smiths and metalworkers. These metals were also the centerpiece of a lively tradewith Mesopotamia. In the early second millennium, merchants from the city-state of Assur established trade colonies throughout Anatolia, exchanging tin and textiles for silver.
   The Assyrians introduced cuneiform writing, which was subsequently adopted for the administrative needs of the Hittites, who established a state and eventually an empire in the early second millennium. It was a Hittite raid by king Mursili I that brought the First Dynasty of Babylonto an end. Thereafter the Hittites competed with Assyria, Mitanni, and Egypt over access to trade routes and territories in northern Mesopotamia and Syria, which involved intense diplomatic activity, as reflected in the Amarna letters, as well as violent confrontations in pitched battles. The general disruption and waves of unrest associated with the arrival of the Sea People in the 12th century led also to the collapse of the Hittite empire. In the first millennium, Anatolia was divided into many smaller states, subject to disruptive incursions from nomadic horse warrior tribes and the colonial policy of the Assyrian, the Babylonian, and the Persian empires.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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