The region, which is spread over the region within the boundaries of Eskişehir, Kütahya and Afyon provinces and contains traces of the Phrygian civilization, is called the Phrygian Valleys.
Phrygian Valley is known as the 2nd Cappadocia and there are very important churches and king tombs. In the village of Ayazini, which is known to have been used as an important settlement since the Phrygians period, in the valley, family and single-person rock tombs belonging to the Roman and Byzantine periods, churches and rock settlements of the Byzantine period, and the cistern in which the rock mass was carved and turned into a settlement. Avdalaz Castle is located.
Phrygia is the ancient name of the region between the Sakarya River and the upper extremities of the Büyük Menderes. This name came from the Phrygians who came from the Balkans and settled in this region.
The Phrygians first settled in the Bithynia region and dominated the west of Central Anatolia between the 12th and 7th centuries BC. But the new wave of immigration pushed the Phrygians further inland. The Phrygians first settled around the Sakarya River, then in the upper valleys of Gediz and Büyük Menderes in the west and Kızılırmak and Tuz Gölü in the east. Some of the Phrygians advanced to Burdur Lake, Erciyes Plateau and Yeşilırmak Valley.
The original Phrygians who took the city of Gordion as their capital in the west were Gordios as their first king. The Phrygians united with the Urartians and fought against the Assyrians. Its heyday is between 9th and 8th BC. century Phrygians, captured almost all of the Hittite lands. The legendary king Midas, son of Gordios, who came to power in 7 BC, chose to deal with the Assyrians. During the Midas period, besides the capital Gordium, Midas City and Pessinus were also very developed.
The Cimmerians, who entered Anatolia from the Caucasus towards 7 BC, advanced as far as Gordium, the capital of the Phrygians. They took the city and burned it. It is said that in the face of this defeat, King Midas killed himself by drinking ox blood.
The borders of the region
In Strabo, in the 1st century AD, part of Phrygia is referred to as Great Phrygia, that is (Phrygia Magna); this is the land where Midas reigned in the early period and then partly occupied by the Galatians. The part on Hellespontos and around Olympos is called Little Phrygia, that is (Phrygia Epictetus). It was used to separate the region called Phrygia Magna or Hellespontos Phrygia (located in the Troas and Mysia regions) from the original Phrygia, which means Great Phrygia in Latin.
Phrygia Epictetus means "additionally acquired, additionally conquered Phrygia." It was called the northwestern part of Phrygia, which was rescued by the Pergamon kings and joined their country. Aezanis, Nakoleia, Kotiaeum, Midaeium and Dorylaeum Phrygia are the major cities of Epictetus. In addition, Strabon showed Kadoi, which is considered to belong to Mysia, among these cities. Phrygia is located in Epictetus and in the part called Phrygia Paroreia, the part of Phrygia along Pisidia and the parts around Amorium, Eumeneia, Synnada and the largest cities of Phrygia, Laodikeia and Apameia. Adjacent to these are towns and other cities include Aphrodisias, Kolossae, Themisonium, Synaos, Metropolis and Apollonias; further away from these are the cities of Peltae, Tabai, Eukarpeia and Lysias. It is mentioned in Strabo as follows: “Phrygia Paroreia has a kind of mountain range extending from east to west, at its foothills lies a wide plain on both sides and there are cities nearby; to the north is Philomelion and Antiokheia near Pisidia ”.
Before 400 AD, for a short time, Phrygia was divided into two by the Romans, one called Phrygia Prima (First Phrygia) and the other Phrygia Secunda (Second Phrygia). After 400 AD, the first was called Pacatiana, the second Saluratis. The part that includes the southern half of Afyon province and the northern half of Denizli province is called "Phrygia Pacatiana". The remaining part was called "Phrygia Salutaris". This included the northern half of Afyon province and the immediate surroundings of Kütahya.
Social and economic life
The Phrygian State was ruled by a king. But its land is thought to be under the control of priests. According to ancient Greek documents, the Phrygians were engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. In these documents, the Phrygians' feeding large herds, especially horse breeding, and the productivity of their vineyards and gardens are praised. The Phrygians who settled in the cities of the collapsed Hittite State lived in the lands that include today's Ankara, Eskişehir, Afyonkarahisar, Kütahya, Çorum and Yozgat. By establishing a road network in Anatolia, the Assyrian and Luwian states in the east entered into trade relations with the Aegean civilizations on the Aegean coast.
Phrygian art and culture
Remains of Phrygians were found in ancient settlements, Midas, Ayazini, Aslantaş, Yazılıkaya, Gordion, Pazarlı, Alisar Mound, Alacahöyük and Boğazköy. The Phrygians living in these old Hittite settlements were influenced by the Hittite civilization and created a strong civilization themselves. Phrygian art bears the traces of Urartu, Assyrian and Old Aegean civilizations as well as the Hittites. Phrygians decorated the rock monuments with various human and animal motifs. They decorated the walls of the temples they built for the goddess Cybele with terracotta plates.
The most important product of Phrygian architecture and engineering is the castle in the capital Gordion, built in the 8th century BC. The castle survived until the 4th century BC. The castle had a monumental castle gate. Inside the castle, there were rectangular structures called megaron and the kingdom palace. There were pebble stone mosaic floors inside the buildings. Phrygians are the inventors of this ornamental laying method. They were also advanced in mining and woodworking. During the excavations, bronze plates with reel handles, cauldrons, gold, silver and bronze spring hooked pins, clothing belts from precious metals, buckles and richly decorated textile products, animal figurines made of wood and ceramics and household items decorated with geometric patterns were found. It is seen that the technology they used in the production of safety pins (fibula) was much more advanced compared to that period. Phrygians were very adept at weaving. The reason why thousands of years old motifs in Anatolian rugs and other Turkish states are also present in Phrygian motifs has not been solved today. It is known that the Phrygians were also advanced in the field of music and developed many musical instruments.
The most important feature of Phrygian culture is the tumuli. These are artificial tombs made between the 8th century BC and the first half of the 6th century BC. Their number is around a hundred. These structures were not seen in Anatolia before the Phrygians. Probably the Phrygians continued their burial traditions in Europe when they settled in Phrygia. The chamber tomb inside the tumuli was built on the main floor.
Written documents of the Phrygians date from the period between the 8th century BC and the 4th century BC. Since the number of written texts obtained so far is small and their content is short, they have not been fully resolved. However, the Phrygians spoke an Indo-European origin language.