Phrygians, which have an important place among Anatolian civilizations, are supposed to come to Anatolia as a result of the migration taking place when Illyrians forced the Thracian region. Phrygians, most probably passing into South Marmara through Thrace and the straits in the 1200s BC, then spread into the interior parts of the Middle and the West Anatolia. It is thought that the first time they emerged as a political community was in 800s-750s BC and they gained importance after 750 BC. Especially during the reign of their most famous king, Midas (725-695/675 BC), Phrygians could live up to a powerful kingdom which could have control over the whole Middle and West Anatolia.

Phrygians, regarded to have an Indo-European origin, formed a particular culture by taking on both Hellenic and late Hittite influences and became more Anatolian in the process of time. Creations that they produced in mining, woodworking and weaving gained appreciation and were imitated by Hellenic masters. The other thing that inspired Hellenes was their music. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the social life and history of Phrygians, which formed a potent civilization at that time.

Geographical area

2The area that formed the main core of Phrygia was the small plateau between the upper sources of Sangarios River and Meandrous river. In this narrow area, hills with a height of 900 meters up to 2500 meters, deep valleys, large potholes and ridges stand out. Later on, Phrygia was divided into three important administrative zones in Roman times.

1.Northern Phrygia Parura (Phrygia the burnt)
2.Middle Phrygia Salutaris (Phrygia the curative)
3.Southern Phrygia Pekatina


The King Road, developed by the Lydian and later on renewed by the Persian kings, intersected the Silk Road after Iran.

Phrygia had two important centers: one of which was the political administrative center, called Gordion, and the other was the religious center, which was the city of summery Midas (its current name is Yazilikaya). The Royal Road, starting off from Sardes in the Western Anatolia to the Middle Anatolia, and thence going beyond Cilicia reaching up to Susa (Iran) was passing through Phrygia. Another important road parallel to this one, starting off from Izmir passing through Gordion and Ankara, was reaching up to the Silk Road in the east by climbing over the Kizilirmak (Halys river) via a bridge.


The history on Phygians
According to the historian Herodotus and the geographer Strabo, Phrygians were a European nation, and were called as “Bhrygians” before they came to Anatolia. Phrygians are assumed to have arrived in Anatolia most probably passing through Macedonia – Thrace and the Straits in 1200s BC, to have set up temporary settlements in Thrace and in the south of Marmara in the early years, and later to have spread into the interiors of Anatolia. The time when Phrygians, which were in the form of little monarchies tried to form the first political unity in Anatolia was in 750s BC.
The fact that the Phrygian region had been a residential zone since the prehistoric ages has been proved by the remnants dating from the Paleolithic, the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age. There were Hittites on the region in 2000s BC. After the Hittite domination came to an end in 1200s BC, a settlement composed of different tribes came about. Generally, the name Phrygian is called one of the invaders that destructed some important Hittite cities by coming from the west and passing through the Middle Anatolia in between 1200s-800s BC, and that took a part in
making Anatolia step into the “Dark Age”. Another migration wave was over Caucasus and the names of some of those migrants that settled on the eastern region was “The Mushki” in the Assyrian records. The major king of Phrygians, who struggled againstAchaeans by taking sides with Trojans in the Trojan War at the time of their arrival in Anatolia, was Gordius, who gave the capital Gordium its name. There is scarcely little information about this king, who managed to gather diffuse Phrygian communities under a political unity, and political events of that time.
It was thought that the king who was mentioned as Mita, the king of the Mushki in Assyrian records was Midas, the son of Gordius, however, Phrygians were not the ones coming from the east but the ones coming from the west. The problem here remains unresolved. However, the general belief is that Phrygians had the authority over a community formed by different tribes at the time and there were The Mushki and The Tabal in this community because in Assyrian records, it is said that The Mushki army whom they fought was governed by five kings. This means at least five tribes. It is reasonable that Phrygian kingdom formed a coalition with The Mushki, The Tabal and The Kaska, who were the biggest enemies of The Hittites and that is why the name Mita, the king of the Mushki, existed. As for the name Midas, it is presumed that just like the common name Labarna given to Hittites kings, the name Midas was descended from one king to another. With Phrygians, who went through their golden age in the reign of Midas, the name Midas overstepped the bounds of the country, even reached Greece.
In the beginning, Phrygian settled down in Dorylaion (Eskisehir; Midas – Yazilikaya), in Sivrihisar (Pessinus – Ballihisar), Afyon, Ankara (Gordion-Yassihoyuk), and in the region including the valleys in Sakarya. Later, they formed a powerful civilization from Kutahya to The Kizilirmak and from Ankara to Denizli. At the time when Midas was on the throne, their biggest enemies were the Assyrian. After Midas secured the borders in the southeast by making peace with them, he built up a good rapport with the countries in the west. For instance, he married the daughter of the king of Kyme, which was a city in the Western Anatolia. On the other hand, he built bridges by presenting his ivory crown to the temple Delphi in Greece. In the powerful reign of Midas, their borders reached Burdur, Amasya, Samsun, Nigde. However, through 700s BC, The Kimmerians, who stepped into the East Anatolia passing through The Caucasus first pulled Urartu down, later reached up to the river Halys (current name, The Kizilirmak). Since the Assyrian king Sargon II died in their war with The Kimmerians, Midas lost the Assyrian support. In the war between The Phrygian and The Kimmerian, Phrygia lost its political existence and was completely destroyed. The Phrygians who escaped to the west, carried on their existence in the form of small territories under the jurisdiction of a feudal lord, however later on, they resigned themselves to the dominance of the Lydians. And Midas is told to committed suicide by drinking bull’s blood. Then, the Persians took the authority. With the conquest of the region by Alexander the Great around 334-333 BC, Macedonian dominance came about. With that, the properties of the Phrygians were passed to the communities coming after them during the Hellen and Roma domination.
The structura of the Phrygians Society
There is little information about this topic. Writers of the prehistoric ages identify The Phrygians as popular with music and dance but short of courage and energy, a nation with a servile attitude. However, this identification must belong to the later times since they were able to spread into a very large area and set up a powerful kingdom. Also, Homer defines them as a nation who yearned for getting into war. As for Herodotus, The Phrygians had a special place in the major Persian king Darius’s army of Spartan and fighting nations. Phrygia was especially a country of villagers and farmers. Kings put all their efforts and attention to agriculture. There was the intelligentsia in the cities of Gordon and Midas. In addition to this, there were mercantile and artisan class, as well.

One of the resources used to define The Phrygians is Assyrian depictions and frescoes. According to those, while Phrygian man resembled to the Greek with their wavy hair, short beard and with their round earrings of Lydian type, their long dresses were covered with colorful, horizontal strips with fringes on the corners. They wore tall boots.

Herodotus explains that Phrygian infantries resembled Paphlagonians (in the Black Sea region) in terms of their clothes and equipment. Phrygian infantries mostly wore socks reaching up to the knees, short skirts with embroideries around the edges, and under these skirts they wore tight pants that came down till the knees. They sometimes wore leather Thracian headgears that hanged down around the edge, and sometimes wore tufted and metal helmets. They used short lances, daggers and round shields. As for the mounted troops, they wore Thracian-like helmets bending around the edge, carried long lances and small round shields. Phrygian women with wavy hair wore long dresses ornamented with horizontal strips and short skirts flaring out from the ends. Also they put on ornaments, such as chokers, bracelets, earrings. There is something drawing the attention in The Phrygians and it is thought to have been taken from the Greek. They wore cloth pins (called fibula) and they were in many figurative shapes. The Phrygians, whose fibulas became famous at that time, were skillful in this subject. 145 of these fibulas were found in the tumulus of Gordion-Midas. Bronze vessels and fibulas, which were among the things they used to export, were of great value.


Ivory comb with sphinx ornament. Gordion 7th c. BC.

Phrygians also advanced in livestock breeding, and their sheep had great quality. Wool that was obtained from these sheep and especially from the goats had great importance in weaving. Even today, Ankara goat (Angora goat) and wool obtained from it (Angora) is important.

In Homer’s epic, Iliad, there exists the name “Phrygians”. These are the ones who went for help for the Trojans in the Trojan War. And it is reasonable that the king Priamos went for help when The Phrygians were under the Amazonian attack. These may show that either they had a good relationship or were relatives. Besides, it is told that The Trojan prince Paris used to wear Phrygian headgear. In Iliad (Iliad, III, 184), it is told how Phrygian leaders Otreus and Mygdon fought as their allies when Priamos were fighting against the Amazonian on the Sangarios river. Additionally, The Phrygians were skillful in horse breeding, like The Trojans and had a military


An example of The Phrygians’ famous fibulas. Gordion – 7th c. BC.

aristocracy. It is highly possible that Priamos’ dynasty had a connection with The Phrygians through marriages.
Phrygian languae and script
With the collapse of the Hittite empire, the face of the Indo-European languages changed in Anatolia. Luwian language speakers begin to dominate more and gain great success in filling in the location of the Hittites. Later, the post dialects of Anatolia, like the Lykia language which was derived from the Luvi language in the Western Anatolia, were assimilated by the Greek colonists. However, over time, in Central Anatolia a new Indo-European language which was standing outside the other Anatolian group and which was not related to the Anatolian block of the Indo-European languages emerged: the Phrygian language.
While the Phrygian language has not fully disentangled yet, it is also controversial in terms of its origin. Very little is known about their languages. Hittite hieroglyphs were mainly used in the Luwian language in eastern Anatolia. These writings which were very similar to the Greek alphabet are poorly understood. The difficulty emerging from understanding early Phrygian inscriptions which were mostly found in the town of Midas is due to the repetition of the same words or phrases. Phrygian language was used until the Roman times in the central region. The writings of the late period are found on the grave stones. There are two views related to early or archaic time Phrygian writings: the first opinion is that the Indo-European language family belongs to the Satem group. The second view is that the Phrygian language is an Anatolian language associated with Hittite or Luwian language. However, analysis of the inscriptions of Phrygian shows that it contains Phrygian expressions that are related with the Thracian dialects.

There is no consensus about the origins of its alphabet. While some argue that the letters must have been taken from the Greek, still some others argue that the two had developed independently of each other by basing their claim on some Semitic sources. In fact, it is believed that The Phrygians played an important role in spreading the alphabet often attributed to the Phoenicians to the west. There is no finding other than the articles written from left to the right on a few pieces of wax and those on the Phrygian monuments. The fact that the Phrygians did not use clay tablets as the Hittites did results in the idea that they wrote onto non-persistent materials, such as wood. The alphabet in the Phrygian texts resembles to the Greek alphabet, however, they are not identical. Most likely, The Phrygians changed the Greek alphabet to meet their own needs. There are some letters which do not exist in the Greek alphabet, and that no sound in the Phrygian language can be explained with Greek letters.
However, it is generally accepted that their alphabet was developed from the Phoenician alphabet and that they started using this alphabet beginning from the second half of the 8th c. BC.


Inscriptions on the Midas Stone Monument (Yazilikaya-Eskisehir).Ates (Atys) Open a house (set up a home) rear (in the land of the dead), join your White Mother (Cybele). (Now) the Medes, Gavagtai (the Phrygians?, the Mysians?) (and) Fanaktai (the Persian – the Achaemenid) are each other’s namesake (siblings). Why does the Moon cover and distribute my enemy? Baba! There is a wife for me (Cybele).The birth of a moon is sufficient. The sun (-god), run away home; to your threshold (or under cover)let me be spouse (to you).





Ates in the piece of inscription found on the stone monument: Attis who is the lover of Goddess Cybele and Midai are translated as Midas.

The word “Baba” here was translated to mean father. This “Father” may also be a way of worshipping that was applied to Attis as Mazeus (Persian Mazda), and Bagaios or “Papas” in the Indo-European worshipping. As can be understood from the writing, the Persians (the Medes and Achaemenids) and the Phrygians were in peace at one time. The wife of Attis is Cybele and the sun and the moon’s being a couple is emphasized.

Mother goddess, Cybele the mother of the gods


There is not so much information about the religion of Phrygia except from prevalence of the cult of Mother God. The excavations in Catalhoyuk find out that the cult of Mother God goes around BC 8000-6500. Embroidering found with Mother God statue and icon is reflected in patterns of rug due to the persistence of the powerful effect of Mother’s God cult.
Among the first versions of the goddess is there a large haunched, stuffed breast goddess in the throne. There are lions on her both sides and a figure
of the head of a child can be found between her legs which is the symbol of fertility. Also she is known as ‘potnia theron’ the queen of animals and master of the nature because of many lion figures with her in her other icons.




Limestone statue of the Goddess Cybele. Phrygian Period- 7th-6th c. BC.; Bogazkoy-Corum The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara

In the excavated statue in Bogazkoy, are there two male figures that play lyre and flute. These are the instruments that were used in the music competition between Apollo and Marsyas when Midas is a referee. Probably there is pomegranate (fertility), a vessel or bird in the goddess’ hand. As it is known that harmony, fertility and plentifulness are the characteristics of all goddess in every culture.

The name of ‘Kibele’ is firstly found in the Kultepe Assyrian Tablet. While the name of ‘Kibele’ is called Arinna, Hepat, Kubaba in Hittite Tablets in Bogazkoy; Lat in Syria, Rhea in Crete , Isis in Ancient Egypt, Ma in Cappadocia, Kibebe in Lidya, Artemis in Ephesus. Moreover, the goddess possesses some local characteristics. For instance, some adjectives are created with the state’s name by adding ‘Mater’ in Latin and ‘Meter’ in Greece. ‘Sipylene’ is for the Mountain Sipilos in Manisa, ‘Idaia’ for the Mountain Ida and  Steunos’ refers to the goddess of the cave in Cavdarhisar. Of all is the most famous ‘Dindymene’ proving the Goddess of Dindymos Mountain. In addition, Phrygias who call the goddess Agdistis. The fact that Phrygia appreciated the goddess which has been worshipped since B.C. 6000 proves they have adopted Anatolian traditions.
The largest worshipping area is Pessinus (today known as Ballihisar). Goddess is thought to be a heavenly idol. The idol is a black meteoric rock. The goddess is together with her lover Attis in Pessinus. While her coupling with Attis represents the fertility and new life of the nature, her losing him means to have winter sleep. It resembles the couples Tammuz-Ishtar in Mesopotamia, Demeter and Persophene in Greece and Telepinu myths of the Hittites.


Sacred city of the Goddess Cybele

The goddess Agdistis Dindymene was the only goddess in the skirts of Dindymos and on the banks of Gallos till Roman period. The necessities of the city that belongs to the goddess are realized by the priests. While the pontiff is called Attis, the others are called Gallos. Kibele or Agdistis Dyndymene is actually Mother Nature. The spring festival of the Mother Nature or goddess is celebrated here. Originally, She is a very old Anatolian goddess but She is known as Phrygians’ Goddess because of her importance in the Phrygians. The Phrygian king is thought to be her son and She was thought to be the builder of the temple in Pessinus. The cult of mother goddess was moved to Rome in B.C. 204 and it has a great importance
as Magna Mater (Big Mother) in Roman Religion.




Silver Priest Statue (Gordion, 7th c. BC) the crown of the priest is similar to Kibele’s crown.

The construction of rock monuments to represent the temples on the sacred plato between BC 8th and 6th century is the product of a great labor and effort. The most famous one is Midai which includes some inscriptions with the name of Midas. It is called Midas Tomb but it is not a real tomb but is Inscribed Rock monument. The face of
monument is in the east. The script Matep=Mater (Mother) on the rock stands for sacred place for the sake of Kibele. Other monuments such as Uncompleted Monument in the city of Midas and Phrygian inscriptions ‘Matepan Apezastin’ on its facade refers to Mother Goddess. However, rock and uncompleted rocks pose a question about their functions. The construction of rock monuments to represent the temples on the sacred plato between BC 8th and 6th century is the product of a great labor and effort. It is believed that it is deliberate and significant for the religion of Phrygians. Other religious carved rocks of building are the staircase that is in the east. These are either an altar or symbolic thrones for the queen to sit down on.

templo ci

Altar or throne of Kibele.


The most famous gods of Phrygias are Sabazios and Manes which is called as Men later. Sabazios is about the sun and corresponds to Zeus. Manes is the moon god. However, there is no specific information about these gods.






This statue’s description is seen as the main motif on the Phrygian Stone monuments (8-7th BC, The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara)

Tomb architecture
Phrygian tomb architecture can be investigated in three parts: Stone tombs, Tumulus Tombs and plain tombs. Stone tombs and Tumulus tombs that are developed in Anatolia are accepted to give the most beautiful, the biggest and the richest samples. Stone Tombs: It is difficult to differentiate temples that are carved into rocks, altars and Stone tombs from each other. As some parts of the Stone tombs are used as
altars, some parts of the altars are used as tombs. These types are commonly seen round Midas city in Eskisehir- Afyon- Kutahya city borders. Most of these tombs have triangle frontals, covered with columns or frames, and have a pyramidal, plain, vault, tile imitated, ceiling with a saddle roof. Plans are mostly square, rectangular or sometimes oval like. There are 2 or 3 sepultures and there are no ornaments or
paintings on the walls of the sepultures. Only the siding is ornamented with geometrical shapes. Doors are covered with door stone. There is no information left about the burying ways and styles because the tombs have been robbed many times.


The tomb of Phrygian. Yapildak-Asarkale- Eskisehir. Eskisehir- Yazilikaya. Rock Tomb.

In some tombs, there are wells deeply carved above the altars. The purpose of it
is unclear however it is guessed that into these wells the sacrificial animal, bull’s blood is shed or the food or other presents are thrown away.
Tumulus Tombs: The tombs that are made of local materials such as soil, pebble, sand, stone artificially are called tumulus. These tombs are memorial. Because there are a lot of them, they are called Anatolian Pyramids. This kind of tomb tradition probably came to Anatolia from Phyrigs. Phrygian tumuli are built mostly upon the crests of Gordion’s towards the Sangarios river. There are tumuli here from 2 meters up until 60 meters and the biggest one is the tumulus of Midas. This tumulus generally known as the Midas Tumulus is stated also for the possibility of its belonging to Gordias. After Gordion, some parts of the 20 tumuli in Ankara and some parts of the 70 tumuli on the Kerkenes Mountain of Yozgat was dug and some other parts were left, undug.
Houses: Phyrig architecture was very well developed. Roman architecture historian Vitruvius wrote that Phyrig houses are made of wood and planks and covered with thatch and mud on the top. Besides, some of the houses in Gordion and Pazarli are made of stone and adobe and strengthened with wooden bays and horizontal beams. Since 3000 B.C, another kind was used which is called Megaron type; it had one entrance hall and a living room behind so this type was appropriate for cold weather.

Besides that the doors were ornamented with wooden ornaments, walls were covered with painted embossed plates later on. While these houses’ ground was puddled with clay mud, sometimes it was covered with mosaics made of colorful pebbles. These ground mosaics are known as the most ancient ones of Anatolia. Phrygia’s’ covering their buildings’ siding with painted plaques is seen as Mesopotamian cultural effect on them. At the same time, on the inside walls of the building Greek styled frescoes were used.

Decorative ceramics from a Phrygian building (reconstruction. Above: Phrygian soldiers. At the
bottom: Anatolian and Mesopotamian common motif;Two goats and Life Tree. In the middle: griffin, sphinx and two centaurs. Pazarli- Corum; 7th-6th c. BC. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara)

Phrygia ceramic art is a technically developed form of Thrace ceramics. There two main types of Phrygia ceramics. Geometric patterns and colourful ceramics with  animal figures. The polikrom (colourful) ceramics in under effects of Tabal and Luwi, and grey or red monokrom ceramics is said to be purely Phrygian work. In the middle of 7th century BC, Hellenistic art works had been imported and Hellenistic styles had been reproduced by Phrygians.


Pebble mosaics are the oldest known in Anatolia and in the world. This mosaic of floor was found in Megaron II. (Gordion, 750 BC) Gordion Museum, Polatli- Ankara.

Castles: Castles were built on the precipitous rocky areas around Kütahya, Afyon, Eskisehir cities. Ramparts which are stone blocks in rectangular shape, passes and stairs carved in stones are the characteristics of Phrygian castles. People were living
on the skirts of the castle.
Carpentry: They were very good at carpentry. They were using pine as lumber especially in chamber tomb the used buxus and cedrus. In furniture they used taxus, pear and maple. They didn’t use nails. They usually made furniture with their characteristic geometric patterns. Not using nails to join show that they had very old tradition in carpentry. In addition, they were famous for producing very good drawers.


Wooden stand of Phrygians. (7th-6th c. BC) The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara.

Weaving: Phrygia was famous for its textile and rugs. In Gordion excavations, some pieces of textile had been found. Phrygians had been using wool carpets and rugs all over their houses. Phrygian rugs which was called “Tapates”, were among the popular goods of ancient world. The word “Tapates” later became “tapis” in French. In addition, golden purl embroidery on fabric is said a Phrygia invention. Also in Latin, phrygio means “who embroiders”. In Gordion excavations, 8th century B.C weaving looms which have been found shows that weaving art was highly advanced.
Music: Phrygians are known as inventors of many music instruments. According to ancient Greek writers; cymbal, flute, triangle, pan flute were firstly played by Phrygians. Aristotle and Plato said Phrygia harmony was exciting and dynamic. About their literature nothing is unknown. Only an rumour; ‘fable’ was an invention of Phrygians. However, fable tradition has its roots in ancient India.
Archaeological Researches in Eskisehir
In 1937, German archaeologist Kurt Bittel excavated firstly in Demirci Hoyuk, Eskisehir which is in North Phrygia region. Chalcolithic period and bronz age objects had been found in later excavations and these objects are similar with the ones found in Troy. Moreover, an Phrygian city founded in 9th century BC had been found. After 1989, Muhibbe Darga declared that there are cities of Iron Age, early Phrygia, Hellenistic and Roman periods built in succession in Dorylaion, Sarhoyuk, which is regarded as ancient Eskisehir. This shows that Eskisehir is a settled area since 4000 BC.  Dorylaion is a Greek word which means “the place of Dorylas”. Dorylas means column. In addition, founder of the city is said to be Doryleos. Midas town in Eskisehir – Yazilikaya is on a rocky plataeu where Midas memorial can be seen. There are several carved steps on rock leads to lowlands and one of the steps ends in an underground cave. This plataeu was surrounded by ramparts. Very few objects had been found. These are roof tiles, wall covers, two big pieces of statues, bronze fibulas (which are very similar to Gordion fibulas), potteries, metallic objects which belong to 6 century BC. As Gordion, Midas was destroyed by Kimmerians.
Many mounds excavated in Eskisehir. Pieces found in Demircihoyuk, Sarhoyuk (Dorylaion), Kocakizlar Hoyuk, Kulluoba Hoyuk (Seyitgazi) excavations are on display in the Archaeology Museum. To be able to read Phrygian writings a French “national scientific research center” language specialist. Prof. Thomas Dew-Bear came to Eskisehir. He said

“Phrygians was very civilized nation. They developed the Phoenician alphabet and formed their own. After 2th century BC writings were not on rock anymore, hence time they were marble and limestone. In the time of peace of Roman period, Phrygians continued to speak and write their own language. They were writing on altars and gravestone which explains personalities, age, relatives and professions of dead. They also were writing poems about the dead. The justice god of Phrygians was presented as two men. One carries measure and the other carries scale. However, we cannot read some Phrygia writing because of their short sizes.”

Phrygian was very powerful language as Drew-Bear said. He also stated that Romans had believed that Gods speak Phrygian. Moreover, the men of religion use Phrygian as they pray and worship.


Eskisehir- Aslankaya monument. Between the two lions probably there were Goddess figure in relief. At the same time, the lions thought as protectors of an area or a city.

The art, inventions, architectural structures, making use of healing water, rugs which are first examples of famous Anatolian rugs designs show that they have a very developed civilization. Even if very few things are known, Midas legends, the Gordion knot untied by Alexander the Great are still known. As a conclusion, these facts show that Phrygia was an important central cultural place.




One of the oldest and biggest pendulums of the world is in the Phrygia Valley.
The most famous and magnificent stone monuments are Midas (or Yazilikaya) monument. Since the writings on it, it is called Midas (or Yazilikaya: Inscribed Rock). The area is called Midas city in the Yazilikaya village. The monument is from 6th century BC. (Height:17m, Width:16.5)



Inscription in the Phrygian alphabet (Midas Monument).

Gordion City and Tumulus MM



Gordion was the capital of the Phrygian Kingdom in the 9th and 7th centuries BC. Archaeological evidence has shown that the site was inhabited as early as 2000 BC during the Early Bronze Age. Excavations in Gordion started in 1950. In the continuing studies since that time 25 of 100 tumulus and the old Gordion city excavated. The materials found in these excavations are shown in the Gordion Museum, Polatli, and 94 km far away from Ankara.




ruinas 2


The Gordion city was surrounded by soft limestone walls on rock base. The remarkable structure here is the entrance door of the city which can be reached by the 9m width and 23m long road. The towers on two sides of the door were 8-9m. After entering the door, houses with megaron welcomed the guests. The biggest was Midas’ palace. There were usually acceptance hall, sanctuary, kitchen, loom, storeroom and treasure buildings in the city. One of these buildings was named polychrome (colourful) house (Megaron II) because of its mosaic floor and wall decors. Megaron III is in the inner yard and it is the biggest Akropol building.
Terrace buildings consist of loom, grain and various properties room and treasure rooms. All these buildings are from 8-7th century BC. 18 layers were found in the excavations. One of them belongs to Hittites which sits on a smaller mound.
Tumulus of Midas (Tumulus MM):

ulPhrygian tumuli usually belong to royal people and rich nobles. The dead are placed on an ottoman like a cradle in a wooden chamber tomb. The tomb is made firstly in a hole. After putting the dead into tomb, large amount of earth were massed on it and it was taking the shape of pyramid.
The technique of making tombs: Chamber tomb was firstly turned by wooden beam, stone wall and pebbles between them. And then, pebbles were used to cover grave and wet clay had been used to prevent roof collapsing. After the clay had dried, it covered by earth so the resistance of the tomb had been increased.



Tumulus of Midas-Gordion. The tunnel built for entering the chamber is 67 metres long. The diameter of tumulus is 300m. The height, today, 53m.

Upper part of the wooden tomb chamber with inscriptions visible on the beam to the left.


As a result; Immigrations in the period of beginnings of Phrygians’ migrations over Thrace to Anatolia were landmark in those eras. Due to these moves, great states like Hittites, Mitanni and III. Babylon were fallen down, Bronze and Iron age were separated, the architectural character of Anatolia changed; firstly characteristic Hittite architecture technique, filling small stones between two walls, were abandoned. Instead, Phrygian big stone architecture style replaced the old technique. In central Anatolia, Phrygian which has similarities with Hellenistic and Phoenician alphabet were used instead of the cuneiform.
Phrygians used both burial and cremation traditions. Myths about Midas are known by almost everybody, the donkey ears of Midas, turning gold whatever touching, the Gordion knot untied by Alexander the Great by sword is known worldwide. That’s why intractable problems are called Gordion Knot. The technique of carpentry (not using nails to join woods) used many times afterwards. For long time, Turks used this technique. Phrygian rugs designs inspired the Turkish rugs. Gordion excavations revealed that Phrygians were skillful in many areas; cast bronze, bronze relief, bowls, drawer, furniture, tusks, weaving wool. Phrygians which played an important role in Anatolian history, benefited both previous and contemporary cultures in that time. So, they made their unique culture and improved Anatolian civilization.


The position of chamber tomb in tumulusm.



Upper part of the wooden tomb chamber with inscriptions visible on the beam to the left.







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Prepared By: Hermes Institute Turquia