The monumental altars carved in rocks… The rocky tunnels… Monumental cisterns… Reliefs… Earliest goldsmiths of Anatolia, artisans and inventors of flute in music… They are Phrygians!
It is estimated that the Phrygians are a Balkan-based society migrated to Anatolia. Initially, they settled in Eskisehir, Afyon, Ankara and Sakarya, and then formed a powerful civilization in the region from Kutahya to Kizilirmak Basin and Ankara to Denizli.
The Phrygians were buried in rock-cut tombs or tumulus. Unfortunately, most of the rock tombs are robbed, so there is not much information available. Most of the tumulusses are thought to have been used between 8th and 6th centuries BC in Gordion. The number of massive tombs on the ridges of the city reaches about a hundred.
PHRYGIA TREKKING ROUTE
Phrygian Valley is spread over a very wide area containing Seyitgazi, Kutahya and Afyon. The main attraction center is the Midas City, which is the village of Yazilikaya today.
The most important cult center of Phrygians who worship the mother goddess Kybele, is the Yazilikaya Open Air Sanctuary, one of the interesting routes to go in autumn.
Most of the things you will see around are rock masses, like those in Cappadocia, where the inhabitants of the region borrowed to make themselves various shelters.
You can visit the Phrygian Valley with following three main route alternatives: Seydiler- Yazilikaya, Gordion- Yazilikaya and Incik- Yazilikaya.
HOW TO GET TO PHRYGIAN VALLEY
To visit the archaeological site of Phrygia, you better have a car. The region is 75 kilometers from Eskisehir, 39 kilometers from Cifteler and 30 kilometers from Seyitgazi. The road is smooth and asphalted. If you do not have a car, you can come to Eskisehir from Seyitgazi or from Afyon to Ihsaniye by bus and then you can take a cab. If not, be ready for a long walk.
WHO ARE PHRYGIANS?
Phrygians first emerged as a political group after 750 BC, and during the Midas period (725-695 / 675 BC) they formed a powerful kingdom dominating all central and southeastern Anatolia.
They first settled in the Bithynia region (western coast of Black Sea). They ruled the region for centuries. Then they spread through the area between the Sangarios River (present-day Sakarya) and the Maiandros River (present-day Menderes).
The first king of Phrygians was Gordias. His son, Midas became a legend and made peace with Assyrians. Gordion was their political center and Midas City was the religious base.
Phrygians were farmers. The priests ruled the wide lands. Mine work was also developed; they used metal tools to shape the stones.
Cimmerians’ arrival to Anatolia from Caucasus brought the end of the Phrygian Civilization.
Phrygian language was an Indo-European language. Phrygian was called “The Language of the Gods” in Roman times and Zeus and Cybele were believed to speak Phrygian.