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Ancient Lycia (Luka) in SW Anatolia

As a result of excavations the prehistory of the region has largely been filled in. Early Bronze Age examples of earthenware pottery reveal that the region was settled by 3000 B.C. Moreover the fact that place names occur in a number of Anatolian sites also dated to the fourth millennium BC verifes this early settlement date linguistically (1).

The Lycians possessed powerful sea and land forces by the second millennium BC and had already established an independent state. We know from Egyptian - Hittite - Ugaritic texts that the Lycians were involved in acts of piracy against Cyprus around 1400 BC and that they fought against Egypt in the ranks of the Hittites during the battle of Kadesh in 1295.

Homer mentions the Lycians in The Iliad and tells that they battled heroically on the side of the Trojans against their enemies the Archaeans. It does appear to be true that Greek efforts to colonize Lycia during the first millennium BC were largely unsuccessful and the Greeks were able to establish only one important colony there (Phaselis).

In 545 BC the Persian commander Harpagos seized Lycia's principal city Xanthos after a bloody struggle. Thus began Persian sovereignty over Lycia and the rest of Anatolia, a rule which was to last until the year 200 BC. The Persians applied moderate policies and brought about a state of calm that fostered the economic growth and strength of the region. The Lycians also took part in certain military campaigns on the side of Persia ...

(1) Lykia (Lycia) at 2004-2016 AsiaMinorCoins.com

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium