Peninsula forming the western extremity of Asia. It is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. Its eastern boundary is generally marked by the southeastern Taurus Mountains. Anatolia is roughly contiguous with the Asian portion of the modern Republic of Turkey. Because of its location at the point where Asia and Europe meet, it has long been the scene of numerous migrations and conquests. It was the original location of the kingdom of Hittites (circa 1700–1180 BC). Later, Indo-European peoples, possibly Thracian, established the Phrygian kingdom. In the 6th century BC the Persian Achaemenian dynasty came to rule the area; it was conquered by Alexander the Great in 334–333 BC. Beginning in the 1st century BC, the area was absorbed into the Roman Republic and Empire. When the empire split in AD 395, Anatolia became part of the Byzantine Empire. The area endured invasions by Arabs, Turks, Crusaders, Mongols, and the Turkic army of Timur before the Ottoman Empire established full control in the 15th century. From 1923 its history was that of modern Turkey.
Learn more about Anatolia with a free trial on Britannica.com.