Eastern Thrace: the Contact Zone Between Anatolia and the Balkans

Mehmet Özdoğan

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376142
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Eastern Thrace: the Contact Zone Between Anatolia and the Balkans

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  • Archaeology of the Near East



This article presents a conspectus on the prehistory of northwestern Turkey, mainly focusing on the role played by eastern Thrace at the intersection of Anatolia, the Aegean, and the Balkans. It considers the question of whether Thrace was a bridge or a barrier between the east and the west, while acknowledging that there are substantial lacunae in our knowledge on every issue noted herein. Accordingly, what is reported here should not be considered conclusive, but as more of a general overview. There are major problems in assessing the evidence from northwestern Turkey and the region known as eastern Thrace, first because it constitutes the buffer zone between distinct cultural entities: Anatolia, the Aegean, Balkan, and Pontic regions. Moreover, it acts as the narrow bottleneck to any sort of supraregional interaction, inevitably merging distinct cultures.

Keywords: prehistory; northwestern Turkey; Aegean; buffer zone

Article.  11374 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East

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