Hershel Shanks

Some 80 early first-millennium B.C.E. burial tumuli rise from the plain around Gordion, the capital of Phrygia. The remains of aristocrats or royalty were probably housed in these earthen structures, the largest of which is the Midas Mound (see photo of Midas Mound at the beginning of this article), built around 700 B.C.E.

After the collapse of the Hittite Empire toward the end of the 13th century B.C.E., the Phrygians migrated from southeastern Europe into central Anatolia, where they settled down and built such cities as Ankara and Gordion. The burial tumuli above provide evidence of the European origin of the Phrygians, since these mounds resemble burial mounds built by the Thracians, who inhabited parts of modern Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.