Dardanelles and Hellespont are the old names of what is now Çanakkale. The word Dardanelles comes from Dardanos, a mythical ancestor of one of the survivors of Troy. Çanakkale's other ancient name, Hellespont, also comes from mythological story of the "Golden Fleece", that was intensely used by ancient writers, the region was named after means Helle, who legend says fell into the waters of the Strait and drowned while riding on a flying ram with a golden fleece when she and her brother were fleeing to the Black Sea city of Colchis. Apart from its being on a crossing point between two continents, Çanakkale attracted the attention of the Eastern Roman Empire, later to become the Byzantine Empire; the Mediterranean countries for trading with the Black Sea, famous for its fish, and the Black Sea countries for whomthe Bosphorus and the Dardanelles were the only openning from their inland sea to the world. At times in history, armies from one continent crossed to the other by building bridges of boats or bridges supported by buoys. Though there have been no specific find from dardanos it is believed that its history goes further back than that of Troy. While the history of Troy I, discovered after excavationsthat were carried out over a period of years, goes back to 3000 BC, the earliest known settlement in the region has been dated to more than 5000 years ago.

The city of Troy that was founded in 3000 BC was destroyedby an earthquake 500 years later. Troy, which was to re-established and destroyed many times after that, founded a great civilisation.

Çanakkale has seen this and other civilisations rule the region at different times. In 500 BC, it was the Persians that flooded over all of Anatolia. In 386 BC, with the "Place of Kings" between the Persians and Spartans, Persian sovereignty in the region was reinforced. The Persian king Xerxes build a bridge of ships and buoys across the Strait in order to cross into Greece and Macedonia, passing his army over the Strait from Abydos to Sestos. Persian rule in the region was destroyed with the defeat inflicted by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great on the Persian army at the battle of Granicas (the Biga stream) in 334 BC. Shortly after the death of Alexander, there were confilcts between the Macedonian commenders over control of the region. Under the rule of the Pergamum Kingdom the region was renamed Galat. It gained importance during the times of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. The first territory seized by the Ottomans in the region was the town of Gelibolu. It was only later that full Ottoman soverignty over the region was attained.


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