Avanos was called Venessa in antiquity and was an important settlement. It is estimated that the city’s name comes from ” Venessa” which was the Roman name for it. Remnants of the Old Hittite and Mid-Hittite periods have been discovered in the excavations made in Topaklı Höyük near Avanos. Since the traces of a local Zeus cult and hellenistic mausoleums have also been found, we can conclude that Avanos has been an important settlement in other epochs as well.

The city was ruled by the Seldjuk Turks after the Byzantine era, and after the Seldjuks it became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1466. Avanos has two mosques left from the Seldjuk and Ottoman periods.

The former one is the Alaeddin Mosque and the Ottoman one is the Yeraltı (Underground) Mosque, which has no inscript but is dated back to the 16th century.

Avanos is divided into two by the Kızılırmak river which is the longest river of Anatolia. It is renowned with pottery and carpet making.

The art of pottery making goes back to the times of the Hittites and is very developed in the Avanos area. The local population uses the earth taken from the shores of Kızılırmak, mixes it with sand and clay, and creates the muddy substance for pottery.

Technological development which led to the use of mechanical refrigeration since the 60ies, and the installment of pipelines for the distribution of water caused the decline of pottery’s importance. But it is still a source of income as a handicraft.


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