Ancient Pottery Center
The city of Avanos was on an ancient trading route between the Hittite capital of Hattusa (circa
1300 BC) and the old city due south that is now called Nevsehir. Avanos was inhabited by Assyrian
trade colonies during the second millenium BC and was later taken over by the Hittites at about
1950 BC.  

Flowing through Avanos is the longest river in Turkey, which in ancient times was called Halys. The
Hittites called it Marassantiya. The modern word for this river is Kizilirmak, meaning Red River.  

Red clay, containing iron ore that colors the water, is found along the banks of the river. The clay
has been used since the early ages for making pottery. We visited a pottery shop, where I
purchased a Turkish theme chess set made with red and black clay.

Avanos is also famous for its silk production and fine hand-woven double-knotted Turkish carpets. I
photographed the process step by step. See the section on Silk Processing.