Iconium" of the Roman times is 263 kms from Ankara. The land is a wide plateau and has been continuously inhabited even extending back to the 8th millenium BC.
Catalhoyuk is an ancient city of that period which is considered to be one of the first settlement areas in the world accommodating one of the earliest human communities. Made up of mud houses, which were entered through holes in the roofs, this site is a real place of interest where you can feel the life prevailing, many years ago. The finds from the district, including the cult figures of the famous temple and the mother goddess, together with old frescoes, are now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
In the environs of Konya, there also exist sites which hold some remains from the Hittites. Ivriz is one, 168 kms east of Konya, which is one of the finest neo-Hittite reliefs in the country, representing a king and the fertility god of the time. Eflatun Pinar is another important sight, which is a monument fountain from the time of the Hittites, constituting a holy place of the period.
When the Byzantines came into power, Konya became an independent province and was given the name "Lycanoia." A Byzantine church and several rock chapels filled with beautiful frescoes can be seen in the town of Sille, 8 kms northwest of Konya, where the first rock carved monasteries of the world were built.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, the city acted as the capital of the Seljuk Turks and advanced rapidly to become a great cultural center.