Situated in the South-eastern Anatolian Region, the foundation of the city of Mardin arguably dates back to 8000 BC. Mardin was host to a number of civilizations, cultures and faith, and is known by many names. The Romans called it Maride, Persians Marde, the Byzantines Mardia and the Arabs, Maridin. By the time that the Persians occupied the region in the sixth century BC, it had already been under the sovereignty of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians and the Hittites. The rise of Christianity had the greatest influence on the cultural development of Mardin after it became part of the Roman Empire in 250 AD. The arrival of the Arabs in the seventh century BC heralded the rise of the Islamic civilization. At the beginning of the twelfth century AD while under the dominance of the Seljuks and Artukids, the Turkmens were active in this region. This period was followed by Akkoyunlu and Safevi sovereignties and in the time of Sultan Selim the Grim in 1517, Mardin and its environs were subsumed by the Ottoman administration.
Today, Mardin, located on the historical Silk Road, has several inns and caravanserais and also numerous ancient buildings such as mosques, tombs, churches and monasteries which reflect the characteristics of the periods in which they were built.