Anatolia remains one of the most important territories of the Byzantine empire during this period. Eastern Anatolia becomes increasingly militarized in the 600s due to Persian and Arab invasions. The Iconoclastic controversy affects all of the empire, including this region, until around 850, when Byzantium restores economic prosperity and military security. During this period, the Armenians and Georgians establish themselves as relatively independent Christian states on the empire’s eastern frontier. In Anatolia, Byzantine art and architecture flourishes, particularly in the sixth-century cities along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts—including Ephesus, Sardis, and Aphrodisias—and in the region of Cappadocia, notable for its medieval rock-cut structures.