the story of the Hittites
in short (they
even look kinda short in that
picture to the right):
to 1900 BC: Old
Bronze Age, towns of considerable
size are built in Anatolia by
peoples we call the Hatti, or "Proto-Hittites."
to 1600 BC: Middle Bronze Age,
the Hittites themselves invade Anatolia,
taking over from the indigenous
to 1500 BC: Early Hittite Kingdom,
the Hittites founded Hattusha (ha-TOO-shah,
and make it their capital.
to 1300 BC: Hittite Empire,
the Hittites expand, conquering Babyon and
taking Syria from
the pharaohs of Egypt, but between
1300 and 1200 BC a massive invasion
of "Sea Peoples" from
the Aegean weakens
Except for a
few references in the Bible,
we knew little about the Hittites
until explorer Charles Texier discovered
the ruins of Hattusha in
1834. Excavations began in 1905,
and revealed thousands of clay
tablets written in cuneiform giving the history and laws of the
land. Art objects from daily life
show that the Hittites had a marvelous artistic
culture as well.
Hittite soldiers in procession at yazılıkaya...
Most of the
artifacts recovered from Hattusha
are now in the excellent Museum
of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara though
there is also a small museum in Boğazkale next
to the Hattusha ruins.
worshipped a pantheon of more
than 1000 gods and goddesses,
prime among them Teshub, the Storm
God, and Hepatu, the Goddess
of the Sun.
prime places to explore Hittite
history and culture are:
Near the ancient hilltop fortress in the center of the Turkish capital stands the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations,
the richest collection of Hittite
artifacts in the world, housed
in a restored Ottoman
This town 200 km (124 miles) east of Ankara,
is next to the ruins of Hattusha and rock-carved
reliefs of Yazılıkaya. More...
Only 36 km (22 miles) north of Boğazkale,
this is a smaller Hittite city with ruins
and a museum.
28 km (17 miles) north of Osmaniye,
east of Adana and
north of Antakya at
the eastern end of Turkey's Mediterranean
coast, this forested hilltop
national park holds the ruins of
a late Hittite city with monumental
city gates and walls. More...
have been found in many other places
especially at Malatya-Aslantepe and Carchemish (Karkamış)
—by Tom Brosnahan