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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hattusha (Hattusa) Archaeological Site In Bogazkoy Turkey

Arial View of Hattusha Archaeological Site in Bogazkoy Turkey

The archaeological site of Hattusha is situated in Anatolia, now modern day Turkey. Hattusha sits 90 miles east of Ankara, first occupied in the third millennium BCE.

The Hittites arrived at Hattusha during 1700 BCE and were one of the greatest powers of the ancient world. Ruled by King Hattusili , ruled from 1650-1620 BCE. The Hittites conquered Babylon, overshadowed Troy, and constructed an empire that rivaled the Assyrians and Egyptians.
Hattusha remained a site of great importance for the Hittites until its destruction in 1190 BCE. Later it was occupied by Galatians and Phrygians.

The archaeological site of Hattusha, although smaller is scale as opposed to its counterparts in neighboring areas, does outline several achievements.

Hattusha archaeology site, discovered in the early 19th century, did not gain significant importance until the 20th century when Hugo Winckler and Theodor Makridi Bey conducted the first excavations in 1906, 1907, and 1911–13.

Later, archaeological excavation resumed in 1933 under Kurt Bittel, followed by Peter Neve (site director 1963, general director 1978–94).

One of the most important discoveries at the site has been the cuneiform royal archives of 10,000 clay tablets. One of the clay tablets inscribed included a peace treaty, one of the oldest ever found.

The site at Hattusha also consisted of official correspondence and contracts, as well as legal codes, procedures for cult ceremony, oracular prophecies and literature of the ancient Near East. 

Excavations by archaeologists at Hattusha revealed the size of the city. The city spanned over 450 acres and included seven temples, the largest containing shrines to the weather god, Hatti, and sun goddess Arinna.

The Hittites excelled at sculpture, taking immense care at crafting the massive guardian spirits which flanked the gateway. These include lions, warriors, and sphinxes.

Hattusha: the Hittite Capital, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

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