Ancient Hattusas (Modern Bogazköy) in Turkey
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Ancient Hattusas (Modern Bogazköy)

Hittites: Ruins of the capital Hattusas

Hattusas (modern Bogazköy in north central Turkey) was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the 2nd millenium BC. It seems surprising that such a remote city could have been the capital of an empire but besides tradition there were the factors of plentiful water and good natural defenses that kept the Hittite kings there.

The first settlement at the site dates from the Early Bronze Age but no documents exist that could identify the people who built them. They lived on the high hill called Büyükkale or Great Fortress - which dominates the east side of the city. This hill later became the Hittite Acropolis.

The first writing from the site are clay tablets in Old Assyrian cuneiform. These demonstrate the presence of Assyrian merchants at the city around 1800 BC. The largest Assyrian trading center in Anatolia was at Kanesh - which flourished from 1950 BC to 1850 BC. It was destroyed and then became active again around 1820 BC and lasted another two generations. Assyrian trading at Hattusas is contemporary only with the later period ......

The Hittite King Hattusil I began the capital circa 1550 BC. The architecture was massive and the individual stones carefully fitted. As the city grew the original area proved too small and under Shubbiluliuma a new fortified wall was built to the south. The enclosed area reached to over 300 acres and the fortifications give an impression of strength. While the Hittites had an architecture of their own recognizable as Hittite it is interesting to note there is a palace at Troy which shows Hittite influence .....

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Hattusas Hattusas

HATTUSAS: Ruins are in foreground; modern village in background (Ancient Routes)

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