INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HATTUSA
One of Turkey’s lesser visited but historically significant attraction is the ruin of an ancient city known as Hattusa, located near modern Bo azkale within the great loop of the Kızılırmak River. The city once served as the capital of the Hittite Empire, a superpower of the Late Bronze Age whose kingdom stretched across the face of Anatolia and northern Syria, from the Aegean in the west to the Euphrates in the east.
The Hittite Empire is mentioned several times in the Bible as one of the most powerful empires of the ancient times. They were contemporary to the ancient Egyptians and every bit their equal. In the Battle of Kadesh, the Hittites fought the mighty Egyptian empire, nearly killing Pharaoh Ramses the Great and forcing him to retreat back to Egypt. Years later, the Egyptians and the Hittites signed a peace treaty, believed to the oldest in the world, and Ramses himself married a Hittite princess to seal the deal.
Incredibly, as recently as the turn of the 20th century, the Hittites were considered merely a hearsay since no evidence of the empire’s existence was ever found. This changed with the discovery and excavation of Hattusa, along with the unearthing of tens of thousands of clay tablets documenting many of the Hittites’ diplomatic activities, the most important of which is the peace settlement signed after the Battle of Kadesh between the Hittites and the Egyptians in the 13th century BC.
Hattusa lies at the south end of the Budaközü Plain, on a slope rising about 300m above the valley. It was surrounded by rich agricultural fields, hill lands for pasture and forests that supplied enough wood for building and maintaining a large city. The site was originally inhabited by the indigenous Hattian people before it became the capital of the Hittites sometime around 2000BC.
Hattusa was destroyed, together with the Hittite state itself, in 12th century BC.