Muscat Daily - - BREAK -

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.

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