The Sphinx Gate, Alacahöyük (Hittite settlement)

The Archaeological Site of Alacahöyük

One of Çorum’s three major Hittite cities, Alacahöyük is a must-see if you’re interested in the mysteries of Bronze Age archaeology. Settled for over 6 thousand years this city mound has been home to Hattians, the Hittites, Phrygians, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans, though the greatest treasures belong to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age kingdoms of the Hattians and Hittites.

Excavations have been underway here since the discovery of the site in 1835, and at one point digs were even funded out of the personal wealth of Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. To date, digs have unearthed fifteen layers of settlement.

NOTE: While Alacahöyük will certainly be interesting for anyone into archaeology or Bronze Age civilizations, it’s not an otherwise overly impressive site. Your best bet for a major site is Hattusha, which is just 36 km away at Boğazkale. Alacahöyük is not a massive site and doesn’t require a ton of time to explore. Admission is also very cheap so it’s a great destination to include as a part of a wider itinerary.

Ruins of Hattusa in Turkey

What German archaeologists have carefully excavated piece by piece from the once magnificent metropolis of the Hittites in the past 100 years is largely scattered on hilly terrain: walls and foundations of temples and palaces, city gates with mighty guard figures, ramparts and tunnels, cult stones, water basins, Cuneiform characters and storage vessels.

Hattusa is like a wide-open history book. Just experts understand its secrets at first glance. The average visitor needs a lot of imagination to read these ancient stories - or a knowledgeable guide. This is where Selo and Achmed come into play: art historians one, excavation helpers the other. Both constantly on the move in Hattuscha.

In the second millennium BC, the Hittites ruled almost all of Anatolia and a number of vassal states - including Troy. The Great King was at eye level with the Pharaohs and Babylonians: they traded and negotiated with each other, but also hit their heads hard if necessary. The fact that much is known today from the history, religion and culture of this long-forgotten people is largely thanks to 30,000 tablets with the Akkadian cuneiform script. The tablets were found and deciphered in Hattusa. It is now known that the Hittites were incredibly religiously tolerant: “When they subjugated other peoples, they did not pounce on their gods as is common practice. But on the contrary. They adopted them in their own pantheon in order to be merciful and not to seek revenge,” explains Selo, referring to the city's 31 temples and sanctuaries, the “realm of a thousand gods”.

Secure the goodwill of the gods

The most important deities can be found at Hattusha's most impressive place: the rock sanctuary Yazilikaya. Processions of male and female deities are carved into the walls of two rock chambers. It is headed by the weather god Teschup and the sun goddess Hepat. Both deities are accompanied by the holy bull’s Hurri and Scheri. Also great is the scene in which the god of death, Scharruma, protects the great king Tuthaliya IV. and leads him to the realm of the dead. How the religious festivals of the Hittites went on site was written down on numerous cuneiform tablets. Because just the precise execution of the rituals ensured the goodwill of the gods.

Lion gate as a trap for warriors

How defensive Hattusa once was and how great the city must have looked to visitors can be judged by the remains of the imposing city fortifications. At the lion gate with its three-and-a-half-meter high door pillars, Achmed demonstrates how the gate chamber was secured in an attack and became a trap for enemy warriors. Just as exciting: a single file through the underground tunnel through which the warriors could attack besieged soldiers without being noticed.

Hattusa's youngest attraction

Hattuscha's youngest attraction is just five years old, but it is particularly impressive. At the entrance, the archaeologists reconstructed a 65-meter section of the old defensive wall. Eight meters high, several meters thick and equipped with two defence towers. The whole thing piled up like in Hittite times from unbaked adobe bricks. A project on experimental archaeology that is unique in the world.

"And now imagine that this represents just one percent of the original city wall," Selo adds to the amazement of the visitors. But you can also find striking traces of the Hittites outside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hattuscha: in Alacahöyük there is the Sphinx Gate with double-headed eagle, once access to an extensive temple-palace complex. In Çorum there is a small but fine museum with all sorts of objects of everyday use and cult, cuneiform tablets, ceramics, weapons, jewellery as well as two detailed princes' graves, including skeletons and grave goods. In Ankara, the grand Hittite section in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations completes the mosaic of this people.

Rock crystal lions, gold sun discs

Here we meet - sometimes made of clay, sometimes cast from metal - Hurri and Scheri, the sacred bulls of the gods. Here you can see statues of gods made of ivory and lion figures made of rock crystal. Drinking and sacrificial vessels in the form of animal and human shapes. Sun discs made of gold, cosmetic jars made of gemstones, giant vases and cuneiform tablets. The treasure trove of monumental stone sculptures and artistic reliefs that once adorned temples, palaces and city gates is also impressive. With kings and gods, mythical creatures and jugglers, scenes of sacrifice and battle, hunting and war pictures. Most date from the late Hittite principalities from the tenth to eighth centuries BC.

Fall unexplained

The Hittite empire and Hattuscha had already perished at this point. Why, that has not yet been conclusively clarified. Internal conflicts, frequent crop failures or wars on several fronts are discussed by the researchers. What is left of this people and their culture is worth a trip - right in the heart of Turkey.


Biblical background Edit

Before the archeological discoveries that revealed the Hittite civilization, the only source of information about the Hittites had been the Old Testament. Francis William Newman expressed the critical view, common in the early 19th century, that, "no Hittite king could have compared in power to the King of Judah. ". [11]

As the discoveries in the second half of the 19th century revealed the scale of the Hittite kingdom, Archibald Sayce asserted that, rather than being compared to Judah, the Anatolian civilization "[was] worthy of comparison to the divided Kingdom of Egypt", and was "infinitely more powerful than that of Judah". [12] Sayce and other scholars also noted that Judah and the Hittites were never enemies in the Hebrew texts in the Book of Kings, they supplied the Israelites with cedar, chariots, and horses, and in the Book of Genesis were friends and allies to Abraham. Uriah the Hittite was a captain in King David's army and counted as one of his "mighty men" in 1 Chronicles 11.

Initial discoveries Edit

French scholar Charles Texier found the first Hittite ruins in 1834 but did not identify them as such. [10] [13]

The first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the karum of Kanesh (now called Kültepe), containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain "land of Hatti". Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but clearly Indo-European. [14]

The script on a monument at Boğazkale by a "People of Hattusas" discovered by William Wright in 1884 was found to match peculiar hieroglyphic scripts from Aleppo and Hama in Northern Syria. In 1887, excavations at Amarna in Egypt uncovered the diplomatic correspondence of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. Two of the letters from a "kingdom of Kheta"—apparently located in the same general region as the Mesopotamian references to "land of Hatti"—were written in standard Akkadian cuneiform, but in an unknown language although scholars could interpret its sounds, no one could understand it. Shortly after this, Sayce proposed that Hatti or Khatti in Anatolia was identical with the "kingdom of Kheta" mentioned in these Egyptian texts, as well as with the biblical Hittites. Others, such as Max Müller, agreed that Khatti was probably Kheta, but proposed connecting it with Biblical Kittim rather than with the Biblical Hittites. Sayce's identification came to be widely accepted over the course of the early 20th century and the name "Hittite" has become attached to the civilization uncovered at Boğazköy. [ citation needed ]

During sporadic excavations at Boğazköy (Hattusa) that began in 1906, the archaeologist Hugo Winckler found a royal archive with 10,000 tablets, inscribed in cuneiform Akkadian and the same unknown language as the Egyptian letters from Kheta—thus confirming the identity of the two names. He also proved that the ruins at Boğazköy were the remains of the capital of an empire that, at one point, controlled northern Syria.

Under the direction of the German Archaeological Institute, excavations at Hattusa have been under way since 1907, with interruptions during the world wars. Kültepe was successfully excavated by Professor Tahsin Özgüç from 1948 until his death in 2005. Smaller scale excavations have also been carried out in the immediate surroundings of Hattusa, including the rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, which contains numerous rock reliefs portraying the Hittite rulers and the gods of the Hittite pantheon.

Writings Edit

The Hittites used a variation of cuneiform called Hittite cuneiform. Archaeological expeditions to Hattusa have discovered entire sets of royal archives on cuneiform tablets, written either in Akkadian, the diplomatic language of the time, or in the various dialects of the Hittite confederation. [15]

Museums Edit

The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey houses the richest collection of Hittite and Anatolian artifacts.

The Hittite kingdom was centred on the lands surrounding Hattusa and Neša (Kültepe), known as "the land Hatti" ( URU Ha-at-ti). After Hattusa was made capital, the area encompassed by the bend of the Kızılırmak River (Hittite Marassantiya) was considered the core of the Empire, and some Hittite laws make a distinction between "this side of the river" and "that side of the river". For example, the reward for the capture of an escaped slave after he managed to flee beyond the Halys is higher than that for a slave caught before he could reach the river.

To the west and south of the core territory lay the region known as Luwiya in the earliest Hittite texts. This terminology was replaced by the names Arzawa and Kizzuwatna with the rise of those kingdoms. [16] Nevertheless, the Hittites continued to refer to the language that originated in these areas as Luwian. Prior to the rise of Kizzuwatna, the heart of that territory in Cilicia was first referred to by the Hittites as Adaniya. [17] Upon its revolt from the Hittites during the reign of Ammuna, [18] it assumed the name of Kizzuwatna and successfully expanded northward to encompass the lower Anti-Taurus Mountains as well. To the north, lived the mountainous people called the Kaskians. To the southeast of the Hittites lay the Hurrian empire of Mitanni. At its peak, during the reign of Muršili II, the Hittite empire stretched from Arzawa in the west to Mitanni in the east, many of the Kaskian territories to the north including Hayasa-Azzi in the far north-east, and on south into Canaan approximately as far as the southern border of Lebanon, incorporating all of these territories within its domain.

Origins Edit

It is generally assumed that the Hittites came into Anatolia some time before 2000 BC. While their earlier location is disputed, it has been speculated by scholars for more than a century that the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe, in present-day Ukraine, around the Sea of Azov, spoke an early Indo-European language during the third and fourth millennia BC. [19]

The arrival of the Hittites in Anatolia in the Bronze Age was one of a superstrate imposing itself on a native culture (in this case over the pre-existing Hattians and Hurrians), either by means of conquest or by gradual assimilation. [20] [21] In archaeological terms, relationships of the Hittites to the Ezero culture of the Balkans and Maykop culture of the Caucasus have been considered within the migration framework. [22] The Indo-European element at least establishes Hittite culture as intrusive to Anatolia in scholarly mainstream.

According to Anthony, steppe herders, archaic Proto-Indo-European speakers, spread into the lower Danube valley about 4200–4000 BC, either causing or taking advantage of the collapse of Old Europe. [23] Their languages "probably included archaic Proto-Indo-European dialects of the kind partly preserved later in Anatolian." [24] Their descendants later moved into Anatolia at an unknown time but maybe as early as 3000 BC. [25] According to J. P. Mallory it is likely that the Anatolians reached the Near East from the north either via the Balkans or the Caucasus in the 3rd millennium BC. [26] According to Parpola, the appearance of Indo-European speakers from Europe into Anatolia, and the appearance of Hittite, is related to later migrations of Proto-Indo-European speakers from the Yamnaya culture into the Danube Valley at c. 2800 BC, [27] [28] which is in line with the "customary" assumption that the Anatolian Indo-European language was introduced into Anatolia sometime in the third millennium BC. [29] However, Petra Goedegebuure has shown that the Hittite language has lend many words related to agriculture from cultures on their eastern borders, which is strong evidence of having taken a route across the Caucasus "Anatolians on the move" Oriëntal Institute lecture and against a route through Europe.

Their movement into the region may have set off a Near East mass migration sometime around 1900 BC. [ citation needed ] The dominant indigenous inhabitants in central Anatolia at the time were Hurrians and Hattians who spoke non-Indo-European languages. Some have argued that Hattic was a Northwest Caucasian language, but its affiliation remains uncertain, whilst the Hurrian language was a near-isolate (i.e. it was one of only two or three languages in the Hurro-Urartian family). There were also Assyrian colonies in the region during the Old Assyrian Empire (2025–1750 BC) it was from the Assyrian speakers of Upper Mesopotamia that the Hittites adopted the cuneiform script. It took some time before the Hittites established themselves following the collapse of the Old Assyrian Empire in the mid-18th century BC, as is clear from some of the texts included here. For several centuries there were separate Hittite groups, usually centered on various cities. But then strong rulers with their center in Hattusa (modern Boğazkale) succeeded in bringing these together and conquering large parts of central Anatolia to establish the Hittite kingdom. [30]

Early Period Edit

The early history of the Hittite kingdom is known through tablets that may first have been written in the 18th century BC, [31] [2] in Hittite [31] [32] but most of the tablets survived only as Akkadian copies made in the 14th and 13th centuries BC. These reveal a rivalry within two branches of the royal family up to the Middle Kingdom a northern branch first based in Zalpuwa and secondarily Hattusa, and a southern branch based in Kussara (still not found) and the former Assyrian colony of Kanesh. These are distinguishable by their names the northerners retained language isolate Hattian names, and the southerners adopted Indo-European Hittite and Luwian names. [33]

Zalpuwa first attacked Kanesh under Uhna in 1833 BC. [34]

One set of tablets, known collectively as the Anitta text, [35] begin by telling how Pithana the king of Kussara conquered neighbouring Neša (Kanesh). [36] However, the real subject of these tablets is Pithana's son Anitta ( r . 1745–1720 BC), [37] who continued where his father left off and conquered several northern cities: including Hattusa, which he cursed, and also Zalpuwa. This was likely propaganda for the southern branch of the royal family, against the northern branch who had fixed on Hattusa as capital. [38] Another set, the Tale of Zalpuwa, supports Zalpuwa and exonerates the later Ḫattušili I from the charge of sacking Kanesh. [38]

Anitta was succeeded by Zuzzu ( r. 1720–1710 BC) [37] but sometime in 1710–1705 BC, Kanesh was destroyed, taking the long-established Assyrian merchant trading system with it. [34] A Kussaran noble family survived to contest the Zalpuwan/Hattusan family, though whether these were of the direct line of Anitta is uncertain. [39]

Meanwhile, the lords of Zalpa lived on. Huzziya I, descendant of a Huzziya of Zalpa, took over Hatti. His son-in-law Labarna I, a southerner from Hurma (now Kalburabastı) usurped the throne but made sure to adopt Huzziya's grandson Ḫattušili as his own son and heir.

Old Kingdom Edit

The founding of the Hittite Kingdom is attributed to either Labarna I or Hattusili I (the latter might also have had Labarna as a personal name), [40] who conquered the area south and north of Hattusa. Hattusili I campaigned as far as the Semitic Amorite kingdom of Yamkhad in Syria, where he attacked, but did not capture, its capital of Aleppo. Hattusili I did eventually capture Hattusa and was credited for the foundation of the Hittite Empire. According to The Edict of Telepinu, dating to the 16th century BC, "Hattusili was king, and his sons, brothers, in-laws, family members, and troops were all united. Wherever he went on campaign he controlled the enemy land with force. He destroyed the lands one after the other, took away their power, and made them the borders of the sea. When he came back from campaign, however, each of his sons went somewhere to a country, and in his hand the great cities prospered. But, when later the princes' servants became corrupt, they began to devour the properties, conspired constantly against their masters, and began to shed their blood." This excerpt from the edict is supposed to illustrate the unification, growth, and prosperity of the Hittites under his rule. It also illustrates the corruption of "the princes", believed to be his sons. The lack of sources leads to uncertainty of how the corruption was addressed. On Hattusili I's deathbed, he chose his grandson, Mursili I (or Murshilish I), as his heir. [41]

In 1595 BC, Mursili I conducted a great raid down the Euphrates River, bypassing Assyria, and captured Mari and Babylonia, ejecting the Amorite founders of the Babylonian state in the process. However, internal dissension forced a withdrawal of troops to the Hittite homelands. Throughout the remainder of the 16th century BC, the Hittite kings were held to their homelands by dynastic quarrels and warfare with the Hurrians—their neighbours to the east. [42] Also the campaigns into Amurru (modern Syria) and southern Mesopotamia may be responsible for the reintroduction of cuneiform writing into Anatolia, since the Hittite script is quite different from that of the preceding Assyrian Colonial period.

Mursili continued the conquests of Hattusili I. Mursili's conquests reached southern Mesopotamia and even ransacked Babylon itself in 1531 BC (short chronology). [43] Rather than incorporate Babylonia into Hittite domains, Mursili seems to have instead turned control of Babylonia over to his Kassite allies, who were to rule it for the next four centuries. This lengthy campaign strained the resources of Hatti, and left the capital in a state of near-anarchy. Mursili was assassinated shortly after his return home, and the Hittite Kingdom was plunged into chaos. The Hurrians (under the control of an Indo-Aryan Mitanni ruling class), a people living in the mountainous region along the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern south east Turkey, took advantage of the situation to seize Aleppo and the surrounding areas for themselves, as well as the coastal region of Adaniya, renaming it Kizzuwatna (later Cilicia).

Following this, the Hittites entered a weak phase of obscure records, insignificant rulers, and reduced domains. This pattern of expansion under strong kings followed by contraction under weaker ones, was to be repeated over and over through the Hittite Kingdom's 500-year history, making events during the waning periods difficult to reconstruct. The political instability of these years of the Old Hittite Kingdom can be explained in part by the nature of the Hittite kingship at that time. During the Old Hittite Kingdom prior to 1400 BC, the king of the Hittites was not viewed by his subjects as a "living god" like the Pharaohs of Egypt, but rather as a first among equals. [44] Only in the later period from 1400 BC until 1200 BC did the Hittite kingship become more centralized and powerful. Also in earlier years the succession was not legally fixed, enabling "War of the Roses" style rivalries between northern and southern branches.

The next monarch of note following Mursili I was Telepinu (c. 1500 BC), who won a few victories to the southwest, apparently by allying himself with one Hurrian state (Kizzuwatna) against another (Mitanni). Telepinu also attempted to secure the lines of succession. [45]

Middle Kingdom Edit

The last monarch of the Old kingdom, Telepinu, reigned until about 1500 BC. Telepinu's reign marked the end of the "Old Kingdom" and the beginning of the lengthy weak phase known as the "Middle Kingdom". [46] The period of the 15th century BC is largely unknown with very sparse surviving records. [47] Part of the reason for both the weakness and the obscurity is that the Hittites were under constant attack, mainly from the Kaska, a non-Indo-European people settled along the shores of the Black Sea. The capital once again went on the move, first to Sapinuwa and then to Samuha. There is an archive in Sapinuwa, but it has not been adequately translated to date.

It segues into the "Hittite Empire period" proper, which dates from the reign of Tudhaliya I from c. 1430 BC.

One innovation that can be credited to these early Hittite rulers is the practice of conducting treaties and alliances with neighboring states the Hittites were thus among the earliest known pioneers in the art of international politics and diplomacy. This is also when the Hittite religion adopted several gods and rituals from the Hurrians.

Tourist Attraction Will Transport You Back in Time to Ancient Hittite Village

An exciting new project is on the way for the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa. The village will be recreated so visitors can experience what daily life was like for people who lived in the Hittite kingdom about 3,500 years ago.

Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkey’s forthcoming tourist attraction is the result of decades of research on the ancient site of Hattusa. The Hittite center is in what is now the Bogazkale district, in the heart of a national park. It is known for its treasures, monumental gates, statues, and inscriptions. On the world map of ancient cities, it is one of the richest archaeological sites. The texts that were discovered at Hattusa consist of official letters, legal codes, descriptions of cult ceremonies, literature, oracular prophecies, and other interesting documents.

The site is surrounded by 6 kms (3.73 miles) of walls and it is one of the most important sites in Turkey. It has been recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 2001. Over the last few decades, archaeologists have unearthed 31 temples, granaries, and many other buildings in Hattusa. Now, the project to rebuild the Hittite village is being conducted by the Bogazkale District Governor's Office and led by the District Gov. Osman Aydogan.

The Hittite village project will be constructed in a field measuring 7,000 square meters (75347 sq. ft.) It will cost over 1 million Turkish Liras. Aydogan and the leaders of the Middle Black Sea Development Agency (OKA) believe that the project will help the site bring in more visitors from around the world.

Osman Aydogan said the village will depict the reality of life 3,500 years ago:

“Because the ancient city is 3,500 years old, our artifacts are basic ones. We designed a big Hittite village to be built with Hittite architecture. Their daily life will be revived in the village and tourists will be able to spend the night there. Just like in the Hittite [times], we will build stone and adobe structures with a lion’s gate. It will have a backyard, shops, king’s room, prison, bakeshop and iron work shop.”

Hattusa is one of the most fascinating sites of ancient Anatolia. The city still holds many secrets, but researchers found enough information about its history for the tourist attraction to be created.

A few months ago, archaeologists unearthed one of the site’s most fascinating architectural elements. As Natalia Klimczak reported on August 23, 2016 for Ancient Origins:

Archaeologists announced the discovery of an ancient tunnel which is located in Alacahöyük, one of the most important centers of the Hittite Empire - Hattusa. It is a key excavation site for modern Turkey. According to Hurriyet Daily News , the tunnel is 2,300-years-old and it was a secret passageway known as a potern.

The excavations were led by Professor Aykut Çınaroğlu from Ankara University, along with a team of 24 researchers. They discovered a tunnel during works on a sanctuary unearthed in 2014. The discovery also confirms that there was more than one secret tunnel in Hattusa. As Çınaroğlu said:

''This new potern proves the existence of other poterns in Alacahöyük. We are carrying out excavations right now we have not finished yet. We started from the gate opening to the sanctuary, trying to open it. This is a potern from nearly 2,300 years ago. We have dug 23 meters so far but think that it is longer. Cleaning work is continuing, too. We will see what we will find in the end. Poterns were placed under the castle, extending into the city. We have previously found a cuneiform tablet here, featuring a king who explains to priests what to do during ceremonies. This secret tunnel might have had a sacred function.''

The researchers said that the discovery was very exciting for the team, and they are going to continue excavations in the new season.

The site of Hattusa was discovered in 1835 by W.C. Hamilton, but the first regular excavations did not take place until 1907 when they were carried out by the Ottoman archaeologist Makridi Bey. Work was continued in 1935, during the rule of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In 1997, Professor Çınaroğlu became the director of the campaign.

Hattusa is a site full of treasures and is mentioned in history books due to the rich correspondence between the Hittite kings and other rulers, like the pharaohs of Egypt. The site contains many important places, including pre-Hittite royal tombs dating to 3,000 BC. It has yielded stunning artifacts such as weapons, gold and silver containers, jewelry, bronze and clay animal sculptures, chairs, belt buckles, and gold leaf-covered figures. One of the most famous symbols of the Alacahöyük site is the Sphinx Gate at the south of the city, which consists of two great sphinxes facing outward. This feature is dated back to 1,400 BC.

Top Image: Lion Gate, Hattusa, Turkey. Source: Bernard Gagnon /CC BY SA 3.0

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H.G. Güterbock , “Notes on Some Hittite Monuments: The Sphinx Gate of Hüyük, near Alaca,” AnSt 6, 1956, 54–56, Pl. IVa.

M.J. Mellink , op. cit. , 17 .

M.J. Mellink , op. cit. , 17 .

M.J. Mellink , op. cit. , 26 .

Cf. A. Ünal , “The Textual Illustration of the “Jester Scene” on the Sculptures of Alaca Höyük,” AnSt 44, 1994, 207–218 H. Baltacıoğlu, “Alaca Höyük Sfenksli Kapı’ya ait akrobatlar kabartması,” Olba 1, Mersin 1998, 1–28.

A. Ünal , op.cit. 211 . It is rather a kind of spear that is held by the priest. A similarly looped spear is held by one of the two priests on the previously mentioned relief, see n. 20.

, op.cit. 211 . It is rather a kind of spear that is held by the priest. A similarly looped spear is held by one of the two priests on the previously mentioned relief, see n. 20. )| false

Cf. E. von der Osten-Sacken , “Der kleinasiatische Gott der Wildflur,” IstMitt 38, 1988, 70, 71 fig. 3 H.G. Güterbock, “Hittite kursa ‘Hunting Bag’,” in A. Leonard, B.B. Williams (eds), Essays in Ancient Civilization Presented to Helene J. Kantor , Chicago 1989, 113 f., 119, Pl. 19.

R.L. Alexander , “A Great Queen on the Sphinx Piers at Alaca Hüyük,” AnSt 39, 1989, 151–158.

A. Archi , “Divinità tutelari e Sondergötter ittiti,” SMEA 16, 1975, 89–118 now also N. Bolatti Guzzo, M. Marazzi, op. cit. , 13 f., with references.

See J.D. Hawkins , “Tudhaliya the Hunter,” 49–76 .

, “Tudhaliya the Hunter,” 49–76 . )| false

Cf., e.g., K. Bittel , op. cit. , 201 .

P. Neve , “Zur Datierung des Sphinxtores in Alaca Höyük,” 213–226 . Also R. Naumann, Architektur Kleinasiens von ihren Anfängen bis zum Ende der hethitischen Zeit , Tübingen 1971, 81–82, prefers a late 13th century date.

, “Zur Datierung des Sphinxtores in Alaca Höyük,” 213–226 . Also R. Naumann, Architektur Kleinasiens von ihren Anfängen bis zum Ende der hethitischen Zeit , Tübingen 1971, 81–82, prefers a late 13th century date. )| false


    Gorny, Ronald L. "Zippalanda and Ankuwa: The Geography of Central Anatolia in the Second Millennium B. C." Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 549-557 (1997). Popko, Maciej. "Zippalanda and Ankuwa Once More." Journal of the American Oriental Society. Vol. 120, no. 3, pp. 445-448 (2000). Trevor Bryce, The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East from the Early Bronze Age to the Fall of the Persian Empire. Routledge, 2013 ISBN 1134159080 p. 21 Woolley 1961 Trevor Bryce, The Kingdom of the Hittites rev. ed., Oxford University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-19-928132-7 Theodor Makrid Bey, La porte des sphinx a Euyuk Fouilles du Musee Imperial Ottoman, Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatisch-Agyp-tischen Gesellschaft, vol. 13, 1908 Robert L. Alexander, A Great Queen on the Sphinx Piers at Alaca Hüyük, Anatolian Studies, vol. 39, pp. 151-158, 1989 H. Z. Kosay, Ausgrabungen von Alaca Höyük: ein Vorbericht über die im Auftrage der Türkischen Geschichts kommission im Sommer 1936 durchgeführten Forschungen und Entdeckungen, TTKY, vol. 2a, 1944

Alaca Hüyük

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Alaca Hüyük, ancient Anatolian site northeast of the old Hittite capital of Hattusa at Boğazköy, north-central Turkey. Its excavation was begun by Makridi Bey in 1907 and resumed in 1935 by the Turkish Historical Society. Inside a sphinx gate, traces of a large Hittite building were discovered. Below the Hittite remains was a royal necropolis of 13 tombs dating from about 2500 bc . Although material from the same period at Alişar Hüyük (q.v.) seemed to indicate a relatively primitive community of farmers and traders, the tombs of Alaca Hüyük provide evidence of considerable cultural accomplishment and refinement. While the tomb pottery is comparatively primitive in style, there is ample evidence of the advanced accomplishments of Copper Age metallurgy. Filigree ornaments (see photograph ), jewelry, bowls, jugs, and chalices of gold were found, and sheet gold or gold wire was freely used in ornamentation. Vessels and bands of silver, and bowls and statuettes of copper or bronze are also represented. Included in the tomb finds were female “idols” these were probably early cult images of the typical Anatolian mother goddess.

Although the ethnic identity of Alaca’s preliterate inhabitants is uncertain, it is most plausible to assign them to the non-Indo-European population that preceded the arrival of the people now known as Hittites archaeological parallels are available among Heinrich Schliemann’s Trojan treasures from Troy (level II) and from the Early Bronze Age at Cyprus.

Alacahöyük Excavation Area

One of Turkey's most important Bronze Age sites (though settlement here actually stretches from the Chalcolithic through to the Iron Age), Alacahöyük's compact excavation area comprises a monumental gate with two sphinxes, a temple complex, a set of early Bronze Age royal shaft graves and a fortified postern gate with a tunnel passage you can still walk through.

Last tickets are 4.45pm from November to March.

The site is entered through the Sphinx Gate with two eyeless sphinxes guarding the door. The detailed reliefs bordering the gate are copies the originals are in Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilisations. They portray musicians, a sword swallower, animals for sacrifice and the Hittite king and queen – all part of festivities and ceremonies dedicated to the Hittite storm god Teshup, shown here as a bull. Once through the gate, the main excavations on the right-hand side are of a Hittite palace/temple complex.

To the left of the monumental gate, protected under plastic covers, are the pre-Hittite (Hattian civilisation-era) royal shaft graves. Dating to 2500 to 2000 BC, each skeleton was buried individually along with a variety of personal belongings and several oxen skulls, which archaeologists presume to be the leftovers of a funereal meal.

On the far left of the back of the excavation area is the ancient city's postern gate, a man-made stone and earthen mound with a vaulted tunnel running through it. Walk through and look down at the surrounding farm fields below to see how the Alacahöyük site was built up over the millennia.

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Watch the video: ITALYA GEZİSİ 2018 (January 2022).