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Hattusa: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Hittites’ Capital City Paperback – November 12, 2016
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The Late Bronze Age collapse of societies throughout the Levant, the Near East and the Mediterranean some 3,200 years ago has been a mystery. Powerful, advanced civilizations disappeared, seemingly overnight. Now an archaeologist believes he has figured out what lay behind the cataclysm.
The trigger seems to have been the invasion of ancient Egypt in 1177 BCE by marauding peoples known simply as the “Sea Peoples,” as recorded in the Medinet Habu wall relief at Ramses III' tomb. The relief depicts a sea battle (and also carts full of supplies, women and children, something that always puzzled researchers. Why would the women and children have been at a sea battle, and why were there chariots? Did they bring them on ships as well?) The foreigners were depicted wearing distinct head gear.
The narrative states that Ramses III’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but Egypt was never the same. It slid into a decline – and so did its neighbors.
This collapse was apparently very sudden: a line of advanced and powerful cultures collapsed like a row of dominoes, says Eric Cline, professor of classics and anthropology and Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University.
Relief of the Habu Temple court in session, Medinet Habu. Dcraigtaylor, Wikimedia Commons
Down into chaos went the Egyptians and the Babylonians. The Aegean civilizations of the Minoans and the Mycenians descended into a Dark Age. Peoples who had an advanced writing system, seemed to have forgotten it. In fact some scholars suggest that the events described in the Iliad, such as the destruction of Troy and the Odyssey pertain to this period.
Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age (found south of the Black Sea, in modern Turkey) and its surrounding towns were burned to the ground and abandoned. Gone were monumental architecture, writing systems, pottery types and familiar settlement patterns.
A desperate letter: The enemy is here
Archaeologists find all sorts of destruction events attributed to this time. Almost every Anatolian site from that era shows signs of violence and abandonment.
Ugarit, a port city in ancient Syria that traded with the Hittites and with Egypt, was famously destroyed. In a letter, Hammurabi, the last king of Ugarit, beseeching the king of Alashia (in Cyprus) for help, writes: “My father, behold, the enemy's ships came (here) my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka. Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: the seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.”
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Almost all the main coastal sites of Canaan, including Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod, Akko and Jaffa, were leveled. Inland sites such as the palace at Megiddo were burnt to the ground. The impressive ancient cities of Hazor and Lachish were completely destroyed and left abandoned.
“The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium BCE, which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, long-used trade routes were abandoned, along with writing systems, advanced technology, and monumental architecture,” writes Cline in his best-selling book, "1177 B.C., The Year Civilization Collapsed."
The 'storm' hits: Climate change
A common element of the imploding civilizations in the second millennium BCE is that they were all interconnected.
"They interacted with each other, had trade and diplomatic contacts, arranged royal marriages, international embassies, economic embargoes, and so on," Cline says. "One of the ties between them was the need for both copper and tin, in order to make bronze, which was the primary metal of the era. Most of the copper came from Cyprus most of the tin came from Afghanistan, as did lapis lazuli. Gold came from Egypt. Both raw materials and finished goods were sold, as well as exchanged at the royal level.”
No question, the raids of the “Sea Peoples” were a menace. But a collapse of such magnitude could not have come about due to them alone, or to any single development, Cline argues: it could only have been due to a “perfect storm” of events.
Recent high-resolution pollen analysis of a core taken from the Sea of Galilee, by Dafna Langgut and Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and Thomas Litt of the University of Bonn, has irrefutably shown that the years between 1250 BCE- 1100 BCE were the driest seen throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. This corroborates with the information from clay tablets found in Afek in Israel, Hattusa in Turkey, Emar in Mesopotamia, and Ugarit in Syria, that record a terrible drought, and the resulting difficulties attributed to it.
“There is evidence in the archaeological record of climatic changes such as climate change, drought (resulting in famine), earthquakes, invasions and internal rebellions at this time. Normally if a culture is faced with just one of these tragedies, it can survive it, but what if they all happened at once, or in quick succession?” asks Cline. “It seems that this is what happened between about 1225 BCE and 1175 BCE, and I think that the Late Bronze Age civilizations were simply unable to weather the 'perfect storm' and came crashing down.”
If it happened once
The world of the Mediterranean and the ancient Near East during the Late Bronze Age was obviously not nearly the size of our interconnected world today. "However, they were as interconnected in their own way as we are today, and they were as dependent upon copper and tin to make bronze as we are dependent upon oil for our automobiles,” Cline says.
He for one sees a clear warning in these events that happened thousands of years ago. Now as then, the world seems to be standing on a precipice.
“I would argue that the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the ancient Near East were so interconnected . that when one collapsed, it affected the others, so that one by one they fell, like a chain of dominoes," he says. "The fact that similarly-intertwined civilizations collapsed just after 1200 BCE should be a warning to us if it happened once, it can happen again. Even with all of our technological advancements, we are not immune," Cline says.
In any case, don't blame the “Sea People”. They were also victims, obviously fleeing something looking for a better home where they could survive. They are more of a symptom than the cause of the collapse, says Cline.
If anything perhaps we should identify with them. “We are currently facing the very same type of situation that they faced back in 1177 BCE -- climate change, famines, droughts, rebellions, earthquakes. The only thing missing from today's scenario are the Sea People -- the mysterious invaders from overseas," he says.
Not convinced? Look at the region. The Greek economy is in shambles and has been for a while now, Cline points out. Internal rebellions have shaken Libya, Syria, and Egypt, with outsiders and foreign warriors fanning the flames, and Turkey and Israel are terrified of becoming involved. "Jordan is overcrowded with refugees. Iran is bellicose and threatening, while Iraq is in turmoil The same descriptions fit the situation in 1177 BC,” Cline points out. And next door is the failed state of Somalia, some of whose sons took to the seas themselves, as pirates.
Maybe, Cline suggests, ISIS are a sort of latter-day Sea People, bursting into the void created as the world collapses around them, causing mass migrations of large groups that destabilize the lands to which they flee.
In short, modern man, be not proud. "Every society in the history of the world has ultimately collapsed," Cline points out. "We should be thankful that we are advanced enough to understand what is happening and to take steps to fix things, rather than simply passively accepting things as they occur.”
The Deeds of Suppiluliuma. A Hittite tablet that describes whats known as The Zannanza Affair. Where the recently windowed wife of an Egyptian pharaoh (theorized to be the wife of Tutankhamen) asked for the marriage of a Hittite prince, potentially uniting the two empires. [3567x5094]
Tablet Can be found in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Turkey.
This is one of those “what ifs?” of history as the event was arguably a catalyst for centuries of hostility between the Egyptians and the Hittites.
The tablet just describes the widow in question as “Dakhamunzu” (the king's wife), but it’s almost commonly accepted that it was Ankhesenamun, Tutankhamen widow. Šuppiluliuma I Was The Hittite king who received the request.
Zannanza was the name of the prince that Šuppiluliuma I sent but who disappeared along the way. Possible (as in, speculated due to how events unfold) murdered by Ay, the grand vizier of booth Akhenaten and Tutankhamen who was the one who instead ended up marrying Ankhesenamun and crown himself pharaoh. (He heavily denied it though)
here is a site that describes the whole affair in detail.
(Translation, it's written from his son's perspective. The final part is technically from a different tablet but relevant)
While my father was down in the country of Karchemish, he sent Lupakki and Tarkhunta(?)-zalma forth into the country of Amka. So they went to attack Amka and brought deportees, cattle and sheep back for my father. But when the people of Egypt heard of the attack on Amka, they were afraid. And since, in addition, their lord Nibkhururiya had died, therefore the queen of Egypt, who was Dakhamunzu, sent a messenger to my father and wrote to him thus: "My husband died. A son I have not. But to thee, they say, the sons are many. If thou wouldst give me one son of thine, he would become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband! . I am afraid!" When my father heard this, he called forth the Great Ones for council (saying): "Such a thing has never happened to me in my whole life!" So it happened that my father sent forth to Egypt Hattusha-ziti, the chamberlain (with this order): "Go and bring thou the true word back to me! Maybe they deceive me! Maybe (in fact) they do have a son of their lord! Bring thou the true word back to me!"
But when it became spring, Hattusa-ziti [came back] from Egypt, and the messenger of Egypt, Lord Hani, came with him. Now since my father had, when he sent Hattusa-ziti to Egypt, given him orders as follows: "Maybe they have a son of their lord! Maybe they deceive me and do not want my son for the kingship!" -- therefore the queen of Egypt wrote back to my father in a letter thus: "Why didst thou say 'they deceive me' in that way? Had I a son, would I have written about my own and my country's shame to a foreign land? Thou didst not believe me and has even spoken this to me! He who was my husband has died. A son I have not! Never shall I take a servant of mine and make him my husband! I have written to no other country, only to thee have I written! They say thy sons are many: so give me one of thine! To me he will be my husband, but in Egypt he will be king." So, my father was kindhearted, he complied with the word of the woman and concerned himself with the matter of a son.
My father sent foot soldiers and charioteers who attacked the country of Amka, Egyptian territory. Again he sent troops, and again he attacked it. When the Egyptians became frightened, they asked outright for one of his sons to (take over) the kingship. But when my father gave them one of his sons, they killed him as they led him there. My father let his anger run away with him, he went to war against Egypt and attacked Egypt.
What Evidence of High Technology is Found at Hattusa?
- It feels like bowing to the civil/structural concept of the ancient Hittites constructors. In modern times, we see a vast advancement in building technology. Today’s monuments and buildings in urban cities are mostly constructed with cement, concrete, and bricks. To strengthen the constructed structures various methods are used before execution or while constructing. For example, soil report, feasibility, underground layouts, piling, Stadd, etc., and complex processes.
- But it is astonishing how building techniques were so sound in ancient times. The remains are almost intact. The Hittite people had immense science knowledge and organizational strategies. The conversion of hilly terrain into a city must involve high ancient technology of building science.
- Metallurgy became very vital. Demand for metals increased. It was a bronze age in Hattusa. So, to strengthen the military regimen more resources were required. Not only swords, armors, chariot wheels for military supply but also metallic figurines for decoration.
- Last but not the least, it raises questions about how the places of resources got identified. At present, a lot of data and digital analogy is used before concluding any result. But ancient technology provides evidence. For example, Sungurlu was found fertile for agriculture but it isn’t possible without analysis. That means Hittite must have some innovative technology to detect sources.
A snow-white day in Hattusa , Capital of the ancient Hittite Empire ( Anatolia ) -2-
It is in March 2021 and we are on the road from istanbul to Corum, to Sapinuva and to Alacahoyuk On the traces of the Hittite Empire , Corum and Alacahöyük- Turkey ( Anatolia ) -1- – it is a route on the traces of the old Hittite Empire and today we will continue our drive actually to the most important part of our trip that is Hattusa , which was 4000 years ago the Capital city of the Empire with in total 100.000 inhabitants while today it is a little Anatolian town with 3700 inhabitants .
The Hittites were living from 2000 Bc to 1200 BC .
It is not really clear of where the roots of the Hittite is from – part of the historian assume that they were coming from the Caucasus to Anatolia , others assume that they were folks already living in Mesopotamia .
The empire was built in Hattusa and was later covering huge parts of Turkey , starting in the West at the Aegean Coast and extending till the Euphrat river in the East till Damascus and going down till Lebanon to the Egyptian borderline .
They were a group of Indo – Europeans and one of the first folks speaking the Indo-European language which was later the base of lots of European languages in later days .
The Hittites were also the first civilizations transforming pictorescal scripture to cuneiform scripture .About 30.000 tablets with cuneiform scripts were found during the years in the Hittite settlements which give a lot of insight into the social life , the history and the governmental structure in those days.
On the other hand they were also the first civilization having a written peace treaty.It is the Kadesh Peace Treaty being also presented in the UN Building in New York as it is of a high historical importance .The treaty was made between the Hittite King Hattusili III signed by the Hittite Queen Pudehepa and the Egyptian Pharao Ramses II.
The Kadesh Peace Treaty is also written on a cuneiform tablet .
On this day we are very excited to enter this precious archeological site as I was looking forward to explore the Hittites since quite some time . Our visit to Corum , Sapinuva and Alacahoyuk gave us some incredible insight into this phantastic architecture and city planning of them.The museums have been great and presenting lots of historical gems already but to be at the heart of the Kingdom will be overwhelming I know .
In the night it started snowing and I am just trying to imagine how Hattusa will look like under the snow .Due to the pandemic and the season there is nobody then us as a visitor around .
It will be a huge privilege to visit the site under snow and just alone !What a luxury .I just do hope that there will be no snowstorm as this might make it difficult to look around .
In the morning we meet our private guide – a nice local guy from Bogazkale village who was and is part of the excavation team here in Hattusa .
He is more then happy to show us around and for sure he knows each and every corner of this very huge site .
While we drive to the entrance unfortunately due to the snow and the iced road we have a difficulty to move forward .
But since I am firmly clear to do the visit we decide to do the whole tour as a walk tour which means that we need to walk a distance of 10 km in snow that is about 20 cm high but it is absolutely ok .
The site has an upper city and a lower city .Hattusa was actually the heart of the Empire where the King was living and ruling the whole country .
We have to climb up the snowy slopes as the upper part of the city is at 1200 m .
The environment is gorgeous . We can see a very long distance 360 degrees from the hills .The upper city has a very important logistic place as the army could recognize the enemy 3 days in advance due to the view that they canhave from this location .
It was an important strategic point as they could prepare them within these 3 days to defend the city .
The first stop at the upper city is the Lion Gate .
This is one of the entrance gates to the city .
Since Hattusa is on the Silk Road , caravans with their camels and horses were arriving at this gate when coming from the East , were controlled by the guards and allowed to enter Hattusa .They were then moving to the inner part of the city to Ambarlikaya where in a rock all the food was stored .The inner city had a population of 35.000 people and in the storage they always had food for 40.000 people in case of any emergency could occur whether it was a war case or a natural catastrophy .
Here the caravans were deloading their goods and taking their rests.
I am just standing at the Lion Gate at the outer side of the city wall and can see the road where the caravans were arriving .Unbelievable as it looks so realistic as if this historical path was just used by today .You dont have the feeling that it is 4000 years ago that these paths were really used by those folks.
We move further upwards,it is snowing but the sun is also shining .The view of Hattusa in the virgin snow is really breathtaking .
The road is steep .At our left hand side we can see the temple district .
Due to the huge pantheon of the gods – they were worhshipping 1000 gods , the temples were also very important in the Hittite culture .
To give food or sacrifice animals to calm down the gods of nature , to guarantee a good harvest was always key in their social lifes and to be purified and cleaned by theirs sins in the water bassins in the temples similar as it was later the same in the Judaism , the Christianity or in the Islam .
There have been lots of occasions for celebrations :
The festival of Spring , the Festival of Autumn , the Winter Festival , the Wineyards Festival , the Festival of Rain , the Festival of Thunder , the Festival of PLowing Soil and many others .
The next station on our walk is the Yerkapi Rampart .
The artificial ridge of the fortification and the highest point is marked by Yerkapi. Here we take a walk through the postern tunnel which has a very special architecture .It is about 70 m long and 3-3.5 m high .
The stones are here linked to each other like a puzzle .
Once you would try to move a stone out , the whole tunnel would break down .It should be a kind of a defend system . The tunnel leads you directly to the gate of the Sphinx where you need to turn left .The original sphinx sculptures were once brought to Germany when the city was first discovered and displayed at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin but nearly 100 years later in 2011 the originals returned home and are now presented in the little local Museum of Bogazkale .
The gates of the sphinx and their special locations tell us that this gate was not an ordinary one .
For sure it had a special function in the ancient Empire .
The sphinx look like the outside of a shrine and probably these elaborate gates with the sphinx was opened just for special occassions and the rampart might have been use as a gigantic stage for some performance .
Then you walk outside the citywall along the rampart .The structure is like a pyramid from outside .
84 steps will take you to the upper wall .For sure it is quite artistic to take the snowy steps without falling down – you just need to be utmost careful .
On the top of the wall you need to take some steps down again to arrive at Yerkapi again .
We just move forward to our next stop which is the Kings Gate .
A warrior with a helmet with a horn and with a short sword is shown on a huge stone over here – again the original is in the Ancient Civilizations Museum in Ankara .It is not 100% clear of who this person is -whether he is one of the Hittite kings or maybe representing a deity .For sure this gate was also used for special occasions maybe for some special cultic processions .
While we walk up the hills we again and again have a view to the extremely huge environment . What a panorama !What a great location !
Slowly we also get tired as at some parts of our walk it is snowing and there is an icy , cold wind .
After the Kings gate we begin to walk down the slopes on the other side of the city . Here we stop by at the Nisantepe .Here we can see a huge rock with long inscriptions .Due to the climate influences unfortunately the inscriptions are not that clear any more .It is said that these inscriptions are Luwian hieroglyphics.
Lastly we arrive at the royal complex of Hattusa , the place where the King was living with his family . Today it is called Buyukkale which means Big Castle .Today tehre are stairs to get to the plateau of the royal complex but in the ancient times it was a kind of ramp that you needed to walk up to get to the site .This plateau is about 250x 140 m big and today there are just some ruins of the placae , its several gates , its pool .
The royal family had his private living space over here with a view down to the big temple at the lower city.There was also a huge building where it is assumed that it had administrational functions.
We decide to finalize our walking tour here as we walked about 10 km already – there are still so many locations to see and to visit at this upper city but this needs to be done on another day.
As time is short we also take a short break at the lower city .
Here we can also see the temple structures of the city and the great urban planning and architecture of the site .
Right at the entrance the lions bassin is stunning .It is a place where people cleaned themselves before they entered the city .
Another very important part of our daily trip for sure is the Hittite Rock Sanctuary of Yazilikaya which is just close by , about 2 km from Hattusa .Normally in spring or summer people also walk from Hattusa to the sanctuary .
This place actually was a place where the New Year ie the Beginning of the Spring celebrations were held .
We enter this sanctuary via steps and arrive at a place with an altar .
Inside the sanctuary are 2 chambers with carvings of gods on the rocks .
In the first chamber there are male gods on one side and female gods on the other side .The male gods have short skirts , high pointed hats and shoes that are curling up at the toe . This is how you can recognize them .Some of the gods have beards ,some of the have wings like the Moon God or the God of the Heavens .
The female gods have long skirts , curly shoes and headdresses as well .
At the end of the chamber there are the portrays of 2 supreme gods which are the Weather or Storm God Teshup and the Sun Goddess Hebat .
The gods are standing on other smaller mountain gods , the double headed eagle and on the shoulders of a wild cat .
In the second chamber there are the 12 Gods of the Underworld carved into the rock .
A little further there is the God Sharumma with King Tuthaliya IV under his arm .
Few steps further there is a portray of the Sword God or the God of Nergal of the Underworld with 2 lion heads at his side and 3 niches where probably offerings during the celebrations have been placed .
The sanctuary is an amazing and very special place .
We leave the sanctuary being so much impressed and felt the very special energy that it is still spreading .
Last but not least we will shortly visit the small museum of bogazkale as well as we definitely need to see the original sphinx sculptures .
There are very nice pieces in the museum where I will just show very few of them .
We leave Hattusa and its endless treasures , secrets and beauties behind .
It was a gorgeous , extraordinary day -I was dreaming of visiting Hattusa one day and to follow the traces of this majestic 4000 year old empire of the ancient world and I got a very special chance to see it in its snowwhite dress – just for myself – being the one and only visitor on such a white day and to have the chance to breathe the great culture .
For me it is for sure that very soon I will use the chance to see the site in spring or summer time again and to look into all the historical parts that we missed out for this time .
We also have won some good friends in Bogazkale which is the hotel owner of our hotel Mr Cengiz who also played the role of a Hittite King in a BBC documentary and our guide Mr Davut who will continue with the team to do the excavations in the next years .
I do hope that there will be a lot of great treasures found and enlighten mankind of this wonderful ancient Anatolian Civilization !
It is well documented that the Babylonians tracked the planets and associated each with a deity. The table below details the similarities between the name of the planet used in modern day astrology, the name of the Mesopotamian deity, and that deity’s correspondence.
|--Modern Planet Name-||-Presiding Deity-||-Mesopotamian Correspondences--|
|Moon||Sin||God of Fertility & Cattle|
|Sun||Shamash||God of Justice and Truth|
|Mercury||Nabu||God of Wisdom and Writing|
|Venus||Ishtar||Goddess of Sexuality and Warfare|
|Mars||Nergal||God of Death, Underworld, Plague|
|Saturn||Ninurta||God of Healing and Agriculture|
|Jupiter||Marduk||Patron of City of Babylon|
In reviewing this list it is evident how the deity associated with the particular planet has had a pervasive influence on modern astrological interpretation today. For example, the god Nabu is associated with writing which has become a cornerstone for modern interpretation of Mercury’s placement in the natal chart as symbolizes in the way in which one communicates, speak, or writes.
Hittite Mystery! Were they Hindus?
Scholars say that no one knew who were they and where from they came. Their monuments have been found in Bogazkoy (previously known as Hattusa now called Bogazkale) in Turkey.
They ruled Turkey (Anatolia) and Northern Syria.
We knew that they existed between 1800 BCE and 1200 BCE.
What language did they speak?
They spoke an Indo –European language to which Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and most of the European languages belong.
Other than the Sanskrit connection there are lot of similarities between Hindus and Hittites.
Why did their rule come to an end 1200 BCE?
Hattusa (Bogazkoy) , their capital was razed to ground about 1200 BCE. The end was sudden and this has been largely attributed to “sea people” from the Mediterranean. Some disagree.
Hittites are known from Old Testament and clay tablets discovered in Turkey ( area ruled by Hittites). In 1906, Dr Hugo Winckler began excavation in Bogazkoy and found a Royal archive of 10,000 tablets. The tablets give a good picture of Hittite politics and society. Czech scholar B.Hrozny deciphered the script and wrote about it. Hittite called their language NESILI.
Bogazkoy = Hattusa in Turkey
Similarities with the Hindus
1)They spoke a language related to Sanskrit. All scholars agree on it. And so they did not belong to Anatolia (Turkey).
2)They use the phrase 1000 Gods in their peace treaty and this is very common in Hindu scriptures. Decimal system was invented by the Hindus. Vedic god Indra is decribed as a man with 1000 testicles (so potent!) and his Vahra Aydha is 1000 pointed! Thousand here means “a lot”.
3.They signed a peace treaty with the Egyptians 3000 years ago. The signing of peace treaty is also a typical Hindu custom. We hear about the Peace Treaty between Ravana and a Pandya king in Tamil literature (Please read my earlier article on it) We knew about another peace treaty between Mitanni king Dasaratha and Egyptian king around 1400 BCE.
4.Hittite Treaty:–Treaty of Rea-masesha mai Amana, the great king, the king of the Land of Egypt, the valiant, with Hattusili, the great king of the Land of Hatti, his brother, for establishing good peace and good brotherhood worthy of great kingship between them for ever.
The treaty goes on to define the relationship between the two nations to renounce aggression to establish a defensive alliance to guarantee, upon the death of either party, he succession of legitimate heir and to provide for the extradition of fugitives. The treaty was carved on the wall of a great temple of Karnak and at the Ramesseum of Thebes (Egypt). One of the final passages calls upon the gods as witnesses to the good faith of the signatories (this is also typical Hindu custom):
“As for these words —— as for him who shall not keep them, a thousand gods of the land of Hatti together with a thousand gods of the land of Egypt, shall destroy his house, his land and his servants”
Rea- masesha mai Amana was the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. (Again this name is Sanskrit Ramasesha) .The Hittite king’s name was Hattusili (in Sanskrit it is Sathyaseela s=h in many languages)
5)Royal Marriages :Hittites survived by Royal marriages, diplomacy and heroic fights. They were superb fighters. Royal marriages mean marrying girls from neighbouring countries which is also typical Hindu custom: Dasaratha married a woman from Kekaya, Dhritarashtra married a woman from Gandhara/Kandahar, Rama married a woman from Videha etc (Kaikeyi, Gandhari, Vaidehi)
6)Hattusa was full of temples. They were worshipping Storm God (similar to Indra) and Sun Goddess (similar to Gayatri)
7)Buyukkale (Turkish word for Great Castle) occupies a rocky place in Eastern Hattusa, where the king resided. It had its own temple and two libraries, where thousands of cuneiform clay tablets have been found.
8)A tablet from one of the temple archives says, “The deity has now been made as a statue in silver covered with gold in the shape of a bull standing on all fours”. The storm god sometimes was represented a s a bull and at other times was shown accompanied by two bulls that pulled his chariot. Indra is also represented as bull in the Vedas.
9)Hattusili III, who signed a peace treaty with Ramses II,gave his daughter to Ramses II in marriage. Hattusili’s (Sathyaseela) wife was Pudushepa (may be Padmashiva in Sanskrit). She was a Hurrian (Suryan belongs to Surya Kula of Hindus)
Hindu Vahanas in Yazilikaya, Turkey
10)Hindu Gods and goddesses have Vahanas (mounts or vehicles) until today. Hittites’ gods always ride vahanas. North west of Hattusa is Yazilikaya which is described as the most impressive of all Hittite religious structures. Here on the wall, storm god and his consort Hepatu were shown. There are 65 deities on the walls of the rocks. There were big festivals and ceremonial processions with the King and the Queen along with festival sports such as races, wrestling, stone throwing contests and boxing.
Hindu Goddess Durga is described as riding a deer in Tamil epic Silappadikaram and Thevaram of Saivite saints (Kalaiyathurthi in Tamil). We could not see such statues nowadays in India. But in the Hittite world we see deer riding gods!
11)Like Hindus Hittites cremated the bodies. Scholars believe that one of the galleries in Yazilikaya contained the urn with the ash of Tudhaliya, son of Hattusili and Pudushepa. They have identified two figures by hieroglyphs. The larger is the God Sharruma, the smaller is Tudhaliya IV. The relief depicts Sharruma, son of Storm God of Heaven and the goddess Hepatu.
12)Among the Hittites, when a king died it was said that he became God, and the relief may represent a celebration of of Tudhaliya’s entrance in to the Hittite pantheon. Hindus believed that their king was god and in the heaven they were waiting to receive them. Sangam Tamil verse says that Indra was waiting to welcome Tamil chieftain Ay Andiran. Sanskrit literature has such references too.
13)Manu’s Law Code: Hittites had very strict law like Hindu Law book Manu Smriti. Disobedience to the king was one of the few offences punishable by death – not just the offender but of his family as well. A Tamil king who was praised as Manu Neeti (smrti) Choza crushed his own sun under the wheels of his chariot because he crushed to death a calf. And the cow itself came to his palace and rang the Calling/enquiry Bell.
14)What we read in Hindu Atharva Veda is also in the Hittites: From the tablets we have precise descriptions of various rituals: to counteract sorcery, to end pestilence, to engage the help of protective demons, to patch family quarrels, even to cure impotence. One tablet contains words of Muwatalli, the king who fought at Kadesh, concerning what must be said to the gods “when things get too much for a man”.
15)Their prayer was similar to Vedic paryers one of the Hittite prayer runs like this, “Hattian Storm God, my lord, ye gods, my lords! It is only too true that man is sinful. My father sinned and transgressed against the word of the Hattian Storm god, my lord. But I have not sinned in any respect. It is only too true, however the father’s sin falls upon the son. So my father’s sin has fallen upon me…. Take pity on me and drive the plague out of the Hatti land”. This echoes the Hindu prayers. This is the prayer of Mursili II, a king who ruled near the end of 14 th Century BCE. On the annual sacred thread changing day (Upakarma) of the Hindu Brahmins, the priest recites a long list of sins (in fact an amazing list of sins done in seven generations) and begs for pardon.
16).Lion and Double Headed Eagle
Hittites monuments have huge lions carved at the entrance of the Place gate. They depict double headed eagle. Both of them figure in Hindu scriptures. Please see my articles Double headed Eagle: India –Sumeria connection (posted on 18 December 2011) and Vedic Lion around the world (posted on 9 November 2014) . I have dealt with them in detail.
17)Rings with emblems and seals: Ramayana says Dasaratha sent the coronation invitations to all kings of the land with eagle emblem engraved on the invitation. Sanskrit dramas like Sakuntalam, Mudra Rakshasam are based on rings with emblems. We have such rings and seals in Hittite world. Hittite craftsmen fashioned elaborate seals for stamping official and commercial documents and correspondence. The five sided stone seal depicted religious scenes. The seal was hanging around the neck of the king. Hieroglyphs on the gold signet ring identify it as that of the son of a king. In India all such ancient rings were melted and made into new ornaments.
18).A goddess with disc shaped headdress sits on a throne holding an infant on her lap. We have such goddess in Hindu pantheon. Her name is Hariti. Hariti ma is worshiped in Swayambunath temple in Nepal. Neplaese Newars worship her Ajima. She is praised as the protector of children. A Hindu deity later taken by Buddhists went up to Japan. Chinese worship her as Kishimojin and Japanese worship her as Kariteimo (=Hariti Ma). She was said to be a child devouring demon and later converted by Buddha. Since Buddhism had no duties and Buddha never spoke about deity worship, all these must have gone from Hinduism.
19)Scholars have found several similarities between Greek mythology and Hittite mythology. This brings them closer to the Hindus because Greek mythology is nothing but the corrupted form Hindu mythology according to Max Muller and Edward pocoke.
20)Hittites were often attacked by Kaska people from the North. During the reign of Muwatalli, in the late 14 th century BCE, Kaska ttacked Hattusa and set it ablaze. Muwatalli fled, taking his court and the Hittite cult gods with him. His son Uri-Teshub, returned to Hattusa and restored the city as Imperial capital.
21)Huge storage jars were discovered in the Great Temple complex, probably stored oil or grains. One of them had the capacity to store 3000 litres!
Yazilikaya sculptures on huge rocks
22.A Kalyanaraman in his book Aryatarangini has done a very detailed research into West Asian Hindu Civilizations and found out all Sanskrit names behind the corrupted West Asian names. He was very reasonable in arriving at the names. I am very much convinced because even in London, Sri Lankan Tamils corrupt all Indian Sanskrit names. Kanaga Durga Temple is called Kanaka Turka and Ganesh is called Kanesh, Damayanti is called Tamayanti. We see such corruptions in Mauritius Hindu community because of French influence. In South East Asian countries all the Ramayana names are corrupted beyond recognition.Ravana became Rab and Dhanajaya became Tenemjya, Nara Uttama became Nordom Sihanuk. So Kalyana Raman is right in identifying the names with Sanskrit equivalents. Here is the list:
Hittite =Hatti= Kshatriya=Kheta (in Bible)
Hattusas =Sathwasa = My reading is Sathya vacha
(In Tamil we have Vay Mozi Kosar=Truthful Kosar and Athiyaman=Sathyavan=Sathyaputra in Asoka’s inscription)
Anittas = Anitha = son of Pitkhana
Hattusilis = Sathva sila = my reading is Sathyasila
Suppiluloma = he of the golden hair
Now that lot of Hittite tablets are translated and books published, we can compare these and find some supporting documents.
So far as Mitannis are concerned the Sanskrit names are crystal clear. So we have archaeological proof from 1400 BCE for kings with Sanskrit names and Sanskrit numbers in the Horse Training manual of Kikkuli in Turkey/Syria area.
Let us continue our research with Kassites in another article.
Pictures are used from Splendors of the Past, Published by National Geographic Societythanks.
Hattusa: The Ancient Capital of The Hittites
Hattusa, located in Turkey’s Anatolian heartland province of Corum, is definitely worth visiting. The remnants of the Hittite Capital date back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986. The Hittites were a remarkable civilization. The kingdom stretched from the Aegean across Anatolia, northern Syria and to the Euphrates river.
Hattusa is a wonderful Turkish tale of endurance, mystery and deeply layered history. Discovered only in 1834, Hattusa, the capital city of the Hittite Empire, had long been believed a myth. As excavation continues, more and more is being uncovered about this ancient city, those who lived there and how they interacted. We know they were already crafting tools and were a mighty military power in the age of horses and chariots - what else will be discovered?
Archaeologists are still working to uncover more about the Hittites and their capital. Thus far, excavations have found extensive royal archives of clay tablets, known collectively as the Bogazkoy Archive. The tablets feature official correspondence, contracts, legal codes, ceremonial procedures, prophecies, peace settlements and literature of the time. In addition to the extensive clay documentation, a variety of large sculptures were discovered in the ancient capital.
The Last Days of Hattusa
From his capital, Hattusa, in central Anatolia, the last-known Hittite king, Suppiluliuma II (1207 B.C.-?), ruled over a people who had once built a great empire&mdashone of the superpowers (along with Egypt, Mittani, Babylon and Assyria) of the Late Bronze Age. The Kingdom of the Hittites, called Hatti, had stretched across the face of Anatolia and northern Syria, from the Aegean in the west to the Euphrates in the east. But now those days were gone, and the royal capital was about to be destroyed forever by invasion and fire.
Did Suppiluliuma die defending his city, like the last king of Constantinople 2,600 years later? Or did he spend his final moments in his palace, impassively contemplating mankind&rsquos flickering mortality?
Neither, according to recent archaeological evidence, which paints a somewhat less dramatic, though still mysterious, picture of Hattusa&rsquos last days. Excavations at the site, directed by the German archaeologist Jürgen Seeher, have indeed determined that the city was invaded and burned early in the 12th century B.C. But this destruction appears to have taken place after many of Hattusa&rsquos residents had abandoned the city, carrying off the valuable (and portable) objects as well as the city&rsquos important official records. The site being uncovered by archaeologists was probably little more than a ghost town during its final days.
From Assyrian records, we know that in the early second millennium B.C. Hattusa was the seat of a central Anatolian kingdom. In the 18th century B.C., this settlement was razed to the ground by a king named Anitta, who declared the site accursed and then left a record of his destruction of the city. One of the first Hittite kings, Hattusili I (c. 1650&ndash1620 B.C.), rebuilt the city, taking advantage of the region&rsquos abundant sources of water, thick forests and fertile land. An outcrop of rock rising precipitously above the site (now known as Büyükkale, or &ldquoBig Castle&rdquo) provided a readily defensible location for Hattusili&rsquos royal citadel.
Although Hattusa became the capital of one of the greatest Near Eastern empires, the city was almost completely destroyed several times. One critical episode came early in the 14th century, when enemy forces launched a series of massive attacks upon the Hittite homeland, crossing its borders from all directions. The attackers included Arzawan forces from the west and south, Kaskan mountain tribes from the north, and Isuwan forces from across the Euphrates in the east. The Hittite king Tudhaliya III (c. 1360?-1350 B.C.) had no choice but to abandon his capital to the enemy. Tudhaliya probably went into exile in the eastern city of Samuha (according to his grandson and biographer, Mursili II, Tudhalia used Samuha as his base of operations for reconquering lost territories). Hattusa was destroyed, and the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390&ndash1352 B.C.) declared, in a letter tablet found at Tell el-Amarna, in Egypt, that &ldquoThe Land of Hatti is finished!&rdquo
In a series of brilliant campaigns, however, largely masterminded by Tudhaliya&rsquos son Suppiluliuma I (1344&ndash1322 B.C.), the Hittites regained their territories, and Hattusa rose once more, phoenix-like, from its ashes. During the late 14th century and for much of the 13th century B.C., Hatti was the most powerful kingdom in the Near East. Envoys from the Hittite king&rsquos &ldquoroyal brothers&rdquo&mdashthe kings of Egypt, Babylon and Assyria&mdashwere regularly received in the great reception hall on Hattusa&rsquos acropolis. Vassal rulers bound by treaty came annually to Hattusa to reaffirm their loyalty and pay tribute to the Hittite king.
The most illustrious phase in the existence of Hattusa itself, however, did not come during the floruit of the Hittite empire under Suppiluliuma, his son Mursili II (c. 1321&ndash1295 B.C.) or grandson Muwatalli II (c. 1295&ndash1272 B.C.). At this time Hattusa was no match, in size or splendor, for the great Egyptian cities along the Nile&mdashThebes, Memphis and the short-lived Akhetaten, capital of the so-called heretic pharaoh Akhenaten (1352&ndash1336 B.C.). Indeed, during Muwatalli&rsquos reign Hattusa actually went into decline when the royal seat was transferred to a new site, Tarhuntassa, near Anatolia&rsquos southern coast. Only later, when the kingdom was in the early stages of its final decline, did Hattusa become one of the great showplaces of the ancient Near East.
This renovation of the city was the inspiration of King Hattusili III (c. 1267&ndash1237 B.C.), though his son and successor, Tudhaliya IV (c. 1237&ndash1209 B.C.), did most of the work. Not only did Tudhaliya substantially renovate the acropolis he more than doubled the city&rsquos size, developing a new area lying south of and rising above the old city. In the new &ldquoUpper City,&rdquo a great temple complex arose. Hattusa could now boast at least 31 temples within its walls, many built during Tudhaliya&rsquos reign. Though individually dwarfed by the enormous Temple of the Storm God in the &ldquoLower City,&rdquo the new temples left no doubt about Hattusa&rsquos grandeur, impressing upon all who visited the capital that it was the religious as well as the political and administrative heart of the Hittite empire.
Tudhaliya also constructed massive new fortifications. The main casemate wall was built upon an earthen rampart to a height of 35 feet, punctuated by towers at 70-foot intervals along its entire length. The wall twice crossed a deep gorge to enclose the Lower City, the Upper City and an area to the northeast this was surely one of the most impressive engineering achievements of the Late Bronze Age.
What prompted this sudden and dramatic&mdashperhaps even frenetic&mdashsurge of building activity in these last decades of the kingdom&rsquos existence?
One is left with the uneasy feeling that the Hittite world was living on the edge. Despite outward appearances, all was not well with the kingdom, or with the royal dynasty that controlled it. To be sure, Tudhaliya had some military successes in western Anatolia, for instance, he appears to have eliminated the threat posed by the Mycenaean Greeks to the Hittite vassal kingdoms, which extended to the Aegean Sea. But he also suffered a major military defeat to the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta, which dispelled any notion that the Hittites were invincible in the field of battle. Closer to home, Tudhaliya wrote anxiously to his mother about a serious rebellion that had broken out near the homeland&rsquos frontiers and was likely to spread much farther.
Excavations at Hattusa
have turned up beautifully
crafted ritual objects,
such as the 7-inch-high,
silver rhyton, cast
in the shape of a
stag. Credit: Werner
Forman/Art Resource, NY.
Within the royal family itself, there were serious divisions. For this, Tudhaliya&rsquos father, Hattusili, was largely responsible. In a brief but violent civil war, he had seized the throne from his nephew Urhi-Teshub (c. 1272&ndash1267 B.C.) and sent him into exile. But Urhi-Teshub was determined to regain his throne. Fleeing his place of exile, he attempted to win support from foreign kings, and he may have set up a rival kingdom in southern Anatolia.
Urhi-Teshub&rsquos brother Kurunta may also have contributed to the deepening divisions within the royal family. After initially pledging his loyalty to Hattusili, he appears to have made an attempt upon the throne when it was occupied by his cousin Tudhaliya. Seal impressions dating to this period have been found in Hattusa with the inscription &ldquoKurunta, Great King, Labarna, My Sun.&rdquo A rock-cut inscription recently found near Konya, in southern Turkey, also refers to Kurunta as &ldquoGreat King.&rdquo The titles &ldquoGreat King,&rdquo &ldquoLabarna&rdquo and &ldquoMy Sun&rdquo were strictly reserved for the throne&rsquos actual occupant&mdashsuggesting that Kurunta may have instigated a successful coup against Tudhaliya.
Kurunta had every right to mount such a coup. Like Urhi-Teshub, he was a son of the legitimate king, Muwatalli. Urhi-Teshub&rsquos and Kurunta&rsquos rights had been denied when their uncle, Hattusili, usurped royal power for himself and his descendants. If Kurunta did indeed rectify matters by taking the throne by force around 1228 B.C., his occupancy was short-lived, for Tudhaliya again became king, and he remained king for many years after Kurunta disappeared from the historical record.
Nevertheless, the dynasty remained unstable. In an address to palace dignitaries, Tudhaliya made clear how insecure his position was:
The Land of Hatti is full of the royal line: In Hatti the descendants of Suppiluliuma, the descendants of Mursili, the descendants of Muwatalli, the descendants of Hattusili are numerous. Regarding the kingship, you must acknowledge no other person (but me, Tudhaliya), and protect only the grandson and great grandson and descendants of Tudhaliya. And if at any time(?) evil is done to His Majesty&mdash(for) His Majesty has many brothers&mdashand someone approaches another person and speaks thus: &ldquoWhomever we select for ourselves need not even be a son of our lord!&rdquo&mdashthese words must not be (permitted)! Regarding the kingship, you must protect only His Majesty and the descendants of His Majesty. You must approach no other person!
Hattusili’s son Tudhaliya IV (1237–1209 B.C.) greatly expanded Hattusa to include a new Upper City, doubling the size of the Hittite capital. Tudhaliya also built dozens of new temples and massive fortification walls encircling the entire city. Credit: Life And Society in the Hittite World.
Another serious problem confronted the last kings of Hatti. There may well have been widespread famine in the Hittite kingdom during its final decades. The Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah (1213&ndash1203 B.C.) refers to grain shipments sent to the Hittite king &ldquoto keep alive the land of Hatti.&rdquo Tudhaliya himself sent an urgent letter to the king of Ugarit, demanding a ship and crew for the transport of 450 tons of grain. The letter ends by stating that it is a matter of life or death! Was the Hittite kingdom being slowly starved into oblivion?
The Hittite economy was based primarily on agriculture, requiring a substantial labor force. At the same time, the annual Hittite military campaigns were heavily labor-intensive&mdashdraining off Hatti&rsquos strong young men from the domestic workforce. To some extent this was compensated for by captives brought back to the homeland and used as farm laborers. Even so, the kingdom faced chronic shortages of manpower.
The great Temple of the Storm God, Teshub, once dominated the Lower City at Hattusa. The temple is clearly visible at left-center in the photo (which looks northwest over the ancient Lower City to modern Boghazkoy), surrounded by ritual chambers and storerooms. The temple was built by Hattusili III (1267–1237 B.C.)—perhaps on the site of an older temple to Teshub—just northwest of Hattusa’s ancient acropolis (not visible in the photo). Credit: Yann Arthus Bertrand/Corbis.
Increasingly, the Hittites came to depend on outside sources of grain, supplied by vassal states in north Syria and elsewhere. After 1259 B.C., when the Hittites signed a treaty with the Egyptians, Hatti began importing grain from Egypt.
In times of peace and stability, foreign imports made up for local shortfalls. But once supply routes were threatened, the situation changed dramatically. Grain shipments from Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean were transported to Ura, on the Anatolian coast, and then carried overland to Hatti. The eastern Mediterranean was always a dangerous place for commercial shipping, since it was infested with pirates who attacked ships and raided coastal ports. As conditions throughout the region became more unsettled toward the end of the 13th century B.C., the threats to shipping became ever greater.
This provides the context for the Hittite military operations around the island of Cyprus during the reigns of Tudhaliya and his son Suppiluliuma II. The operations were almost certainly aimed at destroying enemy forces that were disrupting grain supplies. These enemies were probably seaborne marauders who had invaded Cyprus to use its harbors as bases for their attacks on shipping in the region. Dramatic evidence of the dangers they posed is provided by a letter from the last king of Ugarit, Ammurapi, to the king of Cyprus, who had earlier asked Ammurapi for assistance:
Excavators at Hattusa found this five-inch-high, 15th-century B.C. ceramic fragment that may depict the cyclopean walls and defensive towers that surrounded the acropolis. Credit: Hirmer Fotoarchiv Muenchen.
My father, behold, the enemy&rsquos ships came (here) my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka? &hellip Thus the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: The seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.
So, while a grave crisis was mounting in the land, with periods of famine, unrest and war aggravated by a dysfunctional royal dynasty, the Hittite kings decided to rebuild Hattusa!
This project obviously required enormous resources. Where did the workers come from? It would have been dangerous to deplete the ranks of the army during a period of conflict with Assyria in the east, rebellion near the homeland&rsquos frontiers (the one Tudhaliya described to his mother) and attacks by marauders in the Mediterranean. The construction workers had to be recruited from among the able-bodied men working the farms&mdashyet another strain on the already taxed Hittite economy.
The new city was the brainchild of Tudhaliya&rsquos father, Hattusili, who was always conscious of the fact that he was not the legitimate successor to the throne. Hattusili thus made great efforts to win acknowledgment from his royal peers: the kings of Egypt, Babylon and Assyria. It was also important for him to win acceptance from his own subjects. His brother and predecessor King Muwatalli had transferred the royal seat to Tarhuntassa. Very likely Hattusili decided to win favor from his people&mdashand the gods&mdashby reinstating Hattusa, the great ancestral Hittite city, as the kingdom&rsquos capital, and to do so on a grander scale than ever before. In this way, Hattusili-the-usurper could assume the role of Hattusili-the-restorer-of-the-old-order.
The seal of Tudhaliya IV (1237–1228 B.C.) is stamped on this 4-inch-high fragment of a letter sent to the king of Ugarit. Although the letter is written in cuneiform, the seal is in Hittite hieroglyphics. Credit: Erich Lessing.
Did this provide a compelling motive for his son, Tudhaliya, who actually undertook the project? Or was Tudhaliya&rsquos commitment to rebuilding the capital as a city of the gods an expression of religious fervor, especially as his kingdom was beginning to crumble around him? Or was he engaging in a gigantic bluff&mdashcreating a spectacular mirage of wealth and power in an attempt to delude subjects, allies and enemies into believing that the fragile empire he ruled was embarking upon a grand new era? Dramatically appealing as such explanations may be, they do not square with the picture we have of Tudhaliya as a level-headed, responsible and pragmatic ruler.
In short, the massive rebuilding of Hattusa at this time remains a mystery, one of the many mysteries attending the collapse of the Bronze Age.
Only a handful of texts survive from the reign of Tudhaliya&rsquos son Suppiluliuma II, and these tell a mixed story. On the one hand, some texts point to continuing unrest among his own subjects, including the elite elements of the state, and to acts of outright defiance by vassal states. On the other hand, military documents record conquests in southern and western Anatolia and naval victories off the coast of Cyprus. These conflicting documents from Suppiluliuma&rsquos reign bring our written records of the Hittite kingdom abruptly to an end. Suppiluliuma, the last known monarch to rule from Hattusa, was almost certainly the king who witnessed the fall of the kingdom of Hatti.
What happened at the royal capital? The evidence of widespread destruction by fire on the royal acropolis, in the temples of both the Upper City and Lower City, and along stretches of the fortifications, suggests a scenario of a single, simultaneous, violent destruction in an all-consuming conflagration. The final blow may have been delivered by bands of Kaskan peoples from the Pontic zone in the north, who had plagued the kingdom from its early days.
As we have seen, however, recent archaeological investigations indicate that by this time the city had already been largely abandoned. The Hittites saw the end coming!
Perhaps Suppiluliuma arranged for the departure of his family while it was still safe, and ordered the evacuation of the most important members of his administration, including a staff of scribes (who carried off the tablets), and a large part of his troops and personal bodyguards. The hoi polloi were left to fend for themselves. Those who stayed behind scavenged through the leavings of those who had departed. When Hattusa was little more than a decaying ruin, outside forces moved in, plundering and torching a largely derelict settlement.
On a wall of his mortuary temple at Thebes, called the Ramesseum, the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (1279–1213 B.C.) carved scenes showing the Battle of Kadesh—a clash between the Egyptians and the Hittites fought in 1274 B.C. near the Orontes River in modern Syria. Thirteen years later, Ramesses signed a peace treaty with the Hittite king Hattusili III (1267–1237 B.C.), putting an end to the protracted war between the two Late Bronze Age superpowers. Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY.
The tablet, found at Hatttusa, is the Egyptian version of the treaty of Kadesh, written in Akkadian. Credit: Erich Lessing.
This raises an important question. If the elite elements of Hittite society abandoned Hattusa, where did they go? Did Suppiluliuma set up a new capital elsewhere? That is not beyond the realm of possibility, for we know of at least two earlier occasions when king and court left Hattusa and re-established their capital in another place (Samuha and Tarhuntassa). We know, too, that at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, which had been made a vice-regal seat in the 14th century B.C., a branch of the Hittite royal family survived for perhaps several centuries after the fall of Hattusa. In fact, northern Syria became the homeland of a number of so-called neo-Hittite kingdoms in the early part of the first millennium. Did Suppiluliuma and his entourage find a new home in Syria?
It may be that the final pages of Hittite history still exist somewhere. In the last few decades, thousands of tablets have been found at sites throughout the Hittite world. This inspires hope that more archives of the period have yet to be found, including the last records of the Hittite empire. If Suppiluliuma II did in fact arrange a systematic evacuation of Hattusa, taking with him everything of importance, the stuff had to go somewhere. Maybe it still lies beneath the soil, awaiting discovery.