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The Upper City of Hattusha

Hattusha, Capital City of the Hittite Empire

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The view of the city of Hattusha from the Upper city. Remains of various temples can be seen from this point.
Hattusha General View. The view of the city of Hattusha from the Upper city.

Hattusha General View. The view of the city of Hattusha from the Upper city. Remains of various temples can be seen from this point.

Nazli Evrim Serifoglu
The Hittite capital city of Hattusha (also spelled Hattushash, Hattousa, Hattuscha, and Hattusa) was discovered in 1834 by the French architect Charles Texier, although he wasn't completely aware of the importance of the ruins. During the next sixty years or so, numerous scholars came and drew the reliefs, but it wasn't until the 1890s that excavations were undertaken at Hattusha, by Ernst Chantre. By 1907, full scale excavations were under way, by Hugo Winckler, Theodor Makridi and Otto Puchstein, under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute. Hattusha was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

The discovery of Hattusha was an important one to the understanding of the Hittite Civilization. The earliest evidence for Hittites was found in Syria and Hittites were described in the Hebrew bible as a purely Syrian Nation. So, until the discovery of Hattusha, it was believed that Hittites were Syrian. The Hattusha excavations in Turkey revealed both the enormous strength and sophistication of the ancient Hittite Empire, and the time depth of the Hittite civilization centuries before the cultures now called Neo-Hittites were mentioned in the bible.

In this photograph, the excavated ruins of Hattusha are seen in the distance from the upper city. Other important cities in the Hittite Civilization include Gordion, Sarissa, Kultepe, Purushanda, Acemhoyuk, Hurma, Zalpa, and Wahusana.

Source:
Peter Neve. 2000. "The Great Temple in Boghazkoy-Hattusa." Pp. 77-97 in Across the Anatolian Plateau: Readings in the Archaeology of Ancient Turkey. Edited by David C. Hopkins. American School of Oriental Research, Boston.
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