Hattusha Boğazköy: Explore the Capital of the Hittite Empire

Ancient Ruins of This Once-Powerful City Nestled in the Turkish Countryside

Boğazköy-Hattuşa, The Lower TownThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Founded around 1650 BC, Hattusha was the capital of the Hittite Empire and became the focus of the arts and architecture of that time as the capital of one of the four great powers of the Bronze Age: Hittite, Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian.

Boğazköy-Hattusha, The King's Gate (1907)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Discovery of the site

In 1834, Charles Texier discovered the ruins of Boğazköy in north-eastern Central Anatolia and presented them in an elaborate publication in 1839. After a long phase of individual research, systematic excavations by Makridi and Winkler began in 1906 on behalf of Imperial Museum.

The Kadesh TreatyThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

The Kades Treaty (The Earliest Known Peace Treaty)

The discovery of cuneiform tablets during the first excavations including the famous peace treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite king Hattušili III and the Egyptian pharaoh Ramases II, made it possible not only to identify the significance of the city, but also to decipher Hittite

Land Donation DocumentThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

The Hittite capital Boğazköy-Hattusha was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986. In addition, the cuneiform tablets found in the archives of the Hittite state, Boğazköy, were added to the UNESCO Memory of the World list in 2001.

Boğazköy-Hattuşa, The Sphinx Gate after restorationThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Apart from the Kadesh Treaty, there are also other uniques objects in Turkish Museums unearthed in Boğazköy.

Seal Impression (Bulla)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Seal Impression (Bulla) (Çorum Museum)

This seal impression, or bulla, belongs to Hattushili III and his wife Puduhepa, who undersigned the first international peace treaty with Egypt following the Battle of Kadesh in 1269 BC.

The Hittites Bronze SwordThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Bronze Sword (Çorum Museum)

This  cast bronze sword was found by mere chance during road construction work outside the city walls of Hattusha. On one side is a cuneiform inscription in Akkadian language.

The Hittites Bronze SwordThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

"When the Great King Tuthaliya shattered the land of Assuwa, he offered these swords to his Master, the Storm-God as a token of his devotion.” It is thought that this  sentence was inscribed after its acquisition as part of booty.

Orthostat Depicting the Great KingThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Orthostat with King (Çorum Museum)

The male figure walking to the right of the stone block is a relief. The stone block is in the form of a rectangular prism. His four double horns and horned head-dress identify him as a god.

In his right hand, he holds a spear resting on his shoulder. On his left hand, in Hittite hieroglyphs, the words “Great King Tudḫaliya" are inscribed.

The Depiction of Three GodsThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Depiction of Three Gods (Çorum Museum)

In this depiction, three gods are on a platform side by side, under the winged Hittite sun disk. The storm god is in the middle and his sons, storm gods of the cities of Nerik and Zippalanda, are at his sides.

Dancing GodThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Dancing God (Çorum Museum)

This carved ivory from Temple VII at Boğazköy presents an unusual image of a warlike divinity. The figure wears the horned crown, a characteristic attribute of Mesopotamian deities.

Dancing GodThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

The short kilt indicates an Anatolian milieu, but the horned crown differs from the headgears generally worn by Hittite gods and points instead to this deity’s origin in Mesopotamia.

Cult VaseThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Cult Vase (Boğazköy Museum)

This vase was found in Hattusha, in the house of a senior military commander. It is adorned with a bull’s head, which symbolizes the storm god. It must have been used during rituals and religious ceremonies.

Bronze Tablet (13th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Bronze Tablet (The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations)

The treaty between Tuthaliya IV and Tarhuntaşşa King Kurunta is an important document that sheds light on the historical geography of Anatolia in the 2nd millennium BCE. It is crucial in terms of being the only example of bronze tablet among the tablets unearthed so far.

The Hitttite Embossed VaseThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Embossed Vase (Istanbul Archeology Museums)

On the vase is a standing bearded male figure. He has his arms spread wide. The figure is wearing a horned head-dress. He is naked and his genitals are visible.

The Hittite Karahna Feast TabletThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Karahna Feast Tablet (Istanbul Archeology Museums)

The tablet depicts feasts for different gods that were held in various places under the direction of the King of the Hittites. Karahna feasts consisted of 7 separate celebrations, each lasting 3 days.

Credits: Story

The Excavation Directorate of Boğazköy

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