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history-of-bogazköy

History Of Bogazköy

The ancient Hittite capital is spread over, and spills into, a deep and rocky gorge, looking northward over a wide cultivated valley. The knowledge that we have about the Hittites has come almost exclusively from written records found at Boğazköy, We know from these texts, that by the middle of the second millennium B.C., the political and social structure of these people had developed around the person of the King of the Hittites at Boğazköy, and there existed within the society administrative, religious and military groups. The capital was named Hattusas from the Hattus, the word given to the area by the Hattie people who were living there when the Hittites moved in. From the oldest document found in the Hittite archives. We know that Hattusas was devastated at the beginning of the 18th century B.C. by the forces of Anitta of Kussara. He is thought to have been the greatest of the Hittite kings during the time of the city-states. This same document states that Anitta put a curse on the city to the effect that «Whoever shall be king after me, if he resettles in Hattusas, shall be struck by the storm god». The Hitli-te peoples did, in fact move back into their capital after the death of Anitta. The city had completely taken on the aspects of the Hittite civilization by 1700 B.C. Hattusas was the capital of the Hittites bath during the Old Kingdom period, which extended from 1750 to 1450 B.C. and the period of the Empire, 1450 to 1180 B.C. King Hantili I is thought to have been responsible for the fortification of the city at the beginning of the 16th century. The Kaska people were able to break through this early city wall, however, to sack the capital about a century later during the reign of King Tudhaliyos III. The fortifications were soon rebuilt, and the city went through various periods of building, The old city is that part which occupies the area between the Great Temple  and the  Great  Citadel, known as  Boğazkale. The newer section,  referred  to as  the upper city was   built during  the Empire period. The older part of the capital is only 400 meters long, mounting up to the high citadel. This was the scat of the government, and also the    ‘storage    depot   for the thousands   of tablets   that composed the    royal archives,    long storerooms once having been partially destroyed by fire. During the imperial period, the small old city was vastly., extended. In the reign of Suppiluiiumas, an incredible string of fortifications was erected over the hillside to the south, enclosing    ün afea of   more   than   three hundred acres. This was during the    14th century    B.C.,  and  feat represented a high skill in engineering. The foundations were raised to a level base, faced in part with a stone sloping wall. The double wall above this, standing some thirty feet tali, was erected with huge stones, As many as five temples have been excavated at the capital in Boğazköy. We know relatively llttie abojt their religious beliefs or ceremonies, but the  clay tablets  from  the  Hittite archives haverevealed that religion    was a complex and    very   regimented institution.We have learned a great deal from the large stone reliefs, statues and sutatuettes and moulded relief vases and funerary vessels. The temples were administrated by priests and priestesses with a sacred area of their own In which they carried out their duties. Here were found small statues of gods und goddesses of precious metals and stone, and the temples owned large estates in which more storage areas for religious objects have been uncovered. The duties of the high priest were assumed by the Hittite king for  special ceremonies and celebrations, and after the death of the soireign, he would be added to the already lengthly list of Hittite deities. The king was cremated and buried with a very elaborate ceremony, but no royal tomb has beer uncovered to date.

A new form of art for the Hittites came into widespread use during the Empire period, the monumental relief carvings. We have learnt much about the religion of these early people from the study of the line of gods and goddesses carved on the sanctuary wads at Yazilikaya. Reliefs and statues In the form of sphinxes. ¡Ions, gods and other forms decorated the walls and gateways of Boğazköy, Much of the pottery work of the Hittites was taken from the Old Assyrian Colony period which was centered in the area of Kanesh, In addition to this, the Hittites developed their own unique style of painted pottery. Many examples of vases that were decorated with painted figures in relief, organized in horizontal frieze bands and separated by rows of geometric decoration have been found. These vases and pieces depict scenes out of the Hittite religion, including special ceremonies.

The Hittites were skillful in working with various materials, and fine examples have been taken out of Boğazköy to illustrate this. Among the finds include statuettes of gods and goddesses made of ivory, stone, bronze and gold. The style is very similar to that of the bas-reliefs at the capital. Cylinder and stamp seals also follow the lines of this art with hieroglyphic words and signs making up the decorative effect.

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