The first excavations at Boğazköy were begun in 1906 by Hugo Winckler and Theodore Makrldi, and were continued until 1912. They were resumed in 1931, and continue today. The first major discovery in the digs was that of the cuneiform tablets In the Great Temple. While the cuneiform symbols could be read, the Hittite language itself was not deciphered until 1915, when the Czech linguist, Hrozny, was able to solve the puzzle. Among the main points of interest at Boğazköy are the Great Temple, the Citadel, the King’s Gate, the Sphinx Gate, the Tunnel, the city wall near the Sphinx Gate, the temples In this same area, the Lion Gate and the museum at the site.
Below and to the southeast of the Great Citadel is the place of the original settlement dating to the 19th century B.C. The citadel was the quarters of royalty and the fortified acropolis of Hattu-sas. To the east of the citadel is the vast and intricate complex of the Weather God of Hatti and the Sun Goddess Arinna. The whole affair measures 160 by 135 meters, including the storerooms theft surround the complex.
This sanctuary was surrounded by a wall, and the main entrance to the area is at the southeast end. Parts of the massive doorway ore left standing today. Through this entrance come the ceremonial processions to approach the temple. Three other lesser entrances to the precinct can be seen, which were used by the personnel attached to the sanctuary, The rooms, rows upon rows of them that surround the temple, were used for storage and work areas. The vast temple treasure was also kept within the confines of the precinct. Many storage ¡ars of clay were found in their original locations bearing hieroglyphic labels and markings. Many of the rooms appear to have been two-story structures. The main room of the tempie entrance was flanked by two sentry rooms. Ahead of this was a vestibule through which the tempie courtyard was entered. A portico which opened into the court gave access to the scored area of the temp’e in which a iarge stone statue base was found that probably once supported the cult statue of Arinna, the Sun Goddess. Another room is thought to have held the statue of the Weather God Hatti. Both of these rooms are nearly equidistant from the center of the temp/e and are symmetrically arranged so that it is evident that the temple was dedicated to both deities equally. The temple roams each had at least one window, often reaching to the floor to allow the sun to fall on the cult statues. The Hittites held their religious ceremonies in the open air, in the area of the courtyard.
The lower part of the temple was constructed of stone,1 the upper of sun-dried brick strengthened with wooden timbers. The stone sections are nearly entirely preserved. The roof was flat and also made of the mud bricks. The temple was buiit during the 14th century B.C. A list of temple personnel was found in this area that relates the fact that two hundred and eight people were attached to the sanctuary. They included, according to the cuneiform list, eighteen priests, twenty-nine musicians, nineteen scribes of clay tablets, thirty-three scribes of wooden tablets, thirty-five priests of divination, ten singers in Hurrian, plus a variety of other professions.
As for the citadel of Bogazkoy, it was constructed mainly during the 14th and 13th centuries B.C., and includes a vast complex of facilities. The oldest building of the citadel is th.at of the library of the royal archives. This was built in the 13th century, and measures thirty-two meters long in the main section. Most of the nearly four thousand cuneiform tablets were found in three rooms on the southern section af the library. The tablets were arranged on shelves, in their clay covers, much the same as library books today are arranged. They stood on end; labels indicating the contents of the books were attached. The building is considered the most Important on the acropolis. It was elaborately decorated with limestone and granite orthostats and many of the walls were painted with murals.
Reconstruction of a Gate. The largest building of the citadel is the Royal Reception Hall, it is located opposite the cisterns and measures nearly forty by fifty meters, ft was a multipie-storied building with storage arranged on the bottom floor. The first floor is thought to hove comprised a 4 large reception hall that had a view of the whole capital, The building beside this one to the north was probably used as a smali reception hall. The last building in this line may have been o dwelling of one of the royal family. The view of the highway and on the other sides is excellent.
One of the main gates and the most well-protected was the Sphinx Gate. This was a weak section of the city fortifications; the east and western sides were protected by steep hills, Beneath the Sphinx Gate was constructed a seventy-meter-long tunnel that was used during attacks. Hittite soldiers could slip through the tunnel and come up at the rear of the enemy. Three sphinxes flanked the gate.