Hattusa | Rise and Fall of the Ancient Hittite City

Hattusa, also known as Hattusha, is an ancient city located near modern Boğazkale in the Çorum Province of Turkey’s Black Sea Region . This ancient city once served as the capital of the Hittite Empire, one of the superpowers of the ancient world.

In the Amarna Letters , which have been dated to the 14th century BC, the Hittites were referred to by the Egyptians as a major power, alongside Assyria, Mitanni, and Babylonia, and they were treated as equals.

Hattusa was established by the Hatti, the indigenous people who were living in that area prior to the coming of the Hittites. The origins of the Hittites are still a mystery, and they may have invaded / immigrated into Hatti territory, settled, and established their empire there.

The Hittite Empire began its decline around the middle of the 13th century BC, mainly due to the rise of their eastern neighbors, the Assyrians. Moreover, raids by hostile forces, such as the Sea Peoples and the Kaska further weakened the Hittite Empire, finally resulting in its collapse during the first half of the 12th century BC. In 1190 BC, the Kaskas managed to capture Hattusa, which they then sacked and burned.

Hattusa was abandoned for the next 400 hundred years, and then was resettled by the Phrygians. The site continued to exist as a settlement during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, though its years of glory were already long behind it.

In the meantime, the Hittites faded, and eventually disappeared completely, with the exception of a few references in the Bible and some documents from Egypt. It was only during the 19th century, when excavations began to be carried out in Boğazkale, that the Hittites and their capital, Hattusa, were re-discovered by the modern world.

Original Article: Hattusa: The Cursed City of the Hatti and the Hittite Empire


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