From their capital, the Hittites ruled a mighty empire. But, 2,500 years ago, their civilization disappeared and their capital city, Hattusha, was lost to history. Only the marvels of 20th Century archaeology have led to its rediscovery.
The Hittites were an ancient Indo-European people, speaking a language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. They were part of a larger movement of Indo-Europeans in the 30th century BCE and established a kingdom centered at Hattusha on the Central Anatolian plateau ca. the 18th century BCE.
Although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 20th century BCE. Hittite weapons were made from bronze; iron was so rare and precious that it was employed only as prestige goods.
The Hittites were also famous for their skill in building and using chariots. These chariots gave them a military superiority as illustrated on a plate from Carchemish.
The Hittites used cuneiform letters. Archaeological expeditions have discovered entire sets of royal archives in cuneiform tablets, written either in Akkadian, the diplomatic language of the time, or in the various dialects of the Hittite confederation.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist – 56 minutes)
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