An entire Hittite village to be reconstructed in the ancient site of Hattusha

hittite-village-reconstruction-ancient-hattusha_1Artist's recreation of Hattusha, during circa 1300 BC.

Hattusha (or Halys in Greek) was the capital of the Hittite Empire during the epoch of late Bronze Age in the Near-East, with its current ruins being located near modern Boğazkale, Turkey. Situated in strategic location that favored local economy, the settlement was in proximity to widespread agricultural lands and woods, thus having supply chains for both food and timber. Taking such localized historical aspects into consideration, Turkish officials are about to go ahead with their Hittite Village Project (patronized by Boğazkale District Governor’s office). Their goal is to reconstruct an entire Hittite village spread across an area of 7,000 sq m (or around 75,000 sq ft), which makes it substantially larger than an American football field.

The location of this reconstructed project would take place on an expansive field, situated in the center of the district. Now of course, beyond economic advantages, the ancient Bronze Age city of Hattusha is also known for its architectural and fortified features. According to UNESCO (the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986) –

The archaeological site of Hattusha, former capital of the Hittite Empire, is notable for its urban organization, the types of construction that have been preserved (temples, royal residences, fortifications), the rich ornamentation of the Lions’ Gate and the Royal Gate, and the ensemble of rock art at Yazilikaya. The city enjoyed considerable influence in Anatolia and northern Syria in the 2nd millennium BC.

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The Lion Gate. Credit: Bernard Gagnon

The monumental flair of Hattusha is complemented by a slew of archaeological discoveries, including its assortment of cuneiform inscriptions, ranging from official contracts, legal codes, oracular prophecies to even preserved literature from Bronze Age Near East. But now beyond the macro-level of historicity, researchers are looking forth to recreate the intrinsic daily scope of the Hittite people. As District Gov. Osman Aydoğan made it clear –

Because the ancient city is 3,500 years old, our artifacts are basic ones. We designed a big Hittite village to be built with Hittite architecture. Their daily life will be revived in the village and tourists will be able to spend the night there. Just like in the Hittites, we will build stone and adobe structures with a lion’s gate. It will have a backyard, shops, king’s room, prison, bakeshop and iron work shop.

In essence, the over 1 million Turkish Lira Hittite Village Project will appeal to the numerous visitors and history enthusiasts who make their trips to the site every year. Aydoğan added –

Our goal is to show visitors how Hittite people lived 3,500 years ago. With the promotional materials, the project cost will be over 1 million liras. This will be the first of its kind in Turkey. For the first time, a Hittite village will be built with Hittite architecture. Among our other projects, this is the most prestigious one.

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Aerial view of the Hittite capital. Image courtesy of Daily Sabah

Source: HurriyetDailyNews

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  • Michael Baizerman

    Congratulations on embarking on the Hittite Village Project. Promises to be interesting according to the description. I hope they won’t compromise on details in hope for awaiting economic gains.

  • Wonderful news – I’ll be sure to book a night there!
    Interesting detail about the agricultural lands nearby – I have read (in Trevor Bryce and the work of other scholars) that this region of Turkey is notoriously challenging for crop cultivation. Is that not the case?
    Anyway, thanks for making my day: I’m writing a series of novels set in and around Hattusa(see links below) and this news is more than I could possibly have hoped for 🙂

    http://www.davidsbookblurg.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/gordon-doherty-on-writing-and-his-latest-project/
    http://www.gordondoherty.co.uk

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