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Ancient West Asia , the Hittites

Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by admin

Leaving behind their dwellings by the Caspian Sea, the Hittites were an Indo-European civilization that traveled south into Turkey around 2000 BC , around the same time that the Trojans were making their move into Troy and the Greeks were establishing Greece. However, the Hittites differed from the Semitic people that dwelled in the region before them , they possessed a valuable secret.

Why were the Hittites so different?

They rode on horses and knew how to mold chariots and wagons to accommodate their horses. As soon as the Hittites started to reside in Turkey, the knowledge they possessed regarding horses traveled like wildfire throughout ancient West Asia, even touching the ears of Egypt.

The Hittites are also known for inventing a method of smelting iron, which took iron ore from the ground and transformed it into tools and weapons. It is believed that this discovery took place around 1500 BC. Since this newly found skill was highly valued in the world of combat, the Hittites kept their ways under wraps for quite some time. They decided to make iron tools and weapons for themselves, but to also sell them to other cultures that lived in West Asia. They did not reveal their secrets of making the iron so this commodity remained rather rare. Because of this, the time period of the early Hittites is still referred to as the Late Bronze Age.

Like most civilizations of their time, the Hittites kingdom collapsed around 1200 BC with plenty of mystery behind the cause. No one can tell what happened to the civilization. There are many theories, such as the environmental aspect. Scientists who have studied tree-rings from that time have detected a serious drought may have taken place around the same time as the fall of the Hittites. Some believe that this may have led to a weakened political system.

With the collapse of the Hittites came the widespread knowledge of how to create iron. By around 1100 BC, the majority of people living in West Asia knew the secret. Iron tools started to emerge in the Assyrian, Philistine, and Jewish cultures.

The remaining Hittites (known as the Lycians) may have departed Asia Minor (what is now called modern Turkey) and joined the Sea Peoples during an attack of Egypt. They then went on to attack Israel and other places in search of a better way of life.

Facts About the Hittites

When scanning the artwork of the Hittites, you will find a respect for their culture, which is seen in a variety of found reliefs, round sculptures, and seals. Their art and culture showed a great influence from Babylonians and Assyrians.

After uncovering cuneiform, historians have been able to research the past of the Hittites. They were also known to leave behind Hittite hieroglyphs- also referred to as Kanesian.

The Hittite language is Indo-European with a handful of other languages used throughout time, such as the Luwian, Khattian, and Hurrian system of speech.