Hattusa – the capital of the Hittite Empire

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

The fort Hattusa was situated on a rocky promontory over a valley and it was protected by walls 6 km long. Defensive towers with rectangular ground plan were placed in this massive fortification. Gates served as entrance into the town, which were decorated with menacing-looking lion heads. Markets took place near the city gates.

The town Hattusa

The wider environment of the town Hattusa was colonized from the Stone Age, but the eldest discoveries dated from the Bronze Age in the territory of the town itself and the eldest dwellings dated from the change from Early Bronze Age to Middle Bronze Age – so from the end of the 3rd millennium BC.

The houses were build of bricks or clay in town and walls were painted with white lime. Stone was only used for sanctuaries or offices building. Hittite houses usually had four-sided ground plan and had several rooms in a row, where light got through high windows into. Warm woollen carpets were casted on the ground. They were knitted by women and women had a significant position in the Hittite society. A cellar used to be near the house that served as a food store. Grain, oil or beer (very popular beverage of this nation) were stored in big jugs, which were half sunk into the ground.

Men were stocky and not very tall. They wore short tunics and a long woollen coat over these tunics in winter and pointed shoes of soft leather on feet. Women wore long dresses with vivid colours and a shawl over their heads. Similarly to Egypt there were barter and 1 shekel of silver was used as a comparative unit.

Hattusa, trading center

Also foreigners were attracted to Hattusa – the Syrians, Achaeans and Assyrians came there and bought copper, lead, silver and iron articles. Actually, the Hittites were renowned masters of metal processing. They excelled especially at iron processing that they derived from mines in Taurus Mountains and in Armenia. Especially weapons were made of iron, which were far more dangerous than cupreous weapons.


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