Wikijunior:Ancient Civilizations/Hittites

Who Were They?


The Hittites were a group of Indo-European people whose empire stretched across Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Palestine. Most of modern Turkey is considered to be the home land of the Hittite people. The peak of their civilization was reached from 1600 to 1200 BC. Their civilization ended as suddenly as it started. Originally the Hittites spoke a language similar to Sanskrit, a dead language of India. They were a warrior race notorious for their ferocity and brutality. Because of them Mesopotamia lost its honor as the cradle land of civilization and never emerged at its full strength again.

What Country Did They Live In?


The Hittites were unknown to the modern world until 1900 AD, when a tablet with an unknown inscription was excavated. The tablet was later translated and gave the world the information of their existence. Hattie was their home land and Hattusas was the name of their capital. It is situated in Central Anatolia region of modern Turkey and in the town of Boghazköy about 210 kilometres east of Ankara.

The Hittite lived in present-day Turkey. The Hittite capital was near a village that is now called Bogazkoy. It was between the Mediterranean sea and the Black Sea and known as the Near East. They spread into North Syria from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. [1]

What Did They Eat?


Hittites ate similar food as other Mediterranean people. Their chief food was bread. Meat was also a part of their day to day menu. Rich people used to satisfy their appetite with homemade cheese and various other milk products. They also had barley, wheat grapes, and lots of other meats. Slaves, prisoners of war and other captives would not as a rule eat the very same.

What Did They Wear?


Hittites were strongly influenced by Babylonians; it is easily conceivable that they used to wear similar clothes as the Babylonians. Picture that we have added with this article supports our view. Hittite men wore long cloaks and women had a dress which consisted of two parts similar to a blouse and knee-long skirt. These dresses are still common in Turkey and Middle East

What Did Their Writing Look Like?


Hittites spoke a language belonging to the Indo-European linguistic family. They used Akkadian’s cuneiform writing system to write their language. The first Hittite tablets were discovered in 1906 by German excavators. Within ten years the language had been deciphered, and a sketch of its grammar published. Gradually, the international community of scholars, led by the Germans, expanded the knowledge of the language. The number of common Hittite words that one could translate with reasonable certainty increased gradually. Now we have a good collection of Hittite words that tells us how closely it was related to Indo-Europeans languages.

What Did They Believe?


Hittites were very generous in adopting other people’s religions. Most of the Hittites deities were from Babylonian and Sumerian origins. Whichever nation they have conquered they had included their gods with gods of Hittites, looks like they believed that gods whoever their worshipper are all legitimate therefore worthy of getting their allegiance. In fact the Hittites probably were the world’s first nation having an attitude of religious tolerance.

What Did Their Buildings Look Like?


Art and architecture of Hatti was strongly influenced by neighbouring countries. They used stone and brick as well as wooden columns to erect their houses and temples. The Hittites built large palaces, temples and fortifications, where carved reliefs adorned walls, gates and entrances. The style was very solid and they tended to go for a massive look. The cities were usually mapped out in a rectangular format.

When did their civilization exist?


The Hittites were a warlike empire that was in existence from 1600 BC until they were raided and destroyed by The sea people in 1200 BC

Hittite Kingship


Pithana early 18th c.
Anitta son of Pithana mid 18th c.
Labarna first known Hittite king 1680-1650
Hattusili I nephew/adopted son of Labarna 1650-1620
Mursili I grandson/adopted son of Hattusili I 1620-1590
Hantili assassin and brother-in-law of Mursili I 1590-1560
Zidanta I son-in-law of Hantili 1560-1550
Ammuna son of Hantili 1550-1530
Huzziya I son of Ammuna? 1530-1525
Telipinu son of Zidanta I?/brother-in-law of Ammuna 1525-1500 Tahurwaili ?
Alluwamna son-in-law of Huzziya I Hantili II son of Alluwamna 1500-1450
Zidanta II ?
Huzziya II ?
Muwatalli I ?
Tudhaliya II son of Huzziya II? 1450-1420
Arnuwanda I son-in-law of Tudhaliya II 1420-1400
Tudhaliya III son of Arnuwanda I 1400-1380
Tudhaliya son of Tudhaliya III 1380? Hattusili II ? ?
Suppiluliuma I son of Tudhaliya III or Hattusili II 1380-1340
Arnuwanda II son of Suppiluliuma I 1340-1339
Mursili II son of Suppiluliuma I 1339-1306
Muwatalli II son of Mursili II 1306-1282
Mursili III son of Muwatalli II 1282-1275
Hattusili III son of Mursili II 1275-1250
Tudhaliya IV son of Hattusili III 1250-1220
Karunta son of Muwatalli/cousin of Tudhaliya IV ?
Arnuwanda III son of Tudhaliya IV 1220-1215
Suppiluliuma II son of Tudhaliya IV 1215-1200



Burrell, Roy. Oxford First Ancient History. New York: Oxford University Press. 1997.

Ganeri, Anita, Martel, Hazel Mary and Brian Williams World History Encyclopedia Millenium Edition

Bristol, uk Dempsey Parr. 1998