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Excavating Hattusa
November 3, 2010 8:57 AM   Subscribe

The German Archaeological Institute has a website detailing their excavations at Hattusa, formerly the capital of the Hittite Empire. There is a brief summary of the city's history to get you started, or a somewhat more detailed one if you're feeling keen.

The single biggest project carried out by the archaeologists was the reconstruction of a section of city wall, using the same techniques as it is thought were originally employed. Other finds are also discussed, including the enormous royal residence, one of the grand entrances to the city and what's left of the four-and-a-half-thousand year old plumbing. There is also a look at a holy site a couple of kilometres away, where the considerable Hittite pantheon was carved as a frieze into the rock. And for the German speakers among you, there is some bonus content!
posted by Dim Siawns (11 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here is a good documentary about the Hittites. (6 parts on youtube)
posted by empath at 9:00 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Belloq's staff is too long. They're digging in the wrong place.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:14 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was going to say something along the lines of "holy shit! and I thought the excavations of Roman settlements basically next door to the cathedral in Köln were cool, but there are Hittite ruins in Germany as well?!?!?"... but then I looked at some links and realized this isn't being dug up in Europe at all.

Still, that's pretty damn cool.
posted by hippybear at 9:16 AM on November 3, 2010


Ooh creepy ancient gods. If this were a movie, somewhere in Georgetown a girl would be puking her guts out and shouting every manner of blasphemous obscenity.

Actually, that's probably happening.
posted by condour75 at 9:20 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Although the reconstruction that has been done is truly impressive--mudbricks carved and laid by hand to recreate the North Tower, for instance--the mysteries of the original pieces are what really capture my attention.

The Sphinx at the Sphinx gate appears to have its wings intact, unlike other Egyptian sphinxes I've seen before. It is also standing rather than lying or sitting up, so that it resembles a gryphon with a feminine head (and the front paws of a lion) rather than the beak of an eagle. Really interesting.
posted by misha at 9:51 AM on November 3, 2010


If this were a movie, somewhere in Georgetown a girl would be puking her guts out and shouting every manner of blasphemous obscenity.

Those booming sounds you hear? That's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
posted by The World Famous at 10:09 AM on November 3, 2010


somewhere in Georgetown a girl would be puking her guts out and shouting every manner of blasphemous obscenity.

Any given saturday night then.
posted by empath at 10:28 AM on November 3, 2010


My wife has been to Hattusas/Boğazköy, and I've read a bunch of Hittite, so between us we've got this covered.

Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 1:55 PM on November 3, 2010


hippybear: I was going to say something along the lines of "holy shit! and I thought the excavations of Roman settlements basically next door to the cathedral in Köln were cool

You know that the name of the city, Köln, comes from latin colonia?
posted by claudius at 4:14 PM on November 3, 2010


Thanks! Love me some Hittites. (And in MeFi blue too!)
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:40 PM on November 3, 2010


Thank you for this.
posted by ltracey at 7:14 PM on November 3, 2010


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