Hattusa The Capital City of Hittites

Date of inclusion on the World Heritage List: 11/28/1986

List reference: 377 Criteria: Cultural


Hattusha, the capital of the Hittite Empire in ancient times, has been on the list of world cultural heritage since 1986 according to cultural criteria. Hattusa by cultural criteria. Hattusha, an open-air archaeological museum, was founded around 1600 BC. Founded in BC and was the focus of art and architecture of that time. Hattusha consists of two locations, the lower town and the upper town. The remains of bourgeois life can be seen in the lower town. The Great Temple is the main cult building in the city. In the upper town, the temple area, which includes several temples, is noteworthy. Because of its two cult rooms, this temple is considered to be dedicated to the storm god and Arinna’s sun goddess, who are the greatest gods of the empire. The upper town lies on a broad arch and was protected by walls in the south. There were five gates on the walls. On the southernmost edge of the city wall, the highest point in the city, are the Yerkapi walls and the Sphinx Gate. The King’s Gate and the Lion Gate are at both ends of the south walls. The lion sculptures on the outside of the lion gate are some of the best examples of Hittite stone carving.

The Yazillkaya Sanctuary, which is 2 km northwest of Hattusha, is considered to be the most important open-air temple in the city. It consists of two rock rooms screened off by a one-story building that reflects the architectural style of the Hlttites. The rock rooms of the Yazillkaya Sanctuary are referred to as the “Great Gallery” (Room A) and “Small Gallery” (Room B).

The western end of the rock face of the Great Gallery (Room A) is decorated with a relief of gods, and the eastern end is decorated with a relief of goddesses. The figures at both ends point to the middle section, where the eastern and western rock walls meet the northern rock wall. The main stage was set here. The small gallery (room B) with a separate entrance is protected by a relief of demons with lion heads, human bodies and wings. The relief that adorns the western rock wall of Room B shows twelve gods lined up to their left, and on the eastern rock wall there are reliefs depicting an upright sword with a deity head, believed to be the god Nergal the underworld and the god Sharrumma is escorting King Tudhaliya IV. In this section there are three rock niches in addition to the well-preserved reliefs. It is believed that these niches were used to place gifts or possibly urns that contained the ashes of members of the Hittite royal family.

Hattusa is waiting for those who wish to trace the Hittite civilization through history.

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