©The Archaeological Settlements of Turkey - TAY Project

Bogazköy / Hattusa

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Boğazköy / Hattuşa
Slope Settlement
990 m
Black Sea
Investigation Method:


Location: It is a big-sized settlement located east of the Bogazkale District; southeast of Sungurlu; southwest of the Çorum Province. The EBA settlement at Bogazköy/Büyükkaya was not evaluated separately; but as a part of the main settlement; although it lies on the other side of the strait.
Geography and Environment: It was re-known as the capital of the Hittite Empire during the second millennium BC; the site is located at the southern end of a long and wide valley where the stream of Budaközü passes through. There are many rocky hills; the biggest being Büyükkale (such as Yenicekale; Sarikaya; Nisantepe; Ambarlikaya; Mihrapkaya) on this lowland. Büyükkaya is in the far northeast and 750 m away from Büyükkale. A big cleft formed by the Büyükkaya/Budaközü Stream separates the main settlement from this location. The settlement at Bogazköy is situated in the triangular area between the streams of Budaközü and Kizlarkayasi. Particularly the rocky elevation so called Büyükkale looks like an acropolis with its deep clefts and it can be easily defended. The city suggested to be founded during the last phase of EBA lies on this rocky block and on the ridges of Büyükkaya and the lower city to the north of Büyükkale on a slope-like lowland inclining to the northwest [Bittel 1970:fig.5a]. It is suitable for occupation with its water resources and fertile land. It is believed that it was even richer in water and plantation during the third millennium BC. The EBA III and colonial period settlements are obscured by the remains of the Hittite Period. In the surrounding territory; outside Yerkapi; EBA sherds were found [Bittel 1970:map in fig 4.].
Research and Excavation: It was discovered by E. Chantre in 1834; and attracted the attention of many travelers and scientists. It was excavated by O. Puchstein in 1907; by H. Winckcler and Makridi Bey in 1906 and 1911-12 and by K. Bittel from 1931 excluding the years of the Second World War. In recent years; the excavations were continued under P. Neve; and then under J. Seeher. The excavation conducted under J. Seeher progress in such a way that the pre-Hittite period of the settlement is being brought to light. The main concentration is given to Büyükkaya during the last years. It takes place in the registered archaeological sites list prepared by Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Stratigraphy: The excavators and the researchers who analyzed the excavation finds present the stratification of the city at the end of the third millennium BC and beginning of the second millennium BC as follows depending on the results obtained from three areas; Büyükkale House on northwest ridge Lower City Period Vc-Vf 9-8c 5 EBA III-MBA I transition period IVd-Vb 8a-8b 4 Assyrian Colonial Period At Büyükkaya; the EBA settlement is beneath the remains of the Hittite Period and it is followed by the settlement of the Chalcolithic Age. The Late Chalcolithic Age settlement at Büyükkaya is on the south of the rocky block. The upper plateau at Büyükkaya was used as a homeland from EBA I. The remains are reported to be ca. 1.4 m thick [Seeher 2000:300].
Small Finds: Architecture: Although it is stated in the Büyükkaya excavations conducted by J. Seeher that the settlement is spread out all around the highland; no information is provided about any significant building or remains. Presumably the settlement of the second millennium BC demolished those remains. According to K. Bittel; the best architectural remains of the transition period from EBA to MBA belong to the eight roomed house revealed at Büyükkale in the building level Vc. The house built in the west-southwest of Büyükkale in harmony with the slope yielded remains of stairs; oven and hearth [Bittel 1970:fig.6]. The rooms are pretty small. The function of the house was not understood exactly. Pottery: The vessels and sherds found in the squares L/18; c-d/9-10 of the northwestern slope were analyzed thoroughly by W. Orthmann. Besides the plain ware; there are samples of the painted ware so called Cappadoccian ware. Small bowls; squat pots; spouted pitchers; handled and spouted jugs are common forms [Orthmann 1963b]. The finds of this phase are similar to the level IV and III finds of the Kültepe Karum. Also found are the red washed sherds. W. Orthmann dates those vessels to the midst of the third millennium BC [Orthmann 1963a:45]. J. Seeher does not provide any detailed information about the EBA I pottery recovered from this site; but reports a libation vessel in the form of a rawhide sandal curled up on one end. There is a hole at the tip of this vessel. It is comparable with the types of the second millennium BC. Clay: An idol head was found during the excavations of J. Seeher in the EBA phase at Büyükkaya [Seeher 2000:300; pic.3]. No information is provided about the other small finds except the shoe-like libation vessel.
Interpretation and Dating: The first settlement traces at Bogazköy and its surrounding date back to the Chalcolithic Age. Following this age; many villages and towns were founded at Bogazköy during the third millennium BC. Bogazköy has an overlooking position. The idea of settling at Büyükkaya during the EBA I presumably originated from the need for a better protection. The EBA I and II settlements are probably at Büyükkale and its surrounding territory. No traces have been found yet. The small city founded here at the end of the third millennium BC became homeland for Hatti rulers who managed the mines and the trade in the area. It is certain that Bogazköy is the city of Hattus in the last quarter of the third millennium BC during the pre-Hittite Period. In the inscription describing the conquests of the Akkad King Naramsin (23rd century BC); it is also stated that he went to war against a coalition consisting of 17 kingdoms under the leadership of the Hatti King; Pampa. It is not possible to answer the following questions for now; was Hattus the capital of Hatti Kingdom; or was King Pampa the king of this city? The presence of a Karum founded by Assyrians on the northwest of the city in the first half of the second millennium BC during the Assyrian Colonial Period; proves the strength of a previous settlement. The city grew bigger in the colonial period and was surrounded by a fortification wall during the third millennium BC Another proof for the significance of the city is the conquest of the city at one night by the King Anitta; one of the leaders of the tribes coming from Caucasia (?) in the 17th century BC and his curse on the city against a reinhabitance. The Hittitian settlement at Bogazköy damaged both the city of the end of the third millennium BC and the Colonial Period very severely. As the excavations were intensified on the Hittite Period; the lower layers were not taken into the excavation plans. During the 2011 studies, it was discovered that the earliest Hittite level was founded on the architectural foundations of Karum Period [Schachner 2013:296].

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