Alaca Hüyük, Turkey

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Multi‐period settlement site covering more than 7 ha near Alaca to the east of Ankara on the Anatolian Plateau. Extensive excavations by Hamit Kosay during the period 1935–49 established the long and complicated history of the site spanning the Chalcolithic through to the late Roman period. Related to the early Bronze Age II Phase (early 3rd millennium bc) of the settlement is a group of 13 ‘royal graves’ situated just outside the town. These tombs comprise rectangular stone or timber‐lined pits containing single or double inhumations accompanied by extremely rich grave goods. These include royal standards in the form of animal figures plated in precious metals, and a range of weapons, jewellery, and vessels in precious metal. Notable is the very early occurrence of two daggers made of iron with gold‐plated handles. As a final act animal skins had been spread over the top of the grave pits, the skulls and hooves being found upon excavation.

From the 2nd millennium bc is an extensive Hittite occupation consisting of a walled town containing several temples, residential areas, and a monumental gateway known as the Sphinx Gate. There was an iron foundry within the town, the whole complex perhaps being identified with the Old Hittite period cult centre known as Arinna.


H. Z. Kosay, 1973, Alaca Hoyuk Kazisi: 1963–1967 calismalari ve kesiflere ait ilk rapor. Ankara: Turk Tarih Kuruma yayinlarindan

Subjects: Archaeology.

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