The Plateau: The Hittites

Jürgen Seeher

in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195376142
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Plateau: The Hittites

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  • Archaeology of the Near East



This article presents data on the Hittites, who, during the second millennium BCE, established the first empire in what was later called Anatolia and then Asia Minor. From the beginning, the Hittite kings followed an active settlement policy on the Anatolian plateau. Sites in disparate areas show a remarkable uniformity in architecture and material culture, and thus document a strong system, with well-organized structures of production and distribution. Basically inland oriented, the Hittite state maintained close connections to the coast only in southern Asia Minor, which meant access to the trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean and the northern Levant. The loss of these trade routes, together with various other factors, seems to have led to the collapse of the empire around or shortly after 1200 BCE and the abandonment of many (if not all) Hittite settlements on the central Anatolian plateau.

Keywords: Hittite kingdom; Anatolia; settlements; trade routes; Asia Minor

Article.  7110 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East

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