The Origins of the Hittites


in The Kingdom of the Hittites

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780199281329
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706752 | DOI:
The Origins of the Hittites

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To the 19th-century scholar, Anatolia was little more than a mysterious blank in the Near East during the Bronze Age at a time when the great ancient civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt were in their prime. By the middle of the third millennium (the Early Bronze II phase), there were wealthy ruling houses and important centres of civilization in various parts of Anatolia. Relatively few of the established Early Bronze II communities survived into the final phase of the Early Bronze Age, and some scholars associate the apparent upheavals of this period with the arrival or incursions of Indo-Europeans into Anatolia. From at least as early as the time of the Akkadian empire of Sargon, the region in which the central Anatolian kingdoms lay was known as the Land of Hatti. Scholars have long assumed that the predominant population of the region in the third millennium was an indigenous pre-Indo-European group called the Hattians. The kingdom of the Hittites was founded in the early or middle years of the 17th century.

Keywords: Hittites; Anatolia; Near East; Bronze Age; Indo-Europeans; ancient civilizations; Hattians

Chapter.  4858 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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