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Since 1906, the excavations at the Hittite capital Boğazköy/Hattusa have yielded thousands of cuneiform tablets and fragments, most of which was published. Nevertheless, there are centres other than Hattusa, which produced tablets. These include Maşat Höyük/Tapigga Kuşaklı/Sarisa Ortaköy/Sapinuwa, Oymaağaç/Nerik and Kayalıpınar/Samuha. The texts from the Hittite centres mention over 4000 geographical names (regions, mountains, rivers, cities), which suggest that the Hittites had a considerable knowledge of their surroundings and geographical terms.
The overall number of the geographical names which have been localized are still low. After the decipherment of the Hittite, the scholars working on the Hittite geography reached various results. For example, while Millawanda was located in Çukurova region in earlier works, it has recently been widely accepted that it corresponds to Miletus hence is located in the Aegean region.
After a hundred years of research the localization of the Hittite regions in Anatolia has begun to be established. It is now known that Kizzuwatna in the Hittite texts roughly covered Çukurova and Lukka the Teke peninsula between Antalya and Fethiye. As the regions had been located, the scholary interest now turned to the geographical names of rivers, mountains and cities. Naturally the focus is on the historically important names, which are frequently mentioned in the texts.
As is well-known, history comprises time and space. In this respect the Hittite history seems to lack an important element from a historical perspective, this is crucial to the Hittite studies and more attention should be given to it.
The Hittite Historical Atlas Project aims to bring to together what has been found so far and transfer them into a database. In order to achieve this goal, all the texts that give information on the Hittite geography will be re-evaluated and arranged (HHA-Phil). The Project will also include previous localization proposals and published works. On the other hand, the finds from the Hittite sites will be archaeologically studied and classified (HHA-Arch.). Thus fro the first time archaeological and philological data would be studied together and compared.
The project is going to last for three years due to the sheer number of the documents and the size of the Hittite geography. The first step includes investigations in Çorum, Yozgat, Kırşehir, Kayseri, Çankırı, Sinop, Amasya, Samsun, Tokat, Sivas, Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, Antakya, Gaziantep, Adıyaman, Mersin and Adana. Thus an important part of the Hittite geography will have been studied.
The results are planned to be available as raw data in database format. They will also appear as papers in German/English in international journals. A Geographical Atlas of the Hittite Anatolia, which will include all the information from the project, is a crucial part of the planned publications.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Metin Alparslan
Istanbul University Faculty of Letters, Hittitology Department