Trip Start May 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 26, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Corum,
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We spent two nights in the very small village of Bogazkale in order to visit Hattusha - the ancient capital of the Hittite Empire around 2300 BC.  It was a great stop, not only for the ancient building foundations, but just as with many other places in Turkey, the physical setting and enjoying that feeling of what once took place here also proved to be a major draw.  The Hittites are mentioned in the Bible as the conquerors of Babylon and challengers of the Egyptian pharaohs.  Hattusha was their ruling center and the site of their temples to the Storm God and other deities.  At its peak, the city was comprised of an inner and outer portion, both surrounded by massive walls (some of their foundations are still visible) which were erected between 1344 and 1322 BC.  The outer wall contained elaborate gateways decorated with reliefs showing warriors, lions, and sphinxes.

The inner city was occupied by a citadel as well as large administrative buildings.  Hattusha contained many temples and numerous secular buildings.  The residential structures of the city were built with wood and mud bricks and are no longer visible.  Estimates put the population of the city between 40,000 to 50,000.  The city was destroyed, along with the Hittite state itself, around 1200 BC. 

We also visited Yazilikaya which is just a couple of kilometers away from the main Hattusha site.  This site primarily offers rock-cut reliefs of ceremonial processions carved into sheer walls.  Many historians believe this was probably a very holy place used for religious ritual and more than likely also used as a place for burial.

Enjoy the history!

Jon and Liz
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