Hittites: The Absolute Military and Political Power of Its Time

Hittites, becoming a superpower in the Near East together with Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptian Civilisations in 2000 BC, were once the strongest military and political power that is considered to be still alive thanks to this civilisation’s cultural heritages and monuments spread across Anatolia. They were the toughest challengers of the powerful Pharaohs of the Ancient Egypt, changing permanently the face of the Near East and taking the stage of history with their 3500 years old background. The most spectacular ruins of Hittites that advance to the modern era can be seen in Hattusha.

The Foundation of Diplomacy

In order to rule such a great state as the Hittite Empire, it was natural to establish ties with bordering countries. These relations were made possible by the use of cuneiform scripts on tablets.

A considerable tradition of correspondence carried on between nations of that time. One of those most significant correspondences was, beyond any doubt, the worldwide-known Treaty of Kadesh made between Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hattusili III in 1269 BC. One version of this treaty was carved into the walls of Egyptian Temples. The Hittite version recorded on a piece of tablet was found in Boğazköy excavations. This tablet is preserved today at İstanbul Archaeological Museum.

The Treaty of Kadesh is the first international peace treaty recorded in history. This cuneiform tablet, found in Hattusha and regarded to be the symbolic foundation of a diplomacy based on a modern understanding, was then copied, magnified and put on display in the UN Headquarter of New York.

 

İstanbul Archaeology Museum: A Journey to History

İstanbul Archaeology Museum where the Treaty of Kadesh is on display is one of the largest and important museums in the world. The museum collection includes the sarcophagus believed to be that of Alexander the Great, statues all of which have been inherited from successful artists of their period, and many more artworks. The Museum of the Ancient Orient (Eski Şark Eserler Müzesi) and the Tiled Pavilion Museum (Çinili Köşk) which are sharing the same courtyard with the Archaeology Museum also include remarkable artworks.

Why is the Treaty of Kadesh Important?

  • It is the first international peace treaty recorded in history.
  • It was made between Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hattusili III in 1269 BC, almost 3300 years ago.
  • Recorded on a piece of tablet, it is on display at İstanbul Archaeology Museum. One version of this treaty was carved into the walls of Egyptian Temples.
  • Regarded to be the symbolic foundation of a diplomacy based on a modern understanding, it was then copied, magnified and put on display in the UN Headquarter of New York.

How to Go?

The Treaty of Kadesh is on display in İstanbul Archaeology Museum. It is possible to travel to İstanbul by air from almost every part of the world. İstanbul can also be easily accessed from other cities by air, road and rail. İstanbul Archaeology Museum is open every day of the week between 09.00 and 17.00.

Hattusha, the Capital of Hittite Empire, is situated in Boğazkale County of Çorum Province. It is located 87 km to the southwest of Çorum. It is 215 km from Ankara Esenboğa Airport whereas the distance from Merzifon Airport is 150 km.

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