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The Hitties - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Hittites The New Kingdoms consisting of the Hittites and Egyptians were two of the most powerful empires between 1400-1200 BCE. The Amarna Letters were essential communication tools made out of clay. The tablets were formulated by Egyptian administrators and their representatives during the New Kingdom…
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The Hitties Essay
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The Hitties

Download file to see previous pages... 20th century archaeologists and historians discovered four great empires, i.e. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Hatti. The latter empire was discovered last after the historians and archaeologists discovered vast sets of cuneiform tablets or letters of a royal nature. These tablets were quite similar to those discovered in Egypt and featured diplomatic language in different Hittite dialects. Prior to these discoveries, the only evidence of the existence of Hittites was the Old Testament. The initial archaeological evidence of the existence of Hittites is found in tablets found in Assyrian, which showed records of trade transactions between Assyrian merchants and persons from Hatti. Hatti’s capital was discovered by William Wright and was named Bogazkoy (Hattusa) (Sayce, 75). In the course of exploring the Hittite capital, Hugo Winckler discovered nearly 10,000 tablets that were inscribed using cuneiform Akkdian. These tablets were primarily inscribed in Babylonian language. This gave evidence that the capital was once under the control or rule of northern Syria. The tablets were in Babylonian as they were correspondences between Babylonian leaders and their representatives in the Hittite colony. ...
However, upon the archaeologists’ realization that some of the tablets were inscribed in Babylonian, the archaeologists then had an easier time deciphering the contents of the tablets (Sayce, 114). However, other tablets proved rather difficult as they spelt out an unknown language. They nonetheless cracked the language code by linking the signs to the Hittite linguistic family, i.e. Indo-European, which allowed the archaeologists to uncover the hidden message in the cuneiforms. Typically, Hittites and Babylonians used cuneiforms, while Hittites and Egyptians used hieroglyphic writings. The key difference between these two language forms lies in their phonetics. Egyptian hieroglyphic writings used sheer consonant sounds that were based on either the entire word or part of it (Newby, 94). Cuneiform signs, however, used complete syllables that also included vowel sounds. This means that tablets inscribed in cuneiform signs were easier to pronounce than Egyptian hieroglyphics. This posed a major challenge to scholars in translating Hittite hieroglyphs as they were unable to discover the full words as only parts of them were identifiable. The Lords of Hattusha refer to gods and kings of the Hittite empire who ruled during the aforementioned period. The Lords also called the Dark Lords of Hattusha included gods such as Inaras, Alalus, Ishtar and rulers such as Anitta and Pithana. Hittites were well versed in chariot making and developed chariots that had lighter wheels and four spokes unlike the previous ones that had eight spokes. The chariot’s wheels were positioned in the middle unlike the Egyptian’s whose wheels were at the back (Sayce, 124). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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