Alaca Hüyük

Ancient Anatolian site, north-central Turkey.

It lies northeast of the old Hittite capital of Bogazköy. Traces of a Hittite building were found in the early 20th century and below them a royal necropolis of tombs from с 2500 BC. There is evidence of the advanced accomplishments of Copper Age metallurgy in the form of jewelry, bowls, and jugs. Though the ethnic identity of the preliterate inhabitants is uncertain, they probably belonged to the non-Indo-European population that preceded the Hittites.

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▪ archaeological site, Turkey
 ancient Anatolian site northeast of the old Hittite capital of Hattusa at Boğazköy, north-central Turkey. Its excavation was begun by Makridi Bey in 1907 and resumed in 1935 by the Turkish Historical Society. Inside a sphinx gate, traces of a large Hittite building were discovered. Below the Hittite remains was a royal necropolis of 13 tombs dating from about 2500 BC. Although material from the same period at Alişar Hüyük (q.v.) seemed to indicate a relatively primitive community of farmers and traders, the tombs of Alaca Hüyük provide evidence of considerable cultural accomplishment and refinement. While the tomb pottery is comparatively primitive in style, there is ample evidence of the advanced accomplishments of Copper Age metallurgy. Filigree ornaments (see photograph—>), jewelry, bowls, jugs, and chalices of gold were found, and sheet gold or gold wire was freely used in ornamentation. Vessels and bands of silver, and bowls and statuettes of copper or bronze are also represented. Included in the tomb finds were female “idols”; these were probably early cult images of the typical Anatolian mother goddess.

      Although the ethnic identity of Alaca's preliterate inhabitants is uncertain, it is most plausible to assign them to the non-Indo-European population that preceded the arrival of the people now known as Hittites; archaeological parallels are available among Heinrich Schliemann's Trojan treasures from Troy (level II) and from the Early Bronze Age at Cyprus.

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Universalium. 2010.

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