The Tabqa Dam, or al-Thawra Dam as it is named, most known as Euphrates Dam, is an earthen dam on the Euphrates, located 40 kilometres upstream from the city of Raqqa in Raqqa Governorate, Syria. The city of Al-Thawrah is located south of the dam; the dam is 60 metres high and 4.5 kilometres long and is the largest dam in Syria. Its construction led to the creation of Syria's largest water reservoir; the dam was constructed between 1973 with help from the Soviet Union. At the same time, an international effort was made to excavate and document as many archaeological remains as possible in the area of the future lake before they would be flooded by the rising water; when the flow of the Euphrates was reduced in 1974 to fill the lake behind the dam, a dispute broke out between Syria and Iraq, settled by intervention from Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union. The dam was built to generate hydroelectric power, as well as irrigate lands on both sides of the Euphrates; the dam has not reached its full potential in either of these objectives.
In 1927, when Syria was a French mandate, it was proposed to build a dam in the Euphrates near the Syro–Turkish border. After Syria became independent in 1946, the feasibility of this proposal was re-investigated, but the plan was not carried out. In 1957, the Syrian government reached an agreement with the Soviet Union for technical and financial aid for the construction of a dam in the Euphrates. Syria, as part of the United Arab Republic, signed an agreement with West Germany in 1960 for a loan to finance the construction of the dam. After Syria left the UAR in 1961, a new agreement about the financing of the dam was reached with the Soviet Union in 1965. A special government department was created in 1961 to oversee the construction of the dam. In the early 1960s Swedish geomorphologist Åke Sundborg worked as advisor in the dam project with the task of estimating the amount and fate of sediments that would enter into the dam. Sundborg developed for this purpose a mathematical model on the prognosed growth of a river delta in the dam.
The Tabqa Dam was conceived as a dual-purpose dam. The dam would include a hydroelectric power station with eight turbines capable of producing 824 MW in total, would irrigate an area of 640,000 hectares on both sides of the Euphrates. Construction of the dam lasted between 1968 and 1973, while the accompanying power station was finished on 8 March 1978; the dam was constructed during the agricultural reform policies of Hafez al-Assad, who had re-routed the Euphrates river for the dam in 1974. Total cost of the dam was US$340 million of which US$100 million was in the form of a loan by the Soviet Union; the Soviet Union provided technical expertise. During construction, up to 12 thousand Syrians and 900 Russian technicians worked on the dam, they were housed in the expanded town near the construction site, subsequently renamed Al-Thawra. To facilitate this project, as well as the construction of irrigation works on the Khabur River, the national railway system was extended from Aleppo to the dam, Deir ez-Zor, Qamishli.
The four thousand-some Arab families, living in the flooded part of the Euphrates Valley were resettled in other parts of northern Syria. This resettlement was part of an only implemented plan to establish an "Arab belt" along the borders with Turkey and Iraq in order to separate Kurds living in Syria from Kurds living in Turkey and Iraq. In 1974, Syria started to fill the lake behind the dam by reducing the flow of the Euphrates. Earlier, Turkey had started filling the reservoir of the newly constructed Keban Dam, at the same time the area was hit by significant drought; as a result, Iraq received less water from the Euphrates than normal, complained that annual Euphrates flow had dropped from 15.3 cubic kilometres in 1973 to 9.4 cubic kilometres in 1975. Iraq asked the Arab League to intervene but Syria argued that it received less water from Turkey as well and refused to cooperate; as a result, tensions rose and Iraq and Syria sent troops to their shared border. Iraq threatened to bomb the Tabqa Dam.
Before the dispute could escalate any further, an agreement was reached in 1975 by mediation of Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union whereby Syria increased the flow from the dam and henceforth agreed to let 60 percent of the Euphrates water flow into Iraq. In 1987, Turkey and Iraq signed an agreement by which Turkey was committed to maintain an average Euphrates flow of 500 cubic metres per second into Syria, which translates into 16 cubic kilometres of water per year; the upper part of the Syrian Euphrates valley has been intensively occupied at least since the Late Natufian period. Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European travellers had noted the presence of numerous archaeological sites in the area that would be flooded by the new reservoir. In order to preserve or at least document as many of these remains as possible, an extensive archaeological rescue programme was initiated during which more than 25 sites were excavated. Between 1963 and 1965, archaeological sites and remains were located with the help of aerial photographs, a ground survey was carried out as well to determine the periods that were present at each site.
Between 1965 a
Aleppo Governorate is one of the fourteen governorates of Syria. It is the most populous governorate in Syria with a population of more than 4,868,000 23% of the total population of Syria; the governorate is the fifth in area with an area of 18,482 km2, about 10% of the total area of Syria. The capital is the city of Aleppo; the governorate is represented by 52 deputies in the parliament, of whom 20 come from the city of Aleppo. Together, with the Idlib Governorate, the Aleppo Governorate make up the Northern Region of Syria; the Northern Region was the most fertile and the most densely populated in Syria. This explains why the Governorate of Aleppo has by far the largest number of towns and farms in Syria, it explains why the Northern Region has a much larger number of archaeological sites and remains than elsewhere in Syria. The governorate has a 221-kilometre long northern boundary with the Kilis, Şanlıurfa provinces of Turkey. To the west lie the Sanjak of Alexandretta and the Idlib Governorate.
To the south lie the Ḥamā Governorate River Euphrates forms most of the southern half of the eastern boundary with the Raqqa Governorate. The governorate lies on a plateau known as the Aleppo plateau; the eastern and northern boundaries of the governorate correspond to the eastern and northern boundaries of the plateau, although the northeastern portion of the governorate crosses the Euphrates valley into the Jazīrah plateau. The southeastern end of the governorate is continuous with the arid steppe of the northern Syrian Desert. To the south lie the eastern plains of Hama, to the southwest lie the northern plains of Idlib; the average elevation of the terrain is 379 metres. The surface slopes down in north-south and west-east directions; the surface undulates with an amplitude of 10–30 m for each wave. The lowlands are covered with combined Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments that average 4–5 km in thickness over the whole surface. Starting from the valley of the Euphrates, the terrain rises forming the Manbij plain and sinks again at the Dhahab river valley in the east of Aleppo Governorate.
The Dhahab drains the highlands north of Bāb and runs in a north-south direction for about 50 km until it drains into Lake Jabboul. West of the Dhahab valley the terrain rises again forming Mount ʻAqīl west of Bāb and Mount Ḥaṣṣ west of Lake Jabboul; the terrain sinks again forming the valley of River Quwēq. The endpoint of Quwēq, the Maṭkh swamp, is the lowest point in Aleppo Governorate. West of the Quwēq is Mount Simeon. South of Mount Simeon are the plains of Idlib. River ʻAfrīn runs west of Mount Simeon. To the west of River ʻAfrīn the land rises again forming Mount Kurd; the highest point in the governorate, Mount Bulbul, is located in the northern part of Mount Kurd. River ʻIfrīn runs from north to south between Mount Simeon and Mount Kurd and turns west to the Orontes valley, thus separating Mount Kurd from Mount Ḥārim to the south; the governorate is deforested except for a dispersed forest of about 50 square kilometres on the eastern slope of Mount Kurd where it faces the plain of Aʻzāz.
The main trees are oak. Arable land makes up 66% of the total area in the governorate; the main crops are olives, plums, vegetables, grains and pistachios. Pistachio is called in Syria fustuq Ḥalabī. Agriculture was traditionally supported by rivers. However, all of these rivers arise in Turkey, due to irrigation projects on the Turkish side of the border the flow of these rivers dropped so much that most of them could no longer support agriculture; the Quwēq, for example, dried up in the 1950s. The vanishing of the rivers forced farmers to depend on rainfall and on water diverted from the Euphrates. A pumping station at Maskanah provides drinking water for Aleppo from the Euphrates. Euphrates water has been diverted to revive the dead Qwēq river, thus revive agriculture in the plains south of Aleppo. Urban areas, swamps and grazing land make up 34% of the total area of the governorate; the remaining 14% is a desert area in the southeast, continuous with the Syrian Desert and known as Aleppo Desert.
The largest lake in the governorate is Lake Jabboul, a Ramsar salt lake located 40 kilometres southeast of Aleppo. Lake Assad separates Aleppo Governorate from Raqqa Governorate. Other artificial lakes include the Lake of 17 April on River ʻIfrīn and the revived Shabāʼ Lake on River Quwēq. Archeological sites are abundant in the governorate at Mount Simeon in the west and the plains that extend beyond towards Antioch and Idlib; this region, known as the Limestone Massif, has the largest concentration of Late Antiquity churches in the world, with a unique Syrian architectural style. It has the famous Dead Cities of Syria. Aleppo Governorate has a semi-arid climate; the mountain series that run along the Mediterranean coast, namely Mount Alawites and Mount Amanus block the effects of the Mediterranean on climate. The average temperature in the governorate is 15–20 °C; the average precipitation ranges from 500 mm in the western parts of the governorate to 200 mm in the easternmost parts and 150 mm (6 i
Astarte is the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess Astoreth, a form of Ishtar, worshipped from the Bronze Age through classical antiquity. The name is associated with her worship in the ancient Levant among the Canaanites and Phoenicians, she was celebrated in Egypt following the importation of Levantine cults there. The name Astarte is sometimes applied to her cults in Mesopotamian cultures like Assyria and Babylonia. Astarte is one of a number of names associated with the chief goddess or female divinity of those peoples, she is recorded in Akkadian as the masculine form of Ishtar. The name appears in Ugaritic as ʻAthtart or ʻAṯtart, in Phoenician as ʻAshtart or ʻAštart, in Hebrew as Ashtoret; the Hebrews referred to the Ashtarot or "Astartes" in the plural. The Etruscan Pyrgi Tablets record the name Uni-Astre. Astarte was connected with fertility and war, her symbols were the lion, the horse, the sphinx, the dove, a star within a circle indicating the planet Venus. Pictorial representations show her naked.
She has been known as the deified morning and/or evening star. The deity takes on many names and forms among different cultures and according to Canaanite mythology, is one and the same as the Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ištar, taken from the third millennium BC Sumerian goddess Inanna, the first primordial goddess of the planet Venus. Inanna was known by the Aramaic people as the god Attar, whose myth was construed in a different manner by the people of Greece to align with their own cultural myths and legends, when the Canaanite merchants took the First papyrus from Byblos to Greece sometime before the 8th century by a Phoenician called Cadmus the first King of Thebes. Astarte was worshipped in Syria and Canaan beginning in the first millennium BC and was first mentioned in texts from Ugarit, she came from the same Semitic origins as the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, an Ugaritic text equates her with Ishtar. Her worship spread to Cyprus; this merged Cypriot goddess may have been adopted into the Greek pantheon in Mycenaean and Dark Age times to form Aphrodite.
Stephanie Budin, argues that Astarte's character was less erotic and more warlike than Ishtar was because she was influenced by the Canaanite goddess Anat, that therefore Ishtar, not Astarte, was the direct forerunner of the Cypriot goddess. Greeks in classical and Roman times equated Aphrodite with Astarte and many other Near Eastern goddesses, in keeping with their frequent practice of syncretizing other deities with their own. Other major centers of Astarte's worship were the Phoenician city states of Sidon and Byblos. Coins from Sidon portray a chariot in which a globe appears a stone representing Astarte. "She was depicted on Sidonian coins as standing on the prow of a galley, leaning forward with right hand outstretched, being thus the original of all figureheads for sailing ships." In Sidon, she shared a temple with Eshmun. Coins from Beirut show Poseidon and Eshmun worshipped together. Other centers were Cythera and Eryx in Sicily from which she became known to the Romans as Venus Erycina.
A bilingual inscription on the Pyrgi Tablets dating to about 500 BC found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etruscan Uni-Astre, that is, Juno. At Carthage Astarte was worshipped alongside the goddess Tanit; the Aramean goddess Atargatis may have been equated with Astarte, but the first element of the name Atargatis appears to be related to the Ugaritic form of Asherah's name: Athirat. In the Baʿal Epic of Ugarit, the consort of the god El, plays a role, she is distinguished from Ashtart in the Ugaritic documents, although in non-Ugaritic sources from periods the distinction between the two goddesses can be blurred. Astarte arrived in ancient Egypt during the 18th dynasty along with other deities who were worshipped by northwest Semitic people, she was worshipped in her aspect as a warrior goddess paired with the goddess Anat. In the Contest Between Horus and Set, these two goddesses appear as daughters of Ra and are given as allies to the god Set, here identified with the Semitic name Hadad.
Astarte was identified with the lioness warrior goddess Sekhmet, but more conflated, at least in part, with Isis to judge from the many images found of Astarte suckling a small child. Indeed, there is a statue of the 6th century BC in the Cairo Museum, which would be taken as portraying Isis with her child Horus on her knee and which in every detail of iconography follows normal Egyptian conventions, but the dedicatory inscription reads: "Gersaphon, son of Azor, son of Slrt, man of Lydda, for his Lady, for Astarte." See G. Daressy, pl. LXI. Plutarch, in his On Isis and Osiris, indicates that the King and Queen of Byblos, unknowingly, have the body of Osiris in a pillar in their hall, are Melcarthus and Astarte. In the description of the Phoenician pantheon ascribed to Sanchuniathon, Astarte appears as a daughter of Epigeius, "sky" and Ge, sister of the god Elus. After Elus overthrows and banishes his father Epigeius, as some kind of trick Epigeius sends Elus his "virgin daughter" Astarte along with her sisters Asherah and the goddess who
Mari was an ancient Semitic city in modern-day Syria. Its remains constitute a tell located 11 kilometers north-west of Abu Kamal on the Euphrates river western bank, some 120 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor, it flourished as a trade center and hegemonic state between 2900 BC and 1759 BC. As a purposely-built city, the existence of Mari was related to its position in the middle of the Euphrates trade routes. Mari was first abandoned in the middle of the 26th century BC but was rebuilt and became the capital of a hegemonic East Semitic state before 2500 BC; this second Mari engaged in a long war with its rival Ebla and is known for its strong affinity with Sumerian culture. It was destroyed in the 23rd century BC by the Akkadians, who allowed the city to be rebuilt and appointed a military governor bearing the title of Shakkanakku; the governors became independent with the rapid disintegration of the Akkadian Empire and rebuilt the city as a regional center in the middle Euphrates valley. The Shakkanakkus ruled Mari until the second half of the 19th century BC, when the dynasty collapsed for unknown reasons.
A short time after the Shakkanakku collapse, Mari became the capital of the Amorite Lim dynasty. The Amorite Mari was short-lived as it was annexed by Babylonia in c. 1761 BC, but the city survived as a small settlement under the rule of the Babylonians and the Assyrians before being abandoned and forgotten during the Hellenistic period. The Mariotes worshiped both Semitic and Sumerian deities and established their city as a center of old trade. However, although the pre-Amorite periods were characterized by heavy Sumerian cultural influence, Mari was not a city of Sumerian immigrants but rather a Semitic-speaking nation that used a dialect similar to Eblaite; the Amorites were West Semites who began to settle the area before the 21st century BC. Mari's discovery in 1933 provided an important insight into the geopolitical map of ancient Mesopotamia and Syria, due to the discovery of more than 25,000 tablets that contained important information about the administration of state during the 2nd millennium BC and the nature of diplomatic relations between the political entities in the region.
They revealed the wide trading networks of the 18th century BC, which connected areas as far as Afghanistan in Southern Asia and Crete in the Mediterranean region. The name of the city can be traced to Mer, an ancient storm deity of northern Mesopotamia and Syria, considered the patron deity of the city, Georges Dossin noted that the name of the city was spelled identically to that of the storm god and concluded that Mari was named after him. Mari is not considered a small settlement that grew, but rather a new city, purposely founded during the Mesopotamian Early Dynastic period I c. 2900 BC, to control the waterways of the Euphrates trade routes that connect the Levant with the Sumerian south. The city was built about 1 to 2 kilometers away from the Euphrates river to protect it from floods, was connected to the river by an artificial canal, between 7 and 10 kilometers long, depending on which meander it used for transport, hard to identify today; the city is difficult to excavate as it is buried deep under layers of habitation.
A defensive system against floods composed of a circular embankment was unearthed, in addition to a circular 6.7 m thick internal rampart to protect the city from enemies. An area 300 meters in length filled with gardens and craftsmen quarters separated the outer embankment from the inner rampart, which had a height of 8 to 10 meters and was strengthened by defensive towers. Other findings include one of the city gates, a street beginning at the center and ending at the gate, residential houses. Mari had a central mound. A large building seems to have had an administrative function, it had stone rooms up to 12 meters long and 6 meters wide. The city was abandoned at the end of the Early Dynastic period II c. 2550 BC for unknown reasons. Around the beginning of Early Dynastic period III Mari was populated again; the new city kept many of the first city's exterior features, including the internal rampart and gate. Kept was the outer circular embankment measuring 1.9 km in diameter, topped by a wall two meters thick capable of protecting archers.
However, the internal urban structure was changed and the new city was planned. First to be built were the streets that descended from the elevated center into the gates, ensuring the drainage of rain water. At the heart of the city, a royal palace was built that served as a temple. Four successive architectural levels from the second kingdom's palace have been unearthed; the last two levels are dated to the Akkadian period. The first two levels were excavated. Unearthed were a pillared throne room and a hall with three double wood pillars leading to the temple. Six more temples were discovered in the city, including the temple called the Massif Rouge, temples dedicated to Ninni-Zaza, Ishtar and Shamash. All the temples were located in the center of the city except for the Ishtar temple.
Yamhad was an ancient Semitic kingdom centered on Ḥalab, Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, was ruled by the Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military and diplomacy to expand their realm. From the beginning of its establishment, the kingdom withstood the aggressions of its neighbors Mari and Assyria, was turned into the most powerful Syrian kingdom of its era through the actions of its king Yarim-Lim I. By the middle of the 18th century BC, most of Syria minus the south came under the authority of Yamhad, either as a direct possession or through vassalage, for nearly a century and a half, Yamhad dominated northern and eastern Syria, had influence over small kingdoms in Mesopotamia at the borders of Elam; the kingdom was destroyed by the Hittites annexed by Mitanni in the 16th century BC. Yamhad's population was predominately Amorite, had a typical Bronze Age Syrian culture. Yamhad was inhabited by a substantial Hurrian population that settled in the kingdom, adding the influence of their culture.
Yamhad controlled a wide trading network, being a gateway between the eastern Iranian plateau and the Aegean region in the west. Yamhad worshiped the traditional Northwest Semitic deities, the capital Halab was considered a holy city among the other Syrian cities as a center of worship for Hadad, regarded as the main deity of northern Syria. Little of Halab has been excavated by archaeologists, as Halab was never abandoned during its long history and the modern city is situated above the ancient site. Therefore, most of the knowledge about Yamhad comes from tablets discovered at Mari; the name Yamhad was an Amorite tribal name and is used synonymously with Halab when referring to the kingdom. The city of Halab was a religious center in northern Syria, was mentioned by the name Ha-lam, as a vassal of the Eblaite empire, which controlled most of Syria in the middle of the third millennium BC. Halab's fame as a Holy City contributed to its prominence; the name Halab as well as that of Yamhad appeared for the first time during the Old Babylonian period, when Sumu-Epuh, the first Yamhadite king, was attested in a seal from Mari as the ruler of the land of Yamhad, which included, in addition to Halab, the cities of Alalakh and Tuba.
Sumu-Epuh consolidated the kingdom and faced Yahdun-Lim of Mari who had a dynastic alliance with Yamhad to oppose Assyria, but campaigned in the north threatening the kingdom. The Yamhadite king supported the Yaminite tribes and formed an alliance with other Syrian states including Urshu and Carchemish, against the Mariote king who defeated his enemies, but was killed by his son Sumu-Yamam; the rise of Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria proved more dangerous to Yamhad than Mari. The Assyrian king was an ambitious conqueror with the aim to rule Mesopotamia and the Levant, styled himself as "king of the world". Shamshi-Adad surrounded Yamhad by way of alliances with Charchemish and Urshu to the north and by conquering Mari to the east, forcing Zimri-Lim the heir of Mari to flee. Sumu-Epuh welcomed Zimri-Lim and aimed to use him against Assyria since he was the legitimate heir of Mari. Shamshi-Adad's most dangerous alliance was with Qatna, whose king Ishi-Addu became Assyria's agent at Yamhad's borders and married his daughter to Yasmah-Adad, the son of the Assyrian king, installed by his father as king of Mari.
Sumu-Epuh was killed during his fight with Shamshi-Adad and was succeeded by his son Yarim-Lim I, who consolidated his father's kingdom and turned it into the most powerful kingdom in Syria and northern Mesopotamia. Yarim-Lim surrounded Shamshi-Adad by alliances with Hammurabi of Babylon and Ibal-pi-el II of Eshnunna in 1777 BC he advanced to the east conquering Tuttul and installing Zimri-Lim as governor of the city; the death of the Assyrian king came a year later. Yarim-Lim sent his army with Zimri-Lim, to restore his ancestors throne as an ally-vassal to Yamhad, cementing the relationship through a dynastic marriage between the new Mariote king and Shibtu, the daughter of Yarim-Lim. Yarim-Lim spent the next years of his reign expanding the kingdom; the Syrian city-states were subdued through alliances or force. A sample of Yarim-Lim policy of diplomacy and war can be read in a tablet discovered at Mari, sent to the king of Dēr in southern Mesopotamia, which included a declaration of war against Der and its neighbor Diniktum, the tablet mentions the stationing of 500 Yamhadite warships for twelve years in Diniktum, the Yamhadite military support of Der for 15 years.
Yarim-Lim's accomplishments elevated Yamhad into the status of a Great Kingdom and the Yamhadite king title became the Great King. Yarim-Lim I was succeeded by his son Hammurabi I, he was able to force Charchemish into submission, sent troops to aid Hammurabi of Babylon against Larsa and Elam. The alliance ended after the Babylonian king destroyed it. Babylon did not attack Yamhad and the relations between the two kingdoms remained peaceful in years. Hammurabi I was succeeded by his son Abba-El I, whose reign witnessed the rebellion of the city Irridu, under the authority of prince Yarim-Lim, Abba-El's brother. Th
Hattusa was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazkale, within the great loop of the Kızılırmak River. Hattusa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986; the landscape surrounding the city included rich agricultural fields and hill lands for pasture as well as woods. Smaller woods are still found outside the city; this meant the inhabitants had an excellent supply of timber when building their houses and other structures. The fields provided the people with a subsistence crop of wheat and lentils. Flax was harvested, but their primary source for clothing was sheep wool, they hunted deer in the forest, but this was only a luxury reserved for the nobility. Domestic animals provided meat. There were several other settlements in the vicinity, such as the rock shrine at Yazılıkaya and the town at Alacahöyük. Since the rivers in the area are unsuitable for major ships, all transport to and from Hattusa had to go by land. Before 2000 BC, the indigenous Hattian people established a settlement on sites, occupied earlier and referred to the site as Hattush.
The Hattians built their initial settlement on the high ridge of Büyükkale. The earliest traces of settlement on the site are from the sixth millennium BC. In the 19th and 18th centuries BC, merchants from Assur in Assyria established a trading post there, setting up in their own separate quarter of the city; the center of their trade network was located in Kanesh. Business dealings required record-keeping: the trade network from Assur introduced writing to Hattusa, in the form of cuneiform. A carbonized layer apparent in excavations attests to the burning and ruin of the city of Hattusa around 1700 BC; the responsible party appears to have been King Anitta from Kussara, who took credit for the act and erected an inscribed curse for good measure: Whoever after me becomes king resettles Hattusas, let the Stormgod of the Sky strike him! Only a generation a Hittite-speaking king chose the site as his residence and capital; the Hittite language had been gaining speakers at the expense of Hattic for some time.
The Hattic Hattush now became the Hittite Hattusa, the king took the name of Hattusili, the "one from Hattusa". Hattusili marked the beginning of a non-Hattic-speaking "Hittite" state and of a royal line of Hittite Great Kings, 27 of whom are now known by name. After the Kaskas arrived to the kingdom's north, they twice attacked the city to the point where the kings had to move the royal seat to another city. Under Tudhaliya I, the Hittites moved north to Sapinuwa. Under Muwatalli II, they moved south to Tarhuntassa but assigned Hattusili III as governor over Hattusa. Mursili III returned the seat to Hattusa, where the kings remained until the end of the Hittite kingdom in the 12th century BC. At its peak, the city covered 1.8 km² and comprised an inner and outer portion, both surrounded by a massive and still visible course of walls erected during the reign of Suppiluliuma I. The inner city covered an area of some 0.8 km² and was occupied by a citadel with large administrative buildings and temples.
The royal residence, or acropolis, was built on a high ridge now known as Büyükkale. To the south lay an outer city of about 1 km2, with elaborate gateways decorated with reliefs showing warriors and sphinxes. Four temples were located here, each set around a porticoed courtyard, together with secular buildings and residential structures. Outside the walls are cemeteries, most of which contain cremation burials. Modern estimates put the population of the city between 50,000 at the peak; the dwelling houses that were built with timber and mud bricks have vanished from the site, leaving only the stone-built walls of temples and palaces. The city was destroyed, together with the Hittite state itself, around 1200 BC, as part of the Bronze Age collapse. Excavations suggest that Hattusa was abandoned over a period of several decades as the Hittite empire disintegrated; the site was subsequently abandoned until 800 BC, when a modest Phrygian settlement appeared in the area. In 1833, the French archaeologist Charles Texier was sent on an exploratory mission to Turkey, where in 1834 he discovered ruins of the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa.
Ernest Chantre opened some trial trenches at the village called Boğazköy, in 1893–94. Since 1906, the German Oriental Society has been excavating at Hattusa. Archaeological work is still carried out by the German Archaeological Institute. Hugo Winckler and Theodore Makridi Bey conducted the first excavations in 1906, 1907, 1911–13, which were resumed in 1931 under Kurt Bittel, followed by Peter Neve. One of the most important discoveries at the site has been the cuneiform royal archives of clay tablets, known as the Bogazköy Archive, consisting of official correspondence and contracts, as well as legal codes, procedures for cult ceremony, oracular prophecies and literature of the ancient Near East. One important tablet on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, details the terms of a peace settlement reached years after the Battle of Kadesh between the Hittites and the Egyptians under Ramesses II, in 1259 or 1258 BC. A copy is on display in the United Nations in New York City as an example of the earliest known international peace treaties
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"