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Hittites

The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Suppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. Between the 15th and 13th centuries BC, the Empire of Hattusa, conventionally called the Hittite Empire, came into conflict with the Egyptian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and the empire of the Mitanni for control of the Near East; the Assyrians emerged as the dominant power and annexed much of the Hittite empire, while the remainder was sacked by Phrygian newcomers to the region. After c. 1180 BC, during the Bronze Age collapse, the Hittites splintered into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC before succumbing to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family, along with the related Luwian language, is the oldest attested Indo-European language, referred to by its speakers as nešili "in the language of Nesa".

The Hittites called their country the Kingdom of Hattusa, a name received from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the region until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC and spoke an unrelated language known as Hattic. The conventional name "Hittites" is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology; the history of the Hittite civilization is known from cuneiform texts found in the area of their kingdom, from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Assyria, Babylonia and the Middle East, the decipherment of, a key event in the history of Indo-European linguistics. The Hittite military made successful use of chariots; the development of iron smelting was once attributed to the Hittites of Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age, with their success based on the advantages of a monopoly on ironworking at the time. But the view of such a "Hittite monopoly" has come under scrutiny and is no longer a scholarly consensus.

As part of the Late-Bronze-Age/Early-Iron-Age, the Bronze Age collapse saw the slow, comparatively continuous spread of iron-working technology in the region. While there are some iron objects from Bronze Age Anatolia, the number is comparable to iron objects found in Egypt and other places during the period. Hittites did not use smelted iron, but rather meteorites. In classical times, ethnic Hittite dynasties survived in small kingdoms scattered around modern Syria and Israel. Lacking a unifying continuity, their descendants scattered and merged into the modern populations of the Levant and Mesopotamia. During the 1920s, interest in the Hittites increased with the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey and attracted the attention of Turkish archaeologists such as Halet Çambel and Tahsin Özgüç. During this period, the new field of Hittitology influenced the naming of Turkish institutions, such as the state-owned Etibank, the foundation of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, 200 kilometers west of the Hittite capital and housing the most comprehensive exhibition of Hittite art and artifacts in the world.

Before the archeological discoveries that revealed the Hittite civilization, the only source of information about the Hittites had been the Old Testament. Francis William Newman expressed the critical view, common in the early 19th century, that, "no Hittite king could have compared in power to the King of Judah...". As the discoveries in the second half of the 19th century revealed the scale of the Hittite kingdom, Archibald Sayce asserted that, rather than being compared to Judah, the Anatolian civilization " worthy of comparison to the divided Kingdom of Egypt", was "infinitely more powerful than that of Judah". Sayce and other scholars noted that Judah and the Hittites were never enemies in the Hebrew texts. Uriah the Hittite was a captain in King David's army and counted as one of his "mighty men" in 1 Chronicles 11. French scholar Charles Texier found the first Hittite ruins in 1834 but did not identify them as such; the first archaeological evidence for the Hittites appeared in tablets found at the karum of Kanesh, containing records of trade between Assyrian merchants and a certain "land of Hatti".

Some names in the tablets were neither Hattic nor Assyrian, but Indo-European. The script on a monument at Boğazkale by a "People of Hattusas" discovered by William Wright in 1884 was found to match peculiar hieroglyphic scripts from Aleppo and Hama in Northern Syria. In 1887, excavations at Amarna in Egypt uncovered the diplomatic correspondence of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. Two of the letters from a "kingdom of Kheta"—apparently located in the same general region as the Mesopotamian references to "land of Hatti"—were written in standard Akkadian cuneiform, but in an unknown language. Shortly after this, Sayce proposed that Hatti or Khatti in Anatolia was identical with the "kingdom of Kheta" mentioned in these Egyptian texts, as well as with the biblical Hittites. Others, such as Max Müller, agreed that Khatti was Kheta, but proposed connecting it with Biblical Kittim rather than with the Biblical Hittites. Sayce's identification came to be accepted over the course of the early 20th century.

Vespasiano Bignami

Vespasiano Bignami was Italian painter, art critic, caricaturist. He belonged to the Scapigliatura movement, helped found La Famiglia Artistica, he was born in Cremona. Apprenticed to a seller of colored postcards at the age of eight, he spent some time at the Accademia Carrara of Bergamo under Enrico Scuri. In Bergamo and needing to scramble to make ends meet, he "painted thank-you notes with water-colors. In 1861, he moved to Milan, made cartoons for the satirical and patriotic L'Uomo di Pietra, he illustrated books and journals, produced industrial art. In 1869, he exhibited at the Brera a painting titled Botanical Lesson. In an exhibition at Brussels, he exhibited Condemned to Death, which depicts a panic-stricken chicken flapping its wings, beak open, looking in vain for an escape from its fate in a kitchen, he frescoed houses including the ceilings of the villa in Nizza of architect Maraini. In 1879, he painted Four Evangelists for the church of Rosazza Biellese. In 1881, he exhibited. In 1873, he helped.

He was a friend to many artists and helped write biographies of Francesco Barzaghi and Cesare Tallone. He taught at the Accademia di Brera. E was a director of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna of Milan, he traveled to work in Costa Rica. He died in Milan in 1929; the art critic Carlo Bozzi helped organize Bignami's notes and papers and donated them to the city of Milan, where they are now represented by the Vespasiano Bignami Collection. Works by or about Vespasiano Bignami at Internet Archive

William Towns

William Towns known as Bill Towns was a British car designer. Towns began his training as a designer at Rootes in 1954, where he was involved in the styling of seats and door handles, he was involved with the styling of their Hillman Hunter. He moved to Rover in 1963 and worked there for David Bache and designed the body of the Rover-BRM gas turbine Le Mans car. In 1966, he left Rover to join Aston Martin as a seat designer becoming the force behind the Aston Martin Lagonda, he left Aston Martin in 1977 for more remunerative industrial design work, setting up his own design studio, Interstyl. As a freelance designer, he worked on the Jensen-Healey, the successful Hustler kit-car, the Reliant SS2 and the short-lived Railton F28/F29. Towns died at the age of 55 from cancer in June 1993 at his home in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. Up until July 2005, his own cars were on display at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, UK. 1964 Rover-BRM gas turbine car 1967 Aston Martin DBS 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Minissima 1974 Aston Martin Lagonda 1974 Guyson E12 1976 Microdot 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2 1978 Hustler 1980 Aston Martin Bulldog 1985 TXC Tracer 1988 Reliant SS2 1992 Reliant Scimitar Sabre 1989 Railton F28 Fairmile and F29 Claremont Biography