7 October 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

An exciting discovery in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites

It is aimed to reach new information about the traditions of the Hittite civilization with 249 new hieroglyphs discovered in the Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa the capital of the Hittites.

Hattusa, located in Türkiye’s (Turkey) Anatolian heartland province of Corum, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1986. The remnants of the Hittite Capital date back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. The Hittites were a remarkable civilization. The kingdom stretched from the Aegean across Anatolia, northern Syria, and to the Euphrates river.

Archaeological excavations, which started in 1907 at the archaeological site of Hattusa in the Boğazkale district of Çorum, the capital of the Hittites, one of the first civilizations of Anatolia, continue under the direction of Professor Andreas Schachner from the German Archaeological Institute.

During the excavations carried out by archaeologists, Hittitologists, and scientists from different fields of expertise from different countries and universities, new symbols, estimated to have been drawn about 3,500 years ago, were found in the Yerkapı Tunnel, which was built using thousands of stones.

The Turkish word Yerkapı, which means “the gate in the ground,” perfectly describes this section of Hattusha fortifications. It is situated within an artificial embankment that serves as the southernmost point of the city walls. At its base, the embankment is 15 meters high, 250 meters long, and 80 meters wide.

Yerkapı tünnel signs

Associate Professor Bülent Genç, a member of the Mardin Artuklu University Archeology Department, who is one of the excavation team, noticed the symbols thought to have been drawn with madder on the stones in the middle of the Yerkapı Tunnel while he was visiting the site to take photos with the students on August 13.

Having identified 249 symbols in the tunnel, Genç shared his discovery with the excavation head, Schachner. Schachner also brought hieroglyphs to the scientific world by having the Yerkapi and symbols scanned in 3D.

Due to the Yerkapı tunnel’s nearly constant temperature throughout the year and that it is in a dark environment without sunlight and rain, it is estimated that the signs have survived to the present without deterioration for thousands of years.

A study has been started on the meanings of the signs

Schachner said that scientists from different specialties continue to examine the 249 hieroglyphs, which are considered to be depictions of gods.

Schachner said that the archaeological excavations in Hattusa started from Yerkapı in 1907, and that everyone who has excavated, including himself, has passed through the tunnel dozens of times, but no one noticed the hieroglyphs.

Schachner also, stated that after the discovery, Hittitologist Associate Professor Metin Alparslan from Istanbul University started working to determine what meanings the symbols might have.

This elaborate structure, whose Hittite name we do not know yet, was not used for defense purposes but was most likely a part of cult ceremonies associated with the temples in the north of the city.

Schachner pointed out that with the newly found hieroglyphs, they will have the opportunity to better understand what the tunnel was used for. While some of the markings are too worn to be read, most are well preserved and clearly legible.

 Professor Andreas Schachner showing signs.
Professor Andreas Schachner showing signs.

Pointing out that the hieroglyphs in the tunnel are similar, Schachner said, “When we share the symbols with the scientific world, our colleagues working on the Hittites will have an opinion and maybe one or maybe several ideas will emerge accordingly. We have identified a total of 249 Anatolian hieroglyphs here, but they are not all different from each other. We can divide them into 8 groups in total. They add innovation to us socially. Since they are written with paint, we need to interpret them more in the style of graffiti. We think it was done quickly and so that it could be understood quickly,” said.

Stating that most of the hieroglyphs found in Anatolia are seen in monumental inscriptions or seals that have their own meanings, Schachner underlined that the discovery of the symbols in the tunnel led to the idea that hieroglyphics were used much more widely in the Hittite period.

Expressing that they are excited to discover something new from an archaeological point of view, Schachner said:

“We know the Hittites mostly from the cuneiform texts, but we see that the Hittites and Hittite culture also have a different and unique Anatolian writing system. The interesting thing is that after the Hittite state collapsed, the cuneiform writing disappeared, but Anatolian hieroglyphs continue to be used. In the southern part of Central Anatolia, especially in Southeast Anatolia, we see that such inscriptions were used for another 400 years during the Iron Age, that is, following the Hittites.”

Banner
Related Post

A pendant with a figure of St. Nicholas found in the Ancient Church Hidden in Turkish Lake

7 October 2022

7 October 2022

Underwater archaeological excavations and research, which were started 8 years ago in the basilica located 20 meters off the lake...

Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of artifacts at the necropolis of Saqqara

9 June 2022

9 June 2022

Archaeologists at the necropolis of Saqqara, near Cairo, have discovered a cache of 250 complete mummies in painted wooden sarcophagi...

Unique 2700-year-old mosaics unearthed in illegal excavations

17 November 2021

17 November 2021

Two 2700-year-old mosaics, which are thought to belong to a Roman rich man and symbolize magnificence, were found in a...

A spectacular rare ancient Roman bronze coin depicting the moon goddess was discovered off the coast of Israel

25 July 2022

25 July 2022

A rare 1850-year-old exceptionally well-preserved bronze coin depicting the Roman moon goddess Luna has been found off the coast of...

7,000 years ago the earliest evidence for the cultivation of a fruit tree came from the Jordan valley

17 June 2022

17 June 2022

Tel Aviv University and Jerusalem’s Hebrew University researchers have unraveled the earliest evidence for the domestication of a fruit tree....

Saudi shipwreck excavation reveals hundreds of 18th-century artifacts on sunken ship in the north Red Sea

25 February 2022

25 February 2022

Divers from Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Authority have discovered a shipwreck in the Red Sea from the 18th century filled with...

3,200-Year-Old Temple Mural of Spider God in Peru

25 March 2021

25 March 2021

Archaeologists in northern Peru have discovered a 3200-year-old mural. The mural was painted on the side of an ancient adobe...

Archaeologists may have uncovered a 13th-century castle in Shropshire

7 August 2021

7 August 2021

Archaeologists have been working on a mound of land in Wem, Shropshire, that belongs to Soulton Hall, Elizabethan mansion and...

Gold coin hoard discovered in a cup beneath a North Yorkshire kitchen floor is being auctioned off

7 September 2022

7 September 2022

A couple in North Yorkshire found an early 18th-century gold coin hoard buried under the floorboards of their kitchen. The...

The oldest evidence of human use of tobacco was discovered in Utah

11 October 2021

11 October 2021

According to recent research, burnt seeds discovered in the Utah desert suggest that humans used tobacco initially and that some...

Britain’s Longest Ancient Monument ‘Offa’s Dyke’ to be Restored

21 June 2021

21 June 2021

Offa’s Dyke is a long, linear earthwork that roughly parallels the English-Welsh boundary. Offa is also known as the longest...

Ancient shipwreck dating back to the 2nd century BC was discovered off the coast of Croatia

14 September 2021

14 September 2021

A shipwreck dating to the 2nd century BC has been discovered in the shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea near...

Google Earth Helped Archaeologists Make İmportant Discoveries in Leicestershire

26 April 2021

26 April 2021

After Google Earth revealed traces of underground structures, archaeologists digging at a Roman settlement in Leicestershire say they have made...

The unknown importance of Göllü Dağ on the route of the first humans’ Transition from Africa to Europe

4 October 2021

4 October 2021

The researches conducted in Göllü Dağ and its surroundings, located within the borders of Niğde province in Central Anatolia, and...

7,800-year-old female figurine discovered in Ulucak Höyük in western Turkey

8 August 2022

8 August 2022

A 7,800-year-old female figurine was found in the Ulucak Höyük (Ulucak Mound) in the Kemalpaşa district of Izmir. It was...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.