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ALACAHÖYÜK


Alacahöyük, located 45 kilometers to the south of Çorum Province and 36 km to the northeast of the Hattusa (Boğazköy), was an important city of the Hattian. It dates back 4,500 B.C. to the Chalcolithic period and was one of the most important centers of the Hittites.

The site was first discovered by W.C. Hamilton in 1835. It lead to extensive excavations beginning in 1861 by French archaeologist George Perrot. Another excavation, started in 1907 but which only lasted for a very short period, was carried out again in 1935 upon the order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with the support of his own money. Since then many excavations have been conducted by institutions and universities. Since 1997, the excavations have been carried out by Ankara University, conducted by Prof. Dr. Aykut Çınaroğlu.

In the Alacahöyük archaeological site, there are fifteen layers of settlement buried under the soil. The most important findings of Alacahöyük are the artifacts from the pre-Hittite royal tombs, dating to 3,000 B.C., including weapons, gold and silver containers and jewelry, and animal sculptures made of bronze and clay. In addition to the weapons and jewelry which were found in the tombs, there were also chairs, gold brooches, belt buckles, and gold leaf-covered figures. These artifacts have been exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

There were at least two gates in Alacahöyük. The Western Gate, of which only the main walls were found, had similarities with the Yerkapi of Hatusa. The Sphinx Gate at the south was the main gate of the city. This gate is flanked by two great sphinxes facing outward. On the jamb, there is a relief of a double-eagle holding a rabbit in its claws. There are two more reliefs on the walls on each side of the gate: an enthroned goddess, a procession including the weather god with the king, the queen and the priest, and sacrificial beasts following them. Most of the reliefs and sphinxes date to 1,400 B.C. Originals of the stone reliefs and sphinxes are also exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

Today, a 135 x 150 m dam, dated to 1,240 B.C., has survived in Alacahöyük. It was one of numerous dams built by the order of King Tudhaliya IV in 1,200 B.C., in the name of the goddess Hebat against drought in Anatolia.

For further information: http://alacahoyukkazisi.com/tarih.html

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