Excavations that began 116 years ago in the ancient city of Hattusa, once the capital of the Hittite Empire and listed on UNESCO’s “Memory of the World List”, are still ongoing.
The ancient city in the Boğazkale district of the central Anatolian province of Çorum, home to the cultural heritage of the Hatti and Hittites, one of the earliest civilizations in Anatolia, is among Turkey’s favorite tourist centers.
Home to the Lion Gate, King’s Gate and Yazılıkaya Open-Air Temple, which represent a unique artistic achievement, Hattusha was inscribed on the “World Heritage List” by UNESCO on November 28, 1986. It is the only witness of the destruction The Hittite civilization, as well as certain structures and architectural ensembles consisting of the king’s palace, temples and foundations have been perfectly preserved.
Hattusha, which was also included in UNESCO’s “Memory of the World List” in 2001 because it contains an archive of cuneiform tablets depicting the oldest known Indo-European language, bears the title of the only ancient city of the two UNESCO lists.
Prof Andreas Schachner, an excavation manager working for the German Archaeological Institute, said this year’s excavations in the ancient city of Hattusa began at the end of June and they plan to continue work until mid-October.
Stating that restoration work continues alongside archaeological excavations, Schachner said: “Currently we have 104 workers and three archaeologists. The Hittites are the first thing that comes to mind when Boğazköy is mentioned. We continue to work both in the lower town, in the western part of the upper town and on the northern slope of the Grand Château.
“But we can’t say anything specific yet. Topsoil has just been removed. We see new structures. This will become clear over time. There is no extraordinary invention. Let’s see what time will tell,” Schachner added.