Could the Hittite language be revived

X AFTERWORD: LOOKING BACK ON A CENTURY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH The ups and downs of the settlement history of the southern Budaközü Valley are in many ways exemplary for the development in large parts of Central Anatolia: Comparable cuts in the cultural development can also be observed at other archaeological sites in Anatolia, albeit the changes in the Boğazköy area are more abrupt and far more profound. In this way, these processes, their causes and side effects can be researched particularly well there. The cultural changes reflect the frequently controversial relationship between the long-term, structurally largely unchanged geographic, ecological or economic basic conditions on the one hand and the various man-made factors on the other, which were not infrequently political in nature. The ecological prerequisites probably already played a role in the comparatively late conquest of the region by humans in the 6th or 5th millennium BC. A negative or braking role. The first, archaeologically verifiable upheaval in cultural history took place at the end of the Chalcolithic, that is, at the turn of the 4th to the 3rd millennium BC. We do not know when and why the Chalcolithic small settlements disappeared. The reasons and the date of the resettlement of the settlement are also unclear - archaeologically at the earliest in the course of the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. Visible; So it could be a gap in the settlement of well over half a millennium. The material culture of this time bears witness to the beginning of a new development that flows smoothly into the Karum period and beyond that into the Old Hittite period. It is remarkable that in Boğazköy 344 afterword we do not know the preliminary stages of this development, but rather in the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. encounter an already fully developed urban culture. From this point on, settlement and house forms, like ceramics, only develop gradually and in small steps, parallel to a steadily increasing social complexity. There are many indications that the settlement of the end of the 3rd millennium BC. BC and especially the Karum period settlement had numerous characteristics of an urban community of considerable size. In many places in Central Anatolia, the end of the Karum period seems to be accompanied by renewed upheaval: even the largest settlements such as Kültepe, Acemhöyük or Konya-Karahöyük are being abandoned. Although Boğazköy still lacks the final proof of an immediate continuity of settlement from the Karum period to the Old Hittite epoch and the Hittite great empire, this is one of the few places where the development can be traced across all cultural epochs. The cultural development among the Hittites reached its climax, especially since the 2nd half of the 16th century BC. BC, which in the light of more recent research increasingly emerged as a decisive turning point. During this time, numerous archaeologically tangible innovations appear - planned city structures, large hydrotechnical buildings, large granaries, new temple forms, monumental art monuments, possibly the writing of the Hittite language (?) - which formed the basis for the change of the Hittite Hattusha from the seat of one traditional Anatolian principality to represent the metropolis of an empire. In the last decades of the 16th century BC In addition, the profound changes in the settlement system beyond the capital took effect in the form of numerous new settlements (İnandıktepe, Hüseyindede) and large provincial cities (Kuşaklı, Ortaköy), also in the province. The collapse of the Hittite state at the turn of the 13th to the 12th century BC BC vividly shows the fragility of the Hittite culture, which had completely exhausted the economic and political prerequisites of Central Anatolia. Thanks to an exceptionally high degree of overall social organization and centuries of archaeological research, the Hittites succeeded for several centuries in balancing the consumption of an empire and the country's natural resources. At the same time, however, nature was exploited by the massive consumption of wood for metal and ceramic production, the brisk construction activity and intensive agriculture and livestock farming to an extent that was probably unique for the pre-modern society in Central Anatolia. Nevertheless, the collapse of the Hittite social system cannot be explained monocausally by deteriorating environmental conditions. Rather, a whole bundle of internal and external reasons must be cited, which, in addition to economic difficulties, above all includes domestic political conflicts caused by the usurpation of the throne by Hattuschili III. (c. 1265 to 1240/35 BC) were raised. The loss of international trading partners (especially Ugarit) in the course of the collapse of the Late Bronze Age states of the eastern Mediterranean area exacerbated this development. The cultural homogeneity of the Hittite epoch, which has been emphasized several times, turns out to be merely temporary and superficial in nature in view of the rapid collapse and complete disappearance of the Hittite culture in Central Anatolia. In view of the total disappearance of the Hittite culture, a real penetration and structural change of the conditions in Central Anatolia is not discernible. Rather, the artificially created homogeneity is an indication of how strongly the entire culture was oriented towards and dependent on the Hittite state and its elite. When this elite and the system of order they had established disappeared, the material culture that had produced them also collapsed like a house of cards. Depending on the severity of the economic problems in particular, the collapse within the empire took place at different speeds and at different levels. While Central Anatolia sank back from a high civilization to the level of the Chalcolithic in a few generations, the parts of the empire in the south and south-east continued to exist as independent small principalities (e.g. Tabal, Malatya, Karkemiš, Aleppo, Ain Dara). The geographical prerequisites and thus the economic and social structures based on them were much more stable in these areas of the bankrupt estate of the Hetite empire than in northern Central Anatolia, so that independent principalities could emerge there from former provinces. Since, at least on Büyükkaya, the earliest Iron Age settlement traces immediately follow the Hittite era, the break becomes particularly clear there: all elements of a high state culture are completely lost within a very short time. The early Iron Age pit houses, which architecturally represent the simplest possible construction method and in which neither disc-turned ceramics nor developed metal tools nor traces of a differentiated agriculture can be detected, are involuntarily reminiscent of Neolithic forms of life. Against the background of the starting situation described in the 12th century BC, during the Iron Age. A remarkable cultural development up to the emergence of small state structures in the 9th / 8th century BC. and 7th century BC Chr .; but this development never again reached the degree of statehood that would have been comparable to that of the Hittite empire. The end of the Iron Age is largely in the dark. We lack the archaeological and historical material to describe what might have happened in the early 5th century. But since the finds of the next younger cultural stage, which were made in the late 3rd century BC, BC begins to emerge archaeologically, has no connection whatsoever with the products of the Iron Age, there is again a deep cut in the development of culture. While we can hardly understand the reasons for the collapse of the Iron Age city, the archaeological realities and the textual tradition make it clear that with the Galatian immigration in the 3rd century BC. A development began that continued in the wider area around Boğazköy until the end of the Byzantine era in the 11th century. It is a continuous village settlement that hardly seems to change in terms of its social structures and does not create an urban center in the Boğazköy area. The collapse of Byzantine rule and culture in Central Anatolia led - as measured by the archaeological finds - in the Greater Boğazköy area - in contrast to the southern regions of Central Anatolia - to the complete dissolution of the settlement structures, which were not revived until the 16th and 17th centuries hundred to be revived by the establishment of the villages that still exist today. Although an ups and downs in cultural development can be observed almost continuously at practically all archaeological sites in Anatolia and beyond, the sharpness of the breaks in Boğazköy is striking. The often striking differences between phases of relatively continuous settlement - from which the Hittite period clearly stands out as a qualitatively unique high point - and periods of the complete collapse of cultural development with the subsequent new beginning of completely different cultures make it possible to to examine the reasons for such changes at this location. The precarious reciprocal relationship between human activity and the constantly changing, fragile natural spatial conditions in northern Central Anatolia is one of the reasons whose power we can see in the various phases of upheaval: in addition to the strain on the natural foundations, which inevitably lead to social tensions and internal instability lead, external factors also play different roles, at least during the collapse of the Hittite Empire, the Iron Age cultures and the Byzantine Empire. While at the end of the Hittite Empire the collapse of the Late Bronze Age states of the coastal regions played only a subordinate role, it could be that the integration of Central Anatolia into the Achaemenid Empire led to the decline of the local Iron Age states and cultures, as did the conquest of Central Anatolia the westward advancing Turkish tribes in the 11th century meant the end of Byzantine culture. In particular, the abrupt end of the Hittite Empire and the Iron Age states suggests that the collapse of state structures, which were able to compensate for the geographical disadvantages for a certain time through a high degree of social and economic organization, had more far-reaching consequences in Central Anatolia than for example in south-east Turkey, Syria or even Mesopotamia, where the economic fundamentals were much more stable. Obviously the various cultures of Central Anatolia only succeeded in maintaining a balance between agricultural production and social organization over the millennia with significantly varying success, which made the emergence of a state of the size and complexity of the Hittite Empire possible in the first place. If this balance of ecological, economic, social and political factors is disturbed, a supposedly strong state like the Hittite, which, as we have also seen, could not structurally change the fundamental parameters of Central Anatolia, collapses in a short time. The actual loss of control of the central government in Istanbul over large parts of central Anatolia in the first half of the 17th century can be cited as a historical parallel from the Ottoman period, as in all regions the dense network of villages that had arisen in the two centuries before due to the turmoil the so-called Celali uprisings largely disappeared. Behind the uprisings by marauding gangs were structural, social and economic problems that were exacerbated by external factors, especially the uninterrupted wars and the associated tax burden (S. Faroqhi, O. Özel, M. Akdağ). The work in Boğazköy / Hattuscha, which has now been going on for over a century, has not only lifted some unknown high culture of the ancient Orient onto the stage of world history. Rather, the research has shown the conditions under which people succeeded in establishing themselves in north-eastern Central Anatolia and, even under unfavorable conditions, in producing a high culture there. In particular, the comparison with the Syrian and Mesopotamian cultures reveals the ability of the ancient Anatolian people to adapt to their environment and the possibilities of creating an unexpected cultural optimum even under difficult external circumstances through a very high degree of overall social organization and discipline. In this respect, the Hittite culture represents a unique and special phenomenon among the ancient oriental cultures.