Hittites

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The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia. They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia ca. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height ca. the 14th century BC, encompassing a large part of Anatolia, north-western Syria about as far south as the mouth of the Litani River (in present-day Lebanon), and eastward into upper Mesopotamia. The Hittite military made successful use of chariots,[1] By the mid 14th century BC (under king Suppiluliuma I) carving out an empire that included most of Asia Minor as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. After ca. 1180 BC, the empire disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some surviving until the 8th century BC.

Their Hittite language was a member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family.[2] Natively, they referred to their land as Hatti, and to their language as Nesili (the language of Nesa). The conventional name "Hittites" is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology. Despite the use of "Hatti", the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the same region until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and spoke a non-Indo-European language called Hattic.

Although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 14th century BC, when letters to foreign rulers reveal the latter's demand for iron goods.

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