Alacahoyuk – Hattusa’s Beginning Point

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  • Things to do in Alacahoyuk

Alacahöyük is a mound in Hüyük village, 15 km northwest of Alaca district of Çorum province. In this mound, 15 settlement or building levels from four different cultural phases were identified. Alacahöyük is one of the most important central regions of the Hittites, covering structures belonging to 4 different periods, which were unearthed through excavations. Its estimated historical past dates back to 5000 BC. With the 500 TL Atatürk paid personally out of his pocket, the first excavations started at that time, and important findings were obtained.

The History of Alacahoyuk

Although the first findings date back to 3500 BC, some findings show that it dates back to the year 5000 BC, taking the date back another 1500 years. These findings are based on 3 different ceramic pots. The lack of information and findings about it shows that we do not have very detailed information about this phase. This phase coincides with the copper age. Made by people living in the copper age; bowls, pots, adobe, a small number of tombs and houses made of thin tree branches were found. The upper parts of the houses are adobe, and the interiors are plastered. In the second phase, king and prince tombs were found. The striking findings in the graves are gifts of the dead made of silver, valuable items made of gold and silver. Especially the skulls and horns of wild animals found around the tomb can be seen. Whereas men had more jewelry, weapons of that period were found in women’s graves.

One of the most interesting findings is the Hittite Dam. The excavations carried out in 1997 show that a dam was built in order to irrigate the agricultural lands and to provide drinking water to the city. It is mentioned in many places of the cuneiform writings that IV Tuthaliya, one of the kings of the Hittite period, had many dams built. However, according to the cuneiform document called the hieroglyphic inscription, there is an inscription indicating that the Hittite Dam was built by Queen Pudu Hepa, the wife of the great king Hattusili III, in 1250 BC, in dedication to the Goddess Hepat.

In the third phase, the Alacahöyük lands belonged to the Hittites. Very important archaeological artifacts belonging to the Hittites were found. The walls surrounding the city are from the Hittites. The sphinx gate was built in the Hittite period. These sphinx doors are one of the most original and naive works of art of that period. Sphinxes were believed to protect the environment from evil. There are very interesting motifs on the stones. It has been observed that there are musicians in some motifs. These motifs add important historical developments to us regarding those periods. There are also cuneiform tablets from this period. One of the most important findings remaining from the Hittites is the Sun Course. This circular shape symbolizes the sun. They are usually made of bronze. It is thought that the stars were used as a map by determining their positions and later used in religious ceremonies.

Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman lived in fourth phase. No very important findings were found. In this cultural phase, the importance of this city no longer exists. Remains of that period are exhibited in the Ankara Museum. There are items such as pottery and money.

How to get to Alacahöyük?

Alacahöyük is 45 kilometers from Çorum, 15 kilometers from Alaca and 35 kilometers from Boğazkale. Those who use the Ankara-Samsun highway can visit the ruins and the museum, which is only 7 kilometers away from the main road, by taking a break. To reach Alacahöyük by public transportation, you must go to Alaca before Çorum. If you are lucky, you may come across town minibuses from there, but we recommend you to take a taxi.

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Expat Guide Turkey is a news website that shares important events in Turkey and news concerning foreigners in Turkey. It also contains a guide to undiscovered places, city and district about Turkey.

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