Skip to content
Home » 3,300-year-old clay tablet provides new evidence of Hittite civil war and foreign invasion

3,300-year-old clay tablet provides new evidence of Hittite civil war and foreign invasion

In a remarkable near Turkey's capital, Ankara, archaeologists have unearthed a clay tablet that offers a glimpse into a tumultuous chapter of . Dated back 3,300 years, the tablet portrays a harrowing foreign invasion of the once-mighty Hittite Empire, adding layers of complexity to our understanding of the region's past.

Discovered at Büklükale, about 100 km from Ankara, the tablet emerges as a tangible relic from a time long forgotten. What sets this discovery apart is not just its age but its pristine condition. Unlike the fragmented remnants typically found in archaeological digs, this palm-sized tablet presents itself almost intact, preserving a narrative etched in cuneiform script.

Guided by the translation of its intricate inscriptions, researchers uncovered a riveting tale of conflict and resilience. The tablet unveils a stark reality: the invasion transpired amidst a Hittite civil war, likely fueled by rival factions vying for supremacy. Such internal strife, woven into the fabric of societies, reveals the intricate dynamics that shaped empires and civilizations.

Büklükale, once a bustling city within the Hittite Empire, emerges as a focal point of historical significance. Typology and unearthed at the site suggest Büklükale's prominence during the Hittite Empire Period, a testament to its strategic and cultural importance within the empire's vast territories.

The tablet's discovery bears the mark of international collaboration, with Japanese archaeologist Kimiyoshi Matsumura leading the excavation efforts. Matsumura's expertise, coupled with the meticulous analysis by scholars worldwide, sheds light on the tablet's contents and its implications for our understanding of ancient Anatolia.

Central to the tablet's narrative is the enigmatic Hurrian language, once spoken within the corridors of power and religious sanctuaries. The language, now extinct, served as a conduit for sacred rituals and prayers, invoking deities such as Teššob, the storm god revered by Hittites and Hurrians alike.

Through the tablet's prayer, a plea for divine intervention echoes across millennia, a testament to the enduring human quest for meaning and solace in times of turmoil. The invocation of divine ancestors and the acknowledgment of communication barriers between gods and mortals offer a glimpse into the spiritual worldview of .

However, amidst the chaos of war and divine supplication, the tablet's historical context emerges with clarity. It hails from the reign of Tudhaliya II, a Hittite king who ruled centuries before the empire's eventual demise. This revelation dispels any notion of a direct link between the invasion depicted on the tablet and the collapse of the Hittite Empire.

Instead, the tablet serves as a poignant reminder of a turbulent era marked by civil strife and external threats. The Hittite heartland, besieged by invaders and engulfed in conflict, stood as a testament to the fragility of empires and the resilience of human spirit.

As scholars continue to decipher the tablet's inscriptions and unravel its historical significance, Büklükale remains a beacon of discovery, beckoning us to explore the depths of our collective past. In its and buried artifacts, we find echoes of forgotten civilizations and timeless truths that transcend the boundaries of time and space.