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Hittite Tablet

17 March 2024
Ancient history, Archaeology

I got excited when I first started reading the link but that subsided quite quickly. The title dates the tablet at 3300 years ago – roughly between 1380 amd 1370B C. This is much too early for a connection with the  end of Late Bronze Age events. It is even earlier than the Amarna reign of Akhnaton. The tablet is said to date from the reign of Tudhalyas II – or a king of that general time period. Go to https://www.livescience.com/archaeology/3300-year-old-tablet-from-mysterious-hittite-empire-describes-catastrophic-invasion-of-four-cities …. but as with most  tablets on clay they are often chipped or broken and the text is not always fully readable. The tablet comes from Bukhkale in eastern Turkey and what is thought to have been a royal residence, although somewhat removed from the events being described. According to a translation by a professor from University College in London, it tells of the  four cities, which include Hattusas the Hittite capital, ‘in disaster’ – or words to that  effect. An invasion from different directions appears to have been happening. Or it may refer to a civil war. The Hittite heartlands were being overrun. The remaining 64 lines appear to be a prayer to the Hurrian god Teshub, begging for a victory.

Over at https://www.livescience.com/archaeology/2800-year-old-ivory-carved-with-sphinx-discovered-in-turkey …. the ivory carved with a sphinx dates from the Iron Age – perhaps at some point between 900 and 600BC. It was found in an Iron Age occupation level at Hattusas. This city was destroyed in a fiery conflagration towards the end of the Bronze Age. Hence, the Hittite empire no longer existed. Refugees from the Hittite lands had fled south into North Syria and a region of that country became known as Hatay – right down into the Babylonian renaissance under Nebuchadnezzar and his father. So, does the sphinx indicate a connection with Egypt? Or was it an object of trade that reached eastern Turkey from the southern Levant or Phoenicia. Intriguing. It could have chronological implications.

Gary also sent in a link – from the Times of India – see https://timesofindia.com/etimes/trending/french-archaeologists-discover-medieval-village-with-1000-burials-under-ancient-abbey/108288765.cms … Live Science also has the same story – https://www.livescience.com/archaeology/mass-grave-of-plague-victims-may-be-largest-ever-found-in-europe-archaeologists-say … the mass grave of plague victims belongs to a later outbreak to that of the Black Death. Plague pits, some eight of them, were crammed with hundreds of bones as well as pottery shards and coins. Archaeologists were able to date the remains to a plague outbreak in 1622 or 1634, although outbreaks in the Nuremburg area are known from 1537 to 1634. The Black Death occurred in the second half of the 14th century.

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