Hittites and the Hittite Empire

Archaeology and History of Both Hittite Empires

Lion Gate in Hattusa, Turkey featuring two lion statues embedded in what was once a doorway
The Lion Gate in Hattusa, the capital city of Turkey.

Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Two different types of "Hittites" are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament): the Canaanites, who were enslaved by Solomon; and the Neo-Hittites, Hittite kings of northern Syria who traded with Solomon. The events related in the Old Testament occurred in the 6th century BC, well after the glory days of the Hittite Empire.

The discovery of the Hittite capital city of Hattusha was an important event in archaeology of the near east, because it increased our understanding of the Hittite Empire as a powerful, sophisticated civilization of the 13th through 17th centuries BC.

The Hittite Civilization




  • Old Hittite Kingdom [ca. 1600-1400 BC]
  • Middle Kingdom [ca. 1400-1343 BC]
  • Hittite Empire [1343-1200 BC]


Cities: Important Hittite cities include Hattusha (now called Boghazkhoy), Carchemish (now Jerablus), Kussara or Kushshar (which has not been relocated), and Kanis. (now Kultepe)

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Hirst, K. Kris. "Hittites and the Hittite Empire." ThoughtCo, Jul. 29, 2021, thoughtco.com/the-hittite-empire-171248. Hirst, K. Kris. (2021, July 29). Hittites and the Hittite Empire. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-hittite-empire-171248 Hirst, K. Kris. "Hittites and the Hittite Empire." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-hittite-empire-171248 (accessed May 28, 2023).