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Where did the Hittites Treasure go?


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#1    Wyrdlight

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:55 AM

After the Hittite capital city was abandoned due to infighting and civil war, where did all the gold go?  They looted most of Assiriya, Sacked Babalyon and raided much of egypts land... so when they left where did the tons and tons of gold, jewls and atifacts go?

I say a documentory about the hittites nad it was the best documentory i ahve ever seen, the one big mystry was the lack of temple and looted treasure none was found in the city, so they must have taken it with them, where did it go? the capital city was surrouned by vast tracks of chalky, sparse uplands prehaps thier is a horde of gold hidden away their still?


#2    kmt_sesh

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:16 AM

Wyrdlight on Jun 16 2009, 08:55 PM, said:

After the Hittite capital city was abandoned due to infighting and civil war, where did all the gold go?  They looted most of Assiriya, Sacked Babalyon and raided much of egypts land... so when they left where did the tons and tons of gold, jewls and atifacts go?

I say a documentory about the hittites nad it was the best documentory i ahve ever seen, the one big mystry was the lack of temple and looted treasure none was found in the city, so they must have taken it with them, where did it go? the capital city was surrouned by vast tracks of chalky, sparse uplands prehaps thier is a horde of gold hidden away their still?


After the Hittite empire fractured and Anatolia was lost to them, the ruling class of Hattusa probably moved south into Syria. This may have happened by around 1175 BCE, when the Sea Peoples were invading Asia Minor and Syro-Palestine (having been repelled from Egypt in the reign of Ramesses III). The invasions of the Sea Peoples caused havoc in the interior of Anatolia and warring factions fought for control. By the time invaders reached Hattusa, it was already completely abandoned. Even the furniture was gone from the homes.

Northern Syria had long been important to the kings of Hatti, especially the city of Karkamis. Almost certainly the ruling class fled there after abandoning Hattusa. The Hittites didn't really disappear--they relocated. This marks the Neo-Hittite period. The rulers of Karkamis were probably descended from the kings of Hatti after this point. They certainly wouldn't have buried their treasures before leaving their old city in Anatolia: they would've needed every last bit of it to maintain their wealth, power, and status once reaching Karkamis. And there they stayed and held sway until the early Iron Age, when the Assyrians rose as the dominant force in the region and swept all of Syro-Palestine into their empire. If the Hittite treasures went anywhere, it was probably eventually to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital. wink2.gif

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#3    Qoais

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:23 AM

oh!  What a reality check!  I thought they spent it on wine women and song, with a bit of gambling thrown in on the side. tongue.gif

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#4    KRS-One

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:24 AM

I think perhaps it's important to realize that they sacked Babylon in about 1595 BC,  and the assyrian empire itself (note they did not destroy it, but I suppose they may have looted from it...maybe) in around 1300 BC, then finally dissipated in 1180 BC.

That's over 400 years of history and plenty of time to dissipate any kind of aquisitions they made.  Plus, you have to realize that when an entire civilization "falls" it doesn't just blink out in the wink of an eye.  We're talking hundreds of years of a people just drifting away from the culture/government that formerly bound them together.  During this time there is PLENTY of still powerful families and such who are more than happy to remain wealthy and distribute any national treasury holdings amongst them as the government wanes.


#5    kmt_sesh

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:35 AM

Qoais on Jun 16 2009, 09:23 PM, said:

oh!  What a reality check!  I thought they spent it on wine women and song, with a bit of gambling thrown in on the side. tongue.gif


Oh, I'm sure they did. They just relocated party-central to Karkamis, Syria. Lots of babes there. laugh.gif

We still don't know nearly as much about the Hittites as we do about some of the other major civilizations of the ancient Near East. Up into fairly recent times they were little more than a name in the Bible. Even by the Classical period of Greece the Hittites were pretty much forgotten: we can read Herodotous, for example, where he speaks of Egyptian statues set up by Senusret I in Anatolia. They were of course not Egyptian but Hittite statues.

The more scholars learn about them, though, the more impressive the Hittites become. Theirs was rarely a peaceful and stable empire, but it was nevertheless great. They were, after all, one of the only armies ever to stop the Egyptians in their tracks, and during the heyday of Egyptian supremacy, no less. Ramesses II learned the hard way at Kadesh that you don't underestimate the Hittites--he eventually had to make do with a peace treaty.

After which they all got together for wine, women, and song, with a bit of gambling thrown in on the side. w00t.gif

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#6    danydandan

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:22 AM

i heard the recession got it

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#7    Wyrdlight

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:44 PM

I may be completely wrong, but did not the Hittite empire colapse due to the King banishing his famous, popular Uncle who had won great victories to the South, he feared his uncle's influence with the people and banished him.

The whole Hittite society and religion was based on the convenant of family  bonds and never doing anything that would harm ones family, by banishing his uncle the socio-cultural foundation of the empire was broken in a very public and overt fashion this lead to civil strife and civil war.

Was not the capital surrounded by vanquised rival states who supplied the food the Hittite capital needed to survive as there was no farm land around it (all barren hills, though all but unnassailable from a military perspective).  When the empire fell apart would these vanquised states surrounding the capital have turned on the remaining Hittites?  The documentory i saw said the capital city was abandoned almost overnight.  How would they have transported all their wealth through what i assume would be hostile lands?

Reguardless, they were an impressive people, the stone-tablet libraries are amazing, catalouging everything from bread recipies to tax records.  And the way they built thier cities curtain wall was incredible, formed of cubes pf stone sheathed in plaster and filled with sand, dirt and gravel, thus any projectile that penatrated the wall would enter the loose gravel and loose its force, the earth and gravel would then slump and plug the breach.  This would have made breaching the walls almost impossible with the siege equipment of the age.


#8    WoIverine

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

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#9    kmt_sesh

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:52 PM

Wyrdlight on Jun 17 2009, 11:44 AM, said:

I may be completely wrong, but did not the Hittite empire colapse due to the King banishing his famous, popular Uncle who had won great victories to the South, he feared his uncle's influence with the people and banished him.

The whole Hittite society and religion was based on the convenant of family  bonds and never doing anything that would harm ones family, by banishing his uncle the socio-cultural foundation of the empire was broken in a very public and overt fashion this lead to civil strife and civil war.


It was more complex than that, really, but toward the end there was certainly infighting and contestations for the throne. The last several kings were fairly minor players, although they tried mightily to hold on. I can't even recall the name of the last known Hittite king. I'm at work right now and don't have access to my library at home. You could probably do a web search and find it easily enough.

Unfortunately the Hittite rulers were often harming one another. Family was the ideal, yes, but the ideal does not often reflect reality. I wouldn't say they were as bad as the Ptolemaic rulers at the end of Egyptian history, who seemed to delight in murdering one another, but it got pretty bad on occasion.

For the most part the decline of Hatti was a result of failing to hold on to the vassal states, and of other rising powers encroaching on the borders. The barbarian nomads to the north had long been a problem for Hattusa, but toward the end the Hittite military could no longer repel even them.

Quote

Was not the capital surrounded by vanquised rival states who supplied the food the Hittite capital needed to survive as there was no farm land around it (all barren hills, though all but unnassailable from a military perspective). When the empire fell apart would these vanquised states surrounding the capital have turned on the remaining Hittites? The documentory i saw said the capital city was abandoned almost overnight. How would they have transported all their wealth through what i assume would be hostile lands?


A lot of central Anatolia is very fertile, but it's true the Hittites relied on vassal states to supply them, too. There may well have been severe climatic conditions affecting the whole region at this time because we start to see the fragmentation of many powerful and wealthy states at the end of the Bronze Age. The invasions of the Sea Peoples was the final straw. The Hittites lost control of their western vassals first, I believe, which enabled these territories to rise up in strength. The east began to slip away, too. Northern Syria was still a stronghold for the Hittites, which is no doubt why the ruling class fled to Karkamis, taking their wealth with them. The abandonment of Hattusa had to have happened quickly, and it's likely that people had already been fleeing the city for some time, seeing what was on the horizon--which didn't look good.

Was this documentary you saw called The Hittites? I rented that from Netflix once, and liked it so much I turned it off after about twenty minutes because I wanted to order a copy of the DVD for myself. LOL Your post reminds me that I have forgotten to do that.

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#10    Wyrdlight

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:24 PM

kmt_sesh on Jun 17 2009, 07:52 PM, said:

It was more complex than that, really, but toward the end there was certainly infighting and contestations for the throne. The last several kings were fairly minor players, although they tried mightily to hold on. I can't even recall the name of the last known Hittite king. I'm at work right now and don't have access to my library at home. You could probably do a web search and find it easily enough.

Unfortunately the Hittite rulers were often harming one another. Family was the ideal, yes, but the ideal does not often reflect reality. I wouldn't say they were as bad as the Ptolemaic rulers at the end of Egyptian history, who seemed to delight in murdering one another, but it got pretty bad on occasion.

For the most part the decline of Hatti was a result of failing to hold on to the vassal states, and of other rising powers encroaching on the borders. The barbarian nomads to the north had long been a problem for Hattusa, but toward the end the Hittite military could no longer repel even them.



A lot of central Anatolia is very fertile, but it's true the Hittites relied on vassal states to supply them, too. There may well have been severe climatic conditions affecting the whole region at this time because we start to see the fragmentation of many powerful and wealthy states at the end of the Bronze Age. The invasions of the Sea Peoples was the final straw. The Hittites lost control of their western vassals first, I believe, which enabled these territories to rise up in strength. The east began to slip away, too. Northern Syria was still a stronghold for the Hittites, which is no doubt why the ruling class fled to Karkamis, taking their wealth with them. The abandonment of Hattusa had to have happened quickly, and it's likely that people had already been fleeing the city for some time, seeing what was on the horizon--which didn't look good.

Was this documentary you saw called The Hittites? I rented that from Netflix once, and liked it so much I turned it off after about twenty minutes because I wanted to order a copy of the DVD for myself. LOL Your post reminds me that I have forgotten to do that.


Yes that was it, a 2 hour documentory that described how the language was translated and everything was  a fantastic documentory and well worth getting.  Thanks for filling in the gaps, i have only a passing knowledge of that period of history, the Crusades and the middle ages as well as the Napolionic era is more my thing :-)  



#11    kmt_sesh

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:32 AM

Wyrdlight on Jun 17 2009, 04:24 PM, said:

Yes that was it, a 2 hour documentory that described how the language was translated and everything was  a fantastic documentory and well worth getting.  Thanks for filling in the gaps, i have only a passing knowledge of that period of history, the Crusades and the middle ages as well as the Napolionic era is more my thing :-)


This is the documentary I was talking about. Maybe it's the same one you saw. I agree, it's very good. My forte is not the Hittites but in studying ancient Egypt I've had to do a fair amount of research about them, too. They were an impressive and very accomplished culture.

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#12    cormac mac airt

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:53 AM

Quote

It was more complex than that, really, but toward the end there was certainly infighting and contestations for the throne. The last several kings were fairly minor players, although they tried mightily to hold on. I can't even recall the name of the last known Hittite king. I'm at work right now and don't have access to my library at home. You could probably do a web search and find it easily enough.


Wyrdlight,

You might try looking up Suppiluliuma II, ca. 1207 1178 BC (short chronology), this should at least get you in the general timeframe and give you an idea of what was happening then.

cormac


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#13    kmt_sesh

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 01:39 AM

cormac mac airt on Jun 17 2009, 07:53 PM, said:

Wyrdlight,

You might try looking up Suppiluliuma II, ca. 1207 1178 BC (short chronology), this should at least get you in the general timeframe and give you an idea of what was happening then.

cormac


Yeah, that's the guy. I should've remembered that because, in my opinion, it is one of the most difficult names in all of the ancient Near East to try to pronounce. By the time Kaska invaders put Hattusa to the torch, the ruling class of the Hittites were long gone.

I think Suppiluliuma was last seen waiting tables at a pizza parlor in northern Syria. O, how the mighty have fallen. laugh.gif

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