A culture that understands the power of steeds for order and battle, the Hittites also seek the valuable ores that will dictate the coming victors and vanquished.
Living in the high plateaus of Anatolia in modern-day Turkey, the Hittite civilization had a significant influence on the history of the Ancient Near East. In this land of empires that had been contested for thousands of years, the Hittites built strong and prosperous states that allowed them to challenge the Egyptians and Assyrians for supremacy in the Near East.To learn more:
The Hittites lived in central Anatolia between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE and were noted for their Indo-European language in a region dominated by Semitic languages. Within this area they had access to resources that would aid in their rise to power: horses as well as copper and iron ore. The territories of Anatolia and Cappadocia were unified in around 1650 BCE under the reign of King Hattusili I. The kingdom later became concentrated around the capital, Hattusa (Ḫattuša), and the territory of Hatti that gave the realm its name. In approximately 1350 BCE, the Empire was at its largest under Suppiluliuma I following his conquest of the cities and regions of northern Syria, the upper reaches of the Euphrates, and the coastal areas in the eastern Mediterranean, Cilicia, and Ionia. At its peak, the Empire, then under the rule of Muwattali, encountered the territorial ambitions of Ramesses II. A legendary battle ensued between the two powers in the Battle of Kadesh (Qadeš): the Egyptian forces of 25,000 foot soldiers and 50 war chariots fought against a Hittite army with nearly 30,000 foot soldiers, 3500 war chariots, and 9000 riders. The composition of the two armies highlights their skill in the breeding and training of war horses.Did you know?
It is not clear who won the Battle of Kadesh. The sources, mainly Egyptian, present it as a stunning victory for Ramesses II, despite the Hittite presence in the disputed territories subsequently appearing to increase. The peace treaty of 1280 BCE put an end to the fighting and is the oldest peace treaty between two states ever discovered.