The Hittite Civilization

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The Hittite civilization was one of the most powerful cultures. They fought Mesopotamian rule. The Hittites were able to battle with the Egyptians for the dominance of the Middle East and win 3300 years ago. The ancient capital was called Hattusha, near present day Boghazkoy, Turkey. This city is far older than the Greek ruins found in other parts of Turkey. Much less is known about them than the Egyptians, so archeologists are very interested in them. The Hittites were thought to be the first people to use iron. Known for their double walls and fortified gateways like this one, the Lion Gate is at the Southern entrance into the capital city. It is made of limestone that was quarried locally and dates from around 1400 BCE. The lion statues flank the entrance of the site to show the power of the state and they must have seemed impressive not only due to their mass and size and their naturalistic quality. Lions symbolize protection. One of the lions is mostly intact, but the other one is pretty badly damaged in the head. The Lions Gate bears a strong similarity to the Lion Gate at the entrance to the City of Mycanae, Greece and some construction techniques appear similar. Pairs of lions are a common feature seen at the entrances of several great cities and complexes throughout the ancient world. The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate of the city of Babylon, which is in present day Iraq, and was the main entrance into the great city. It was built during the reign of King
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