What Ancient Civilization Lived in Turkey?

Turkey is a country that has a rich history and is home to many ancient civilizations. One of the most notable ancient civilizations that lived in Turkey was the Hittites. The Hittites were a powerful civilization that thrived in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) during the Bronze Age.

The Rise of the Hittites

The Hittite civilization emerged around 1600 BCE in central Anatolia. They were known for their military prowess and advanced technology, including their use of iron weapons. The Hittites also had a complex system of government, religion, and law that helped them to maintain their power for several centuries.

The Hittite Empire

At its peak, the Hittite Empire encompassed much of modern-day Turkey, as well as parts of Syria and Iraq. They were known for their diplomatic skills and often formed alliances with neighboring kingdoms to expand their territory and influence.

Fun Fact: The Hittites were one of the first civilizations to sign a peace treaty with another nation – the Treaty of Kadesh with Egypt in 1258 BCE.

Hittite Culture and Religion

The Hittites had a rich culture and religion that was influenced by both indigenous Anatolian traditions and those from Mesopotamia. Their capital city, Hattusa, was home to many impressive temples and palaces that showcased their artistry and architecture.

Important Note: The Hittite language was written in cuneiform script, which was also used by other ancient civilizations like the Babylonians and Assyrians.

The Decline of the Hittites

Despite their military might and cultural achievements, the Hittites eventually fell into decline due to internal political struggles, invasions from neighboring kingdoms, and environmental disasters like droughts and earthquakes. By around 1200 BCE, the Hittite Empire had collapsed and their civilization faded into obscurity.

The Legacy of the Hittites

Although the Hittites are often overlooked in popular history, their legacy lives on in many ways. Their innovative use of iron weapons and chariots influenced later civilizations like the Greeks and Romans. The Hittite language also played an important role in the development of writing systems in the ancient Near East.

  • The Hittite civilization was one of the first to use iron weapons.
  • Their capital city, Hattusa, was home to impressive temples and palaces.
  • The Hittites signed one of the first peace treaties with Egypt.


The Hittite civilization was a fascinating and influential ancient culture that lived in what is now modern-day Turkey. Their legacy has left an indelible mark on history and continues to be studied and appreciated by scholars today.