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The Lower City

Plan showing the structures excavated
in the Lower City of Hattusha

Large scale surface excavation has as yet only been undertaken within the inner lower city. Today this part of the city is dominated by a large artificial platform on which Temple 1, in its time the grandest religious structure of the city, once stood. The use of this temple complex dates back at least to the Empire period, as do most of the residences here, the foundations of which you see just below (=north of) the temple terrace.

The domestic architecture of the Hittite lower city, which has changed frequently over the some four hundred years of the city's history, was typified by multi-room homes. In the earlier levels the courtyard house with an inner court open to the sky was the most popular; later the vestibule house with a roofed-over living area came into vogue. Priests, civil servants, merchants and artisans lived all together here while the farming community generally resided outside the city, in villages and hamlets scattered throughout the surroundings. The house walls were built of sundried mudbricks, partially supported by a timber frame construction, and the flat roofs were constructed of timbers covered with mud. These multi-room homes were equipped with ovens and open fireplaces for cooking; some even boasted bathtubs fashioned from clay. While water for consumption and household use had to be carried from neighborhood fountains, many houses were equipped with a drainage system connected to sewage mains running beneath the streets and alleyways.

The oldest traces of settlement in the area of the lower inner city, however, go much further into the past. In the Late Bronze Age (end of the 3rd and beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) the area was settled by Hattians of local Anatolian origin, who called the locality Hattush. Remnants of an Assyrian Merchants' Colony of the 19th and 18th centuries BC have also been excavated here.








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