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Thursday, August 22: Day 122 – Oh Baby!

We have uncovered something while here in Turkey that has never been seen before: Our First Grandchild! This is an exciting find to say the least.

Discoverers: Our daughter, Donna, and her husband, Nathan Miller

Time Period: Early 21st century ~ January 26, 2020

Museum Location: Raleigh, NC

Condition: Brand New

Photography: Allowed

Museum: Hands On

Exhibit Coming Soon!!

Rob and I started this journey because we are both healthy (although you might think otherwise as we carry so many medicines) and our four daughters are thriving with lives of their own, and we didn’t have grandchildren. Things change!

Now we will take a 2-week sabbatical and attempt to be present when our grandchild arrives. We will fly from Chang Mai, Thailand on January 23 and return to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 6.

Regardless, we are hoping to be helpful during that time and learn and do what grandparents do. We will continue blogging then as well and when we return to our travels.

Today we visit Hattusa, the Hittite Empire capitol.

Hittites are known for having one thousand gods.

Whenever they invaded and brought those people to their cities, they would bring their foreign gods with them so those that were captured would not rebel as they could continue to worship their gods. Maybe an early version of freedom of religion.

The Hittites had four main gods: Sun, Storm (Tesup), Underworld and War. This is the temple.

Archeologists found 20,000 clay tablets with letters formed by pin pricks; some of the pin pricks had tails. They were able to break the code with the word bread.

Breaking the Code

Most of the written tablets were legal documents so we don’t know much about their daily lives. Mathematics was the reason that writing was invented. Trade needed to be documented.

The written records of Hittites date from between the 16th and 13th centuries BC. It is the earliest Indo-European language to appear in writing.

A treaty between the Hittites and Ramses II of Egypt is known as the oldest international peace treaty. A copy of it is displayed in the United Nations Building in New York City. The original is in the Archeology Museum of Istanbul.

Treaty of Kadesh

Luwian is a people that I had never heard of who occupied central Turkey. Their kingdom was larger than the Hittites’ and has been thoroughly studied by linguists.

Shupiluliuma (shupe-a-loo-lee-ooma) was one of the grand kings of the Hittites. His son built a temple for him.

There are two city walls; one thicker than the other. The royal palace had an additional wall.

The city walls had five entrances. We saw two of them: the King’s gate and the Lion’s gate with red gemstones for eyes looking outward that fluoresced at night.

Food and drink were stored in the temple. A day’s wage would be paid in wheat. One worked for the temple.

In Roman times, salt was used like money. Roman soldiers were paid that way. That is where we get the word salary.

This is a very active dig. We were able to visit with the German archeologist, Andreas Schachner, who is overseeing the project. There are 120 workers under his direction, mostly Turkish.

Here is the latest and not yet on a placard: They have discovered a Roman presence during the 1st century AD. They found mosiac floors although not intact. It appears that this was a military private home for engineers. There is a banquet hall with a pool at the end. He may not have even lived here. This was during the Galatia period and this city was called Tavium, the capitol of Galatia. They found milestones. When the last Galatian king died in 28AD, he gave the region to the Romans.

We asked about the perfect holes?

Holes were used to hold wooden rods to provide a frame framework for mud bricks. They think that they used a bronze cube and quartz sand to make the holes.

It rains a lot here so mud bricks are difficult in these conditions. In fact, our discussion was cut short since the rain started and turned into a downpour.

There is a green stone in the temple area that looks like no other. A popular theory is that it is a meteor which the ancient assumed was sent by the gods.

Green Stone

The people say that if you touch it, you will have children. Ertunga would like a son.

The Hittites built an awesome tunnel in order to escape the city. First they dug a trench and laid flat stones on the path. Then they filled the trench and mounded the earth. Next they put large rocks over the mound. Then they dug out the soil in the trench. Viola!

This site is near the modern city of Bogaz Cale which means throat of the mountain castle. I like to collect miniatures for momentos so I bought a Hittite seal of King Shupiluliuma. Rob told me that I would have to carry it. No problem. It can be worn as a necklace!!

Modern Military

Turkey has a mandatory military requirement for men. It is delayed if you go to college. Omar had to serve 22 months at the age of 22. Ertunga served for 18 months when he was 27. (Stay in school.) Men living in the East served in the West. Men living in the West served in the East.

Omar was from the East and when he finished, he wanted to stay in the West and brought his whole family to settle here in the West. Ertunga was sent to the East and was not happy in the more Islamically conservative area. He was made the leader of 16 men since he was older.

Today the young men only serve for six months. Both thought that it is good as you learn discipline but six months is not long enough.

Kurds are Turkish citizens and must serve, so they know their opposition like spies. It is a problem.

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