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The Ancient World and Fashion > Peoples of Western Asia
hittite chariot archer

The earliest known inhabitants of modern day Turkey were the Hittites. They were one of most powerful groups in the Middle East from 1900 BC to 1285 BC. They are one of the groups mentioned in the Bible.

Around 2000 BCE the Hittite people settled in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), and within four hundred years they had conquered an empire that stretched as far south as present-day Syria. For more than two centuries they were one of Egypt’s most dangerous enemies.

The culture of the Hittites was Indo-European. Their language was Indo-European. To this day it is unknown where the Hittites came from. Some say the Hittites came from Europe, and other say central Asia. The Bible says the Hittites decended from Heth, a son of Canaan. The Hittites weretough warriors who developed a newand effective battle dress.When they rode into battle in their war chariots, they dressed in leather tunics covered with metal plates, giving them excellent protection against enemy spears and arrows.

Hittite warriors
Hittite warriors

Hittite warriors carried long wooden spears tipped with iron, which were much stronger than the bronze weapons of their opponents. They wore iron helmets with flaps to protect their neck, and carried large wicker shields.The most popular battle took place against the nation of Egypt around 1285BC. The Hittite leader Mutwatallis, took on the Egyptian forces at Kadesh, near the Orontes River, just north the land of Israel. There was no winner and the Pharaoh Rameses II, was almost killed in battle. However, once back in Egypt, Rameses declared a victory and embellished the story.

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