The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the branch of knowledge that studies the history, culture, and language of the peoples who inhabited Asia Minor in the second millennium B.C. and spoke any one of the Hit-tite-Luwian (or Anatolian) languages.

The establishment of Hittitology as a science was preceded by works of the 19th-century scholars A. Sayce (Great Britain) and J. A. Knudtzon (Norway), among others, who noted the importance of the Hittites in the history of Asia Minor. Hittitology emerged as a scientific discipline only after excavations by the German scholar H. Winckler at Boğazköy, begun in 1906, which led to the discovery of the archives. In the period 1915–17 the Czech scholar B. Hrozný deciphered the cuneiform Hittite inscriptions and determined the Indo-European nature of the Hittite language. The principles of detailed philological analysis of Hittite texts were set down in the period 1920–24 by the German scholar F. Sommer in a work written in collaboration with the German Hittite scholar H. Ehelolf; they were further developed between the 1920’s and 1960’s by A. Goetze, J. Friedrich (West Berlin), and other German Hittite scholars, who translated and published the major Hittite texts of historical content. Standing apart are the works of the Swiss scholar E. Forrer of the 1920’s and 1930’s, noted for the number of ideas they contain, most of which later proved to be correct. Archaeological expeditions directed by K. Bittel beginning in 1931 continued the investigation of the archives, temples, and residential sections of Boğazköy. Because of the research of H. G. Güterbock (USA) and H. Otten and his students (Federal Republic of Germany), most of the religious Hittite texts in the Boğazköy Archive were systematically studied.

Archaeological discoveries have confirmed the existence in the Boğazköy Archive of original texts dating from the Old Kingdom, which differ from the texts of the New Kingdom in the shape of the letters. The results of research on Hittite and Luwian texts are summarized in a series of books by J. Friedrich and A. Kammenhuber (Federal Republic of Germany) and a number of publications by E. Laroche (France) and P. Meriggi (Italy).

Turkish Hittite scholars are most concerned with the study of Hittite history and culture, K. Balkan having studied the early Hittite period, and E. Akurgal, the history of Hittite art. An especially important contribution to the historical-comparative study of the Hittite, Luwian, and Palaic languages has been made by E. Sturtevant and C. Watkins (USA), E. Benveniste (France), J. Kurylowicz (Poland), C. Stang (Norway), and other Indo-European scholars.

Soviet Hittite scholars, such as G. G. Giorgadze, I. M. D’iakonov, and E. A. Menabde, have paid particularly close attention to the socioeconomic structure of the Hittite empire. T. V. Gam-krelidze, V. V. Ivanov, and A. A. Korolev have done a comparative study of the Hittite-Luwian languages. The works of I. M. Dunaevskaia are devoted to the study of Hattic (proto-Hittite) and Hieroglyphic Hittite (Luwian). Soviet Hittite scholars have determined the basic social classes in the Hittite kingdom, the nature of government assemblies, and the features of Hittite mythology and literature, inherited from common Indo-European times.

The achievements of Hittitology have caused scholars to reexamine many aspects of the ancient history of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East and have clarified the role of the Hittite kingdom and its predecessor—the Hattian culture—and successors in this region of the ancient world.

The main Hittitology centers in the USSR are Tbilisi, Moscow, and Leningrad. The main centers abroad are Berlin, Wiesbaden, Munich, Paris, Chicago, and Ankara.

The major periodicals dealing with Hittitology are Revue hittite et asianique, published in Paris since 1930, and Anatolian Studies, published in London since 1951.


Friedrich, J. Deshifrovka zabytykh pis’mennostei i iazykov. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Diringer, D. Alfavit. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Doblhofer, E. Znaki i chudesa. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from German.)
Zamarovský, V. Tainy khettov. Moscow, 1968. Contains references. (Translated from Slovak).
Giorgadze, G. G. Ocherki po sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoi istorii Khetskogo gosudarstva. Tbilisi, 1973.
Neumann, G. Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft 1816 und 1966—Zum Stand der Hethitologie. Innsbruck, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Gilan's book here under review deals with one of the most debated topics in the field of Hittitology: historiography.
Later, when he proclaimed the Republic in 1923, following a military victory won over the occupying Allied powers, he initiated the opening of the Faculty of Language, Geography and History in Ankara, where young people could study archaeology, Hittitology and Sumerology.
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For a work to stand out in such a crowd it must offer a unique contribution, or serve a neglected audience; its strengths and weaknesses will determine its place and role in the scholastic machinery of modern Hittitology. This review will attempt to situate Puhvel's work in terms of its utility and its position vis-a-vis its contemporaries.
In Acts of the VIIth International Congress of Hittitology, corum 25-31 August 2008 (2 vols.), ed.
In Acts of the IHrd Internation al Congress of Hittitology, Qorum, September 16-22 1996, ed.
As a student of Hittitology in Bochum during the 1980s, Robert Oberheid became captivated with the history of the field, and he later developed a website presenting capsule biographies--and photos--of a number of Hittitologists (http: //www.hethitologie.de/Biografien.html).
"Legal Documents from Arrapha in the Collections of the U.S.S.R." In A Near Eastern Compilation: Questions on Hittitology and Hurritology [Russian].
The largest number of contributions, however, focus on ancient Anatolian studies, primarily on Hittitology, as this has always been the main interest of the honoree of this volume.
This three-volume work covers bibliographical data from studies in the field of Hittitology in the eighty years between 1915 and 1995.
Following an introduction sketching the geographical and ecological setting of Hittite history and the progress of Hittitology from its birth in the late nineteenth century, five chapters treat the origins of Hatti, the political events of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, and the disappearance of the Hittite realm at the close of the Bronze Age.