Boğazkale, Museum

Boğazkale is the village just north of the ruins of ancient Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites. There is a small museum, but it is usually not considered to be very important. After all, the really interesting are now in Istanbul or Ankara. However, it has recently been renovated; I could still smell the new paint.

There are three large rooms, and except for some finds, you will see photos, a doll, and models. Among the artifacts are royal seals, fine beak-spouted vessels, some sculpture, scale armor, and a particularly fine helmet. There are also finds form post-Hittite periods, like Phrygian pottery, Roman coins and inscriptions, and some Byzantine finds.

The cuneiform tablets are really nice, and include a fragment of the Old Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the source of the classical version. There’s also a land donation, the description of an accession ritual, and an omen on a liver. The Hittites really come to life.

Photography is not allowed. This is a serious matter, because there is no better way to attract people to a museum than a visitor who shows photos and makes other people curious. In spite of this, the renovated museum of Boğazkale is a success, and worth a visit.

Postscript 2013

Photography is now permitted. Major addition: the two sphinxes from the Sphinx Gate, which used to be in Berlin and Istanbul.

This museum was visited in 2007, 2011, 2013.

This page was last modified on 27 March 2014.