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.

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This page was last modified on 27 March 2014.