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date: 26 February 2024



  • J. David Hawkins


Country attested in the *Hattuša archives (alternative and older spelling, Ahhiya) as a foreign land, often associated with Arzawa, i.e. western Anatolia. References mention kings, persons, ships, and deities of Ahhiyawa, and in so far as they are datable, span the period c.1400–1220 bce. At least one king of Ahhiyawa was ranked as a ‘Great King’, thus the equal of the Hittite and Egyptian kings. Location and identification remain controversial: the identification as ‘Achaean’ (Mycenaean) Greece by Forrer in 1920 has been much disputed. Arguments against emphasize the difficulty both of seeing an early form of Achaea in Ahhiyawa, and of identifying archaeologically a political entity in Greece or the Aegean islands which could correspond to the character of Ahhiyawa. Some also seek to locate Ahhiyawa on the Anatolian mainland. Arguments in favour, which have been regaining ground since c.1980 with the increasing evidence for a Mycenaean presence in western Anatolia, emphasize principally the improbability that the *Hittites, with their interest in western Anatolia, should never have mentioned the Mycenaeans.


  • Near East

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