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date: 25 June 2022

Anatolian languageslocked

Anatolian languageslocked

  • Anna Morpurgo Davies


In the course of the 20th cent. new evidence emerged for a family of closely related languages attested in Anatolia (Turkey) from the 16th cent. bce and indirectly known two or three centuries earlier; the evidence for the group spans two millennia and ends with the Roman empire. The best attested language is Hittite, which was spoken by a dynasty which moved from Neša ( = Kaneš = mod. Kültepe in central Anatolia, north-east of Kayseri) to *Hattuša, modern Boğazköy or Boğazkale (east of Ankara), the future capital of the Hittite empire, which eventually dominated most of Anatolia and part of Syria (see hittites). The word nešili, literally ‘in the language of Neša’, means ‘in Hittite’, while Hittite (our term is based on a biblical form) was originally derived from the name of the previous non-Indo-European inhabitants of the area, the Hatti. The Boğazköy archives yielded a very large number of *cuneiform tablets with texts (historical, religious, etc.


  • Linguistics

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