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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Hittite Kingdom: History and Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation (Online) (PGHC11561)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the development of Hittite civilisation in central Anatolia from a formative stage in the early second millennium BC to the crisis marking the end of the Late Bronze Age in the Near East. The course will consider the emergence of urban centres in the "Assyrian Colonies Period", the unification of the Hittite kingdom, the import of Mesopotamian concepts of kingship, religion and society, and peaceful and violent interaction with neighbouring peoples. The course will also consider the Hittites' interaction with their fragile environment and the factors which eventually led to the kingdom's collapse.
Course description The course provides an in-depth survey of Hittite civilisation, one of the most powerful Near Eastern empires of the Late Bronze Age. The course examines the emergence of urban civilisation in the highlands of central Anatolia (modern Turkey), the development and introduction of writing systems in this area, the role of technological innovation and ideological changes through the successive stages of development of Hittite civilisation until its rise to prominence in the 'Empire Period' (ca 1400-1200 BC) and final collapse around 1200 BC. The evidence considered is primarily from the excavation of settlement sites, monumental artwork, iconography and textual sources. Questions and debates about state formation and collapse are of particular importance, as well as Hittite adaptation to an economically challenging and difficult-to-control environment, the background of the gradual importation of Mesopotamian concepts about society and religion, and Hittite general interaction with powerful neighbours in Mesopotamia, Syria, the Levant and Egypt.

This course is meant to be of interest for students who wish to learn more about early Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilisations, the development and interaction of urban, state-level societies in the Old World, and their material and textual legacy. Weekly topics include: The (re-) discovery of Hittite civilisation, Assyrian trade colonies and local communities in early second millennium Anatolia, the rise of the Hittite State, languages and writing systems, Hittite society and settlement, Hittite economy, the military, Hittite religion between traditional piety and imperial ideology, Hittite monuments, northern and western neighbours of the Empire and the collapse of the Hittite Empire.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking The Hittites: The Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation (ARCA10063) OR The Hittites: The Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation (PGHC11344)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate and understand the place and significance of Hittite civilisation in the ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.
  2. Show detailed knowledge of, and ability to evaluate, the archaeological evidence of Hittite civilization as covered in the course.
  3. Engage with multiple sources of evidence relevant to the study of Hittite society and culture.
  4. Understand research traditions and the challenges and controversies confronted by Hittite studies.
  5. Appreciate the relevance of Hittite civilisation to later developments of in the Mediterranean basin, the wider Near East and beyond.
Reading List
Beckman, G. 1999. Hittite Diplomatic Texts. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

Bryce, T. 2002. Life and society in the Hittite world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bryce, T. 2005. The kingdom of the Hittites. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Collins, B.J. 2007. The Hittites and their world. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Genz, H. & D.P. Mielke (ed.) 2011. Insights into Hittite history and archaeology. Leuven: Peeters.

Glatz, C. 2020. The making of empire in Bronze Age Anatolia: Hittite sovereign practice, resistance, and negotiation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hoffner, H.A. 2009. Letters from the Hittite Kingdom. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Larsen, M. T. 2015. Ancient Kanesh: a merchant colony in Bronze Age Anatolia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Taracha, P. 2009. Religions of second millennium Anatolia (Dresdner Beitr├Ąge zur Hethitologie 27). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

van den Hout, Th. 2020. A history of Hittite literacy. Writing and reading in Late Bronze-Age Anatolia (1650-1200 BC). Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Initiative; in particular, the capacity for independent study/research
- Proficiency in finding and using appropriate research sources (library, internet, museum)
- Use and combine different types of evidence (archaeological, textual)
- Skills of literacy and communication in written work, oral discussion and using visual imagery
- The ability to evaluate critically and creatively empirical evidence, academic controversies and competing interpretations, methods and theories, and to construct well-supported hypotheses
- The ability to identify research themes and trends
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
Tel: (0131 6)50 2503
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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