Ruins of Sapinuwa

Ruins of Sapinuwa


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Ruins of Sapinuwa - History

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Like many archaeology and travel enthusiasts, I'd seen coastal Turkey and Istanbul--enjoying the ancient sites and modern culture--but until last October central Anatolia was terra incognita. So I jumped at the chance to tour the region's various sites with Ankara, Turkey's capital city, as a starting point. The itinerary was an archaeological road trip, stopping at major Hittite sites, including Hattusas, the Late Bronze Age capital near the modern village of Bogazköy Konya, the Seljuk capital and Gordion, the Phrygian capital. Along the way, we'd visit Cappadocia's painted churches and underground cities carved into the living rock as well as the Neolithic city of Çatalhüyük. It was a lot to pack into the ten days available, but the weather held and our driver and guide proved untiring.

"That great famous castle. mighty and well fortified"--So Ankara is described in the Byzantine epic poem Digenis Akritas, The Two-Blood Border Lord. The capital of the Republic of Turkey since 1923, it was in Roman times called Sebaste Tectosagum (the name refers to Augustus, Sebastos in Greek, and the Tectosages, a Galatian tribe that settled here in the late third century B.C.). From its heydey as capital of the province of Galatia there are the Temple of Augustus and Rome and ruins of baths built by Caracalla (A.D. 211-217). Built as a temple to Phrygian deities in the second century B.C., the Temple of Augustus and Rome bears the inscribed text of the Res Gestae Divi Augustus, an account of Augustus' deeds. The impressive citadel walls, probably dating to the Byzantine emperor Michael II (820-829), incorporate many ancient blocks.

A highlight of Ankara is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which is housed in the Mahmut Pasha Bedesteni, a mid-fifteenth-century covered bazaar. Here you can see frescoes from Çatalhüyük, grave offerings from Early Bronze Age burials at Alacahüyük, Hittite sculptures from Bogazköy and Carchemish, and finds from the "tomb of Midas" at Gordion. Artifacts that Turkey recovers from abroad are also displayed here before going on to regional museums near their original findspots. When we were there, such artifacts included an immense hoard of ancient coins, sculptures found by British divers on a nineteenth-century shipwreck, and elaborately carved wooden doors from a mosque. A fifteenth-century caravansaray adjacent to the covered market serves as the museum's offices and workspaces. (ARCHAEOLOGY will cover this outstanding museum in a future story.)

Left, ancient marble blocks stand out in Ankara's Byzantine walls.

Those interested in modern history will make the pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), founder of the modern Turkish state. On exhibit in colonnaded halls around the plaza below the mausoleum are limousines used by Atatürk and many of his personal effects, along with gifts presented to him from various heads of state.

After two days in Ankara, one for general puttering about and one set aside for the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, we set out eastward, taking the highway to Çorum (a distance of about 150 miles across a landscape that reminded me of northwestern Nebraska). Using Çorum as a base, we explored the heart of the Hittite Empire over the next two days, seeing the capital Bogazköy, along with the nearby sanctuary Yazilikaya, and the royal centers of Alacahüyük and Sapinuwa.

Hattusas is huge, dwarfing the other Late Bronze Age citadels I'd seen elsewhere. The best way to orient yourself and take in its size is to drive up to the Lion Gate and look back over the excavated foundations and standing stretches of its city wall (which extended some four miles in length), temples, and palace complex: three-quarters of a mile down and to the left are the foundations of the Great Temple (dedicated to the weather god and sun goddess) in the Lower Town about two-thirds of a mile straight ahead is a rocky prominence around which are the walls that enclosed the palace complex including the royal archives between the palace-fortress, the Lion Gate, and the King's Gate (two-thirds of a mile to the right) are various temple foundations in the Upper Town.

Left, lions flank a gate in the massive city wall at Hattusas.

Hattusas, seen from the Lion Gate, with Upper Town temples in the foreground and the palace complex in the center.

A pre-Hittite town and associated Assyrian trading colony at the site were destoroyed by Anitta, king of Kushar, one of whose successors, Hattusili, re-established the city as his capital in the seveteenth century B.C. From the mid-fifteenth century, the Hittite Empire was matched only by Egypt. Then, soon after 1200 B.C., the empire and Hattusas fell to the Sea Peoples, a coalition of marauding peoples who swept across the eastern Mediterranean, reaching the Nile Delta where Rameses III defeated them in ca. 1186. The ruins visible today, exposed by years of excavations by German archaeologists, mostly date to the city's highpoint.

As a time saver, we drove along the road that runs inside the city wall, stopping here and there to trot around parts of the site. There were few other people there, October being past the peak of the tourist season, and the immense site seemed deserted. I would like very much to go there again, at the same time or in spring, and leave the car at the entrance to the site and pend an entire day hiking around it.

Cut into rocky clefts a little more than a mile northeast of Hattusas is the sanctuary-funeral temple of Yazilikaya, famous for the parading figures of Hittite deities carved into the stone.

Reliefs carved at Yazilikaya include the sun god (left) and the Hittite king Tudhaliyas IV (ca. 1250-1220 B.C.) (right)

Not far from Hattusas is Alacahüyük, a subsidiary Hittite royal site with an impressive gateway flanked by sphinxes and panels of figures carved in low relief (these are, in fact casts the originals are in the museum in Ankara). The site's real importance, however, lies in the 13 third-millennium B.C. "royal" tombs that were excavated here, yielding an array of weapons and jewelry along with several long staffs with stag finials, interpreted variously as standrads from funeral carts or supports for fabric canopies. Replicas of these can be seen at the site museum (the originals of most being in Ankara), along with some nice folk costumes and ethnohistorical displays. Turkish archaeologists working here recently uncovered a section of a massive Early Bronze Age wall, indicating that there is still much to be found at this site.

A section of track and rail car for backfill recall early excavations at Alacahüyük (above).

To the west of Hattusas and Alacahüyük, near the village of Ortaköy, is a third major Hittite site, Sapinuwa. It took us some time to find the right road, and unless your Turkish or your guide is very good you might opt out of visiting this one. That said, it was well worth the effort. Located on a mountainside plateau overlooking a large valley, Sapinuwa is being excavated by a Turkish team. The finds are impressive. On the uphill side of the road are massive foundations of a palace or temple structure (Building A). Below the road, under a protective shell, are the partially excavated remains of a large building (Building B). The giant storage jars, still in place, indicate in functioned as a warehouse of some sort. Charred debris in the soil suggests that the building met its end in a conflagration.

Left, foundations of Building A, a palace or temple, at Sapinuwa, which held an archive of clay tablets

While the presence of an archive of clay tablets at the site indicates Sapinuwa was an administrative center, the fact that remains can be traced on the surface over an area equivalent to Hattusas shows that it was one of the most important sites of the Hittite Empire.

Right, dozens of storage jars have been found in the burnt remains of Building B at Sapinuwa.


Discovery of Huttusha Archeological Site

Even though Huttusha was discovered by 1834, it had comprehensive excavation from 1906 after the discovery of a peace treaty between Pharaoh Ramses II and Huttushili III, this assisted in identifying Huttusha. German scholars had interests in the Hittite Empire resulting in excavations in Anatolia and other Hittite sites that were important in discovering Hittite history (Erciyas, 2005, p. 179). This made archeologists from Germany and Turkey have joint efforts in progressing the knowledge of Hitiite capital, hence Huttusha exploration served as a long-term archeological research that gave rise to various publications together with periodicals that were issued by Deutches Archaologisches institut. Hittite capital had spread over sloppy, uneven plateau that covered 2.1 kilometers north-south and 1.3 kilometers east-west. The city was bordered by double walls that formed a boundary covering eight kilometers. Kayali Bogaz was 1.5 kilometers from Royal Gate at the East end, and it gave protection to the city. Nocropolis was on the north beyond the walls and it was decorated with bas-relief, one of the undisputed Hittite art masterpieces.

The Hittite king chose the city to become its capital after realizing the Hittite language gained speakers over a period of time. Hittite’s records show Kaskas depredations against the empire together with Haiti’s invasions to the Hittite Empire (Mathews, 2004, p. 208). Kaskas invaded the city twice making the kings move their residence to new locations for security purposes. They moved to Sapinuwa when they were under king Tudhaliya, southwards during king Muwatalli to Tarhuntassa city. The royal seat was returned to Huttusa where the kings stayed until the decline of Huttite kingdom. Some of the most impressive remains of the walls lie on the east and south, and they are comprised of Hittite fortifications built on the underground passage way. An underground passage was to the northwest, near the present day Bozazkale village that occupies part of the site. The great temple is one astonishing monument found in Huttushi that was a dedication to Arinna, the god of storm and goddess of the Sun. This temple was surrounded by array buildings that included stores, besides this, the site had thousands of cuneiform tablets. The northern part of the temple had Assyrian settlement’s karum with their houses built in the central court yard. The south was the upper part of the city and one important element here was Buyukkale, a royal residence which was veritable place-citadel that perched on the main peak. Areas lying between region the western part of Lion’s Gate and eastern part of royal Gate have fortified peaks with preserved stretches of double walls that gave protection to the Hattusha residents and four temples that were in that region.


Archaeological research:

The references to the royal palace in Şapinuwa have been known to researchers for a long time, from several texts found in Hattusas. Şapinuwa also appeared in the text discovered near the city of Tokat, which contains the command to send warriors from Ishapitta to Şapinuwa. However, until the 80-ties of the 20th century, the location of the Hittite city of Şapinuwa remained a mystery for archaeologists. This problem was solved accidentally. One day a farmer walked into the building of the Çorum Museum, bringing two clay cuneiform tablets. He explained that he found them while ploughing his fields. The researchers made the identification of this place as the Hittite city Şapinuwa on the basis of a reconnaissance survey conducted in the field in 1989.

Ankara University quickly obtained a permit from the Ministry of Culture to conduct excavations. They started in 1990, under the leadership of Aygül and Mustafa Süel, and have been continued since then. Unfortunately, no comprehensive topographic plan have been created to demonstrate the layout of the site. It would allow the examination of the relationships between individual buildings. So far, only aerial photographs and publicly accessible satellite images are available to researchers. The archaeologists working at the Şapinuwa put forward the suggestion that the city had an area of ​​nine square kilometres, but the area covered by the excavations is much smaller. Moreover, no convincing arguments to support this thesis have been provided.

Archaeological work in Şapinuwa is focussed on individual buildings. For ease of identification, they are referred to by the consecutive letters of the alphabet. At the beginning of the excavations, the remains of Building A were discovered. In the area of this structure, three separate archives consisting of more than three thousand tablets were found. Most of the tablets are written in the Hittite language. Interestingly, some tablets are covered with texts in Hurrian, Akkadian, and Hattian languages.The most valuable texts are bilingual, in various combinations of languages. There are also vocabulary lists in Hittite, Sumerian, and Akkadian. The texts in Hittite include many letters, and the Hurrian texts provide mainly the descriptions of ritual purification (i.e. itkalzi).

Building A is a monumental structure with a unique plan. The researchers found that two floors, made of blocks of limestone and sandstone, rose above the currently visible foundations. These blocks were carefully carved and matched to each other. The building had a rectangular plan and occupied an area of ​​up to 2,500 square meters. The building has not yet been fully excavated, and the largest visible fragment is its south-western wing, extending over a distance of nearly 80 meters. There are symmetrically arranged premises, bringing the association with palace chambers. It is not certain whether an open courtyard existed inside the building. Due to the enormous size and excellent quality of the structure, the researchers speculate that it served as a government building or a palace.

The Hittites erected fortification walls not only around entire cities but also around some neighbourhoods and the particularly important buildings. It was also the case in Şapinuwa, where Building A was surrounded by two lines of massive walls. The space between them could have served as living quarters. Within the walls, there was a gate leading to the courtyard of Building A. The building was also surrounded by a well-paved walkway and a ramp led into its interior.

In 1995, the remains of another structure were discovered. It was given the unoriginal name - Building B. It is located 150 meters south-east of Building A, at Kadılar Höyük mound. It is a building on an irregular plan that occupies the area of ​​1,250 square meters. Inside, the researchers found around 30 pithoi (a pithos is a huge clay food storage container). Therefore, it is believed that Building B served as a warehouse or a storehouse.

Building C, situated about 120 meters to the south from the warehouse, has been initially identified as a religious structure. The most recent discovery is Building D, located about 250 meters south-east of Building A. It was built on a square plan with the sides 20 meters long. It is distinguished by an unusual entrance, decorated with an ornate orthostat. An orthostat is a four-sided stone slab decorated with reliefs. Only the lower half of the orthostat from Building D has been preserved. It depicts the lower part of the human body, which probably represented a king as a warrior. It reminds of King Tudhaliya IV relief from the Hittite sanctuary of Yazılıkaya.

Since 2000, archaeological work in Şapinuwa has been conducted within the sacred area known under the Turkish name of Ağılönü. Within the sanctuary, the researchers uncovered a stone platform with an area up to 1,700 square meters. Pits used for sacrifices and water cisterns were also identified. Therefore, it has been established that the rituals of purification (itkalzi) were performed in this area.

The latest archaeological discovery is a 10-kilometer long stretch of road, dating back to the period when Şapinuwa was the capital of the Hittite Empire. The road was made of crushed rocks, river gravel and a special mortar. The detected section has a width of 2.3 meters. Şapinuwa is located in a long valley between Alaca and Amasya plains, which were connected by this road. It was used to transport materials between the cities and to patrol the area by armed troops.


November 2019 in Turkish archaeology

Sapinuwa archaeological site

The most significant archaeological discovery in the area of Turkey in November 2019 was a 3,500-year-old fragmented skull and femur thought to belong to the Hittite period. It was unearthed in Sapinuwa, nowadays Çorum, an important military and religious center of its time. This discovery will help to shed light on the human typology and anatomy of the Hittites.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for November 2019. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

Archaeologists have unearthed a Neolithic-era temple with three almost-intact stelae similar in form to the famous and controversial Göbekli Tepe. The ancient temple was unearthed in the Ilısu neighborhood of Dargeçit in southeastern Turkey’s Mardin province and archaeologists estimate that it was built 11,300 years-old. Source: Ancient Origins

Excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir’s Torbalı district, carried out with the support of the Sabancı Foundation, continue to shed light on the secrets of history. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Descendants of prominent Ottoman scholars and activists have donated Ottoman manuscripts, documents and rare books written in Afrikaans using the Arabic script to the University of Cape Town (UCT), with the documents clearly indicating an early link between Turkey and South Africa. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s first underwater museum, the Side Underwater Museum, takes diving enthusiasts to a journey of mystic blue water with a collection of 117 sculptures. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Cave paintings dating back 1,500 years, including one that looks like the fictional character Pinocchio, have been found in western Turkey. The paintings were discovered during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Laodicea in the western province of Denizli. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

A historical settlement that was discovered by chance during urban transformation works five years ago in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir is set to be opened to tourism soon. Discovered during the implementation of “Nevşehir Castle and Environment Urban Transformation Project,” carried out by the Nevşehir Municipality and the Housing Development Administration (TOKI), the settlement has been cleaned and prepared to open to visits. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Excavations in the Eceabat district in the northwestern province of Çanakkale have revealed that people from the Balkans settled in the area 4,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found 3,500-year-old artifacts decorated with Balkan motifs in the Maydos Church Hill Mound site, where they have been digging for 10 years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The three-year-long restoration at Istanbul's landmark Haydarpaşa Train Station is officially coming to an end and the large clock welcoming passengers for decades has started ticking again after nine years of silence. Source: Daily Sabah

Turkey ranks No. 1 in the world for historical sites awaiting a place on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list, and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya is overflowing with historical candidates for the international protection and distinction. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

As a result of intensive efforts carried out by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, thousands of historical artifacts smuggled abroad by illegal means were returned to the country in the past 15 years. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

A farmer plowing his field in Turkey's central Kırıkkale province discovered a giant ancient pithos jar from the Byzantine era. The farmer, who lives in the Koçubaba village in Balışeyh district discovered the jar after his tractor got locked on the jar. Source: Daily Sabah

A 2,000-year-old sarcophagus with a female skeleton inside was found during road construction works in central Turkey. Municipality workers in Çorum province Tuesday found the sarcophagus located around 70 centimeters (27 inches) under the ground and informed Çorum Museum about the finding. Source: Daily Sabah

An ancient city, about 1.5 kilometers in diameter, was discovered four to 10 meters below the ground in Antalya’s Demre district, but excavations cannot start because the land has not been expropriated. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The British Museum is getting ready to open its doors for a special exhibition of antique findings from the ancient city of Troy. 'Troy: Myth and Reality' will feature around 300 artifacts in a special gallery from Nov. 21 to tell the city's story. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaeologists in southeastern Turkey's Diyarbakır have discovered 48 ancient lamps dating back around 1,500 years. The lamps were discovered during excavations at the Zerzevan Castle, located in the city's Çınar district. Source: Daily Sabah

A monument believed to be around 8,000-year old was unearthed in northwestern Turkey, according to the head of an excavation team. “During this years’ excavation work, we have found a structure that we believe dates back to around 6,000 B.C.,” Burçin Erdoğu from Trakya University, archeologist and head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency on Nov. 21. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archeologists have unearthed baths that were built between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D. during excavations on the ruins of the ancient city of Akkale located in Mersin, southern Turkey. Source: Daily Sabah

A team of international specialists has found evidence that Stone Age people who lived in what is modern Turkey, once wore human tooth jewellery. They have found three Neolithic molars that were modified so that they could be worn in one of the world’s earliest cities. The teeth were found during an excavation at the Çatalhöyük archaeological site in southern Turkey. Source: Ancient Origins

The Insect Museum in Istanbul has been keeping and displaying bugs collected from around Turkey since 1937 in Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Forestry. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

In southern Turkey, a huge pool mosaic with complex geometric patterns was discovered, which reveals the Roman Empire’s far-reaching impact on its peak. Michael Hoff of the Nebraska University, an art historian from Lincoln and director of mosaic excavations, said the mosaic, which once adorned the floor of a bath complex, abuts a 25-foot (7-meter)-long pool, which would have been open to the air. Source: Archaeology World

The land of fairy chimneys, Cappadocia in the central Anatolian city of Nevşehir, is getting ready to welcome its newest museum, the Cappadocia History and Culture Museum, next year. The museum is rock-carved in order to match the territory and inspired by the ancient underground cities of the town. Source: Daily Sabah

A group of researchers and students from the Arts History Department of Bartın University in northern Turkey's Western Black Sea region will carry out field research and an academic study on gravestones from the Ottoman era. Source: Daily Sabah

Under the guidance of the world’s largest private amphora collection, work is underway to establish the Amphora and Maritime Museum, where the archaic, classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods will be described with information, documents, posters, sculptures, reliefs, maps and mock-ups, in Turkey. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Archaeologists have made a breakthrough discovery in central Anatolia from an ancient civilization that cremated and hid its dead, possibly shedding light on the human typology and anatomy of its mysterious people. A 3,500-year-old fragmented skull and femur thought to belong to the Hittite period was recently unearthed in Sapinuwa, nowadays Çorum, which once served as the capital of the Hittite Empire and was an important military and religious centre of its time. Source: Daily Sabah

Laboratory examinations have revealed that the grain found in pots excavated in a settlement mound in eastern Turkey's province of Bingöl dates back 4,500 years. Source: Daily Sabah


Amorite Highlanders

The Gasgans first appear in the Hittite prayer inscriptions that date from the reign of Hantili II, c. 1450 BC, and make references to their movement into the ruins of the holy city of Nerik. During the reign of Hantili's son, Tudhaliya II (c. 1430 BC), "Tudhaliya's 3rd campaign was against the Gasgans."His successor Arnuwanda I composed a prayer for the gods to return Nerik to the empire he also mentioned Kammama and Zalpuwa as cities which he claimed had been Hittite but which were now under the gasganss. Arnuwanda attempted to mollify some of the gasgan tribes by means of tribute.

Sometime between the reigns of Arnuwanda and Suppiluliuma I (about 1330 BC), letters found in Maşat Höyük note that locusts ate the gasgans' grain. The hungry Kaska were able to join with Hayasa-Azzi and Isuwa to the east, as well as other enemies of the Hittites, and burn Hattusa, the Hittite capital, to the ground. They probably also burned the Hittites' secondary capital Sapinuwa. Suppiluliuma's grandson Hattusili III in the mid-13th century BC wrote of the time before Tudhaliya. He said that in those days the gasgans had "made Nenassa their frontier" and that their allies in Azzi-Hayasa had done the same to Samuha.

In the Amarna letters, Amenhotep III wrote to the Arzawan king Tarhunta-Radu that the "country Hattusa" was obliterated, and further asked for Arzawa to send him some of these Gasgan people of whom he had heard. The Hittites also enlisted subject Kaska for their armies. When the Gasgans were not raiding or serving as mercenaries, they raised pigs and wove linen, leaving scarcely any imprint on the permanent landscape.

Tudhaliya III and Suppiluliuma (c. 1375–1350 BC) set up their court in Samuha and invaded Azzi-Hayasa from there. The Gasgans intervened, but Suppiluliuma defeated them after Suppiluliuma had fully pacified the region, Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma were able to move on Hayasa and defeat it too, despite some devastating guerrilla tactics at their rear. Some twelve tribes of Gasgans then united under Piyapili, but Piyapili was no match for Suppiluliuma. Eventually, Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma returned Hattusa to the Hittites. But the Gasgans continued to be a menace both inside and out and a constant military threat. They are said to have fielded as many as 9,000 warriors and 800 chariots, meaning quite a lot are squeezed onto each of the permitted 2 bases in this list.


آنی در روزگاران گذشته دژی بود در استان شیراک، در آیرارات ارمنستان باستان. در منابع ارمنی نخستین بار در سده ۵ میلادی. به این دژ اشاره شده و دو مورخ ارمنی، یغیشه وارتاپت و غازار پاربتسی، از دژی استوار به نام آنی یاد کرده‌اند که متعلق به دودمان ارمنی کامساراکان بوده‌است. [۳]

در اواخر سده ۸ میلادی. یکی از امیران بزرگ ارمنی به نام آشوت یکم، استان شیراک و دژ آنی را از دودمان کامساراکان خرید. [۴] این دژ با گذشت زمان گسترش یافت، چنان‌که حدود صد سال پس از آن، به هنگام برقراری حکومت ارمنستان به رهبری دودمان باگراتونی، از آن به عنوان قصبه‌ای استوار یاد شده و در منابع به صورت «استحکاماتی در کناره رود آخوریان» آمده‌است. [۵] از آن زمان آنی رونق بیش تری یافت، تا آن که در سال ۹۶۱ میلادی. به عنوان پایتخت ارمنستان برگزیده شد. پادشاه ارمنستان، آشوت سوم نخستین کسی بود که به گسترش قلمرو آنی همت گمارد، بارویی تازه کشید و برج و کلیسا ساخت. شاه سمبات دوم، پسر و جانشین آشوت سوم، شهر را باز هم بزرگ‌تر کرد و از رود آخوریان تا درهٔ زاغگوتس بارویی بلندتر از باروی پیشین کشید، برج‌هایی برافراشت و دروازه‌هایی از چوب جنگلی و میخ‌های آهنین ساخت و کار گذاشت. آنی، پایتخت ارمنستان، در اندک زمان به شهری ثروتمند و پرشکوه تبدیل شد، ساختمان‌ها و کلیساهایی زیبا افراشته شدند، چنان‌که به «شهر هزار و یک کلیسا» شهرت یافت. [۶]

صنعت و تجارت از یک سو، و دانش و هنر از سوی دیگر به چنان پیشرفتی رسید که آوازه آن در میان اقوام دور و نزدیک نیز پیچید. علل پیشرفت شتابان آنی این بود که این شهر در مرکز ارمنستان جای داشت، از این رو دارای امنیتی بیش تر بود. غیر از آن، ارمنستان و شهر آنی در مبادلات محور شمال- جنوب (میان بغداد و دریای سیاه) و محور شرق-غرب (میان قلمرو ایران و قلمرو بیزانس) نقش واسطه داشتند، در تقاطع راه‌های بازرگانی قرار داشتند و با شاهراه‌های مناسبی با شهرهای بزرگ کشورهای همسایه پیوند می‌یافتند. آنی از راه دریای سیاه با مناطق دوردست اروپا، لهستان و جنوب روسیه نیز دادوستد داشت. [۷] [۸]

محققان، نویسندگان، نقاشان و باستان شناسان فراوانی از آنی بازدید و مشاهدات خود را ثبت کرده‌اند اما بزرگترین کشفیات و بیشترین اطلاعات به تلاش‌های نیکوغایوس (نیکولای) مار مربوط می‌شود. [۹]

در۱۸۸۹ میلادی، مرکز تحقیقات دانشگاه سن پترزبورگ برای شناسایی هرچه بیشتر سابقهٔ تاریخی اقوام ساکن در قفقاز تصمیم گرفت هیئتی را برای پژوهش و کاوش به مناطق مختلف این ناحیه اعزام کند که نیکولای مار سرپرست هیئت اعزامی به آنی بود و وظیفه داشت تا بخش‌های عظیمی از آثار برجای مانده در آنی را شناسایی و ضبط کند. او همچنین می‌بایست بسیاری از حکاکیها و نوشته‌ها را بازخوانی و ثبت می‌کرد. این هیئت در تابستان ۱۸۹۲ میلادی به آنی رسید و کاوش‌های خود را آغاز کرد. نیکولای مار در طول چند سال فعالیت و اقامت خود در آنی تحقیقات و اکتشافات با ارزشی انجام داد. او و گروهش موفق به کشف بسیاری از بناهای بازمانده از دوره‌های کهن شدند و آن‌ها را طی ماه‌ها کار سخت از زیر توده‌های خاک بیرون کشیدند. نیکولای مار در پایان این تحقیقات موفق شد نقشه‌ای از شهر آنی و بناهای موجود در آن را به شکلی کاملاً دقیق و صحیح ثبت کند. این پژوهش‌ها به منزلهٔ اولین و کامل‌ترین تحقیقات علمی باستان شناختی در اروپا منتشر شد و مورد استقبال فراوان قرار گرفت. [۱۰]

شهر آنی در ناحیهٔ شیراک، واقع در استان آرارات، [۱۱] در سمت چپ رود آخوریان، بنا شده‌است. محدودهٔ جغرافیایی این شهر را رودخانهها، درهها و کوهها احاطه کرده و شکلی مثلث گونه به آن بخشیده‌اند. بلندی شهر از سطح دریا ۱۵۰۰ متر و محدودهٔ شهر از شمال شرق به سمت شمال غرب حدود یک کیلومتر است. در جنوبی‌ترین نقطهٔ آن، تپه‌ای به بلندی ۱۲۰ متر قرار دارد که قلعهٔ مرکزی شهر را بر روی آن بنا شده بود و در ناحیهٔ جنوب غربی، در محل تلاقی دو رودخانهٔ آخوریان و آنی، نیز دیر آق چکابِرت [۱۲] قرار داشت. [۱۳]

این شهر بر روی کمربند زلزله قرار گرفته و اسناد تاریخی بسیاری در مورد زلزله‌های روی داده در سده‌های یازدهم، دوازدهم و چهاردهم میلادی در آنی موجود است. این اسناد حکایت از خسارات فراوانی دارد که زلزله به بناهای این شهر وارد کرده‌است. آنی در منطقه‌ای تقریباً سردسیر واقع شده و زمستان‌های بسیار سرد همراه با یخبندانهای شدید زندگی را در این منطقه با مشکل همراه می‌سازد. گاهی درجهٔ حرارت در این ناحیه تا بیش از چهل درجهٔ سانتی گراد زیر صفر کاهش می‌یابد و از اواخر پاییز تا اوایل بهار بارش مداوم برف این منطقه را کاملاً سفید پوش می‌کند. آنی در سایر فصول از آب و هوای ملایمی برخوردار است و میانگین درجهٔ حرارت آن به شش درجه بالای صفر می‌رسد.

رودخانهٔ آنی دومین رودخانهٔ مهم این ناحیه بود که به منظور تأمین بخشی از آب آشامیدنی و کشاورزی ساکنان این شهر، استفاده می‌شد. در کنار این رودخانه، مزارع کشاورزی قرار داشتند. این مزارع دارای تنوع محصولات بودند و به ویژه، کشت سبزیجات متنوع در آن‌ها رواج بسیار داشت. به جز این دو رودخانه، رودخانه‌های کوچک دیگری نیز در آنی جریان داشتند که وجود آن‌ها نیروی محرکهٔ آسیاب‌های فراوانی بود که تهیهٔ آرد مورد نیاز این شهر را بر عهده داشتند. البته، چشمههای آب فراوانی نیز در برخی از کوه‌پایههای این شهر جاری بود که بخشی اعظم از آب آشامیدنی شهرنشینان آنی را تأمین می‌ساخت. بخش‌هایی از حومهٔ شهر آنی را دشت شیراک احاطه کرده‌است. این دشت از خاکی سیاه رنگ پوشیده شده و فاقد درخت است اما در تابستان با بوته‌های سبز مخملی شکلی پوشانده می‌شود که جلوه‌ای خاص به این دشت می‌بخشد.

شهر آنی به لحاظ وجود بناهای مستحکم با معماری متنوع حائز اهمیت فراوان است. سنگ دوف [۱۴] مهم‌ترین عنصر به کار رفته در ساخت بناهای این شهر است. این سنگ، که قابلیت شکل‌پذیری خاصی دارد، در رنگ‌های متنوع زرد، قرمز، سیاه و خاکستری به وفور در درهٔ آخوریان و اطراف این منطقه یافت می‌شد. وجود آب‌های معدنی، که نقشی مؤثر در درمان بیماری‌ها ایفا می‌کردند، باعث ایجاد مهمان خانه‌ها و استراحت گاه‌های فراوانی در آنی شد که پذیرای مسافران و سیاحان فراوانی بود.

آنی در اندک زمانی آنقدر توسعه یافت که به مهم‌ترین شهر دولت باگراتونی تبدیل شد و در۹۶۱م آشوت سوم، پادشاه باگراتونی، پس از پایان مراسم تاج گذاری در آنی این شهر را پایتخت خویش اعلام کرد. [۱۵]

آنی در زمان سلطنت اولین پادشاهان باگراتونی به شهری پر رونق و توسعه یافته تبدیل شد تا جایی که حاکمان باگراتونی از این شهر و استحکامات آن برای نگهداری خزانهٔ سلطنتی استفاده می‌کردند. در اوایل سده دهم میلادی، آنی تبدیل به شهری تجاری شده بود. آشوت سوم اولین پادشاه باگراتونی بود که تغییراتی اساسی در شهر آنی به وجود آورد. او در داخل شهر اقدام به ساخت استحکامات و قلعه‌های نظامی‌کرد و قصد داشت این استحکامات را به منزلهٔ سد دفاعی کاخ‌ها و اقامتگاه‌های سلطنتی به کار برد اما با درگذشت وی ساخت بناهای سلطنتی نیز نیمه تمام ماند. پس از آشوت، سمبات دوم، جانشین او، کار ساخت و ساز شهر را ادامه داد اما او پیش از ساخت اقامتگاه‌های عظیم سلطنتی [۱۶] اقدام به ایجاد دیوارهایی در اطراف شهر به طول ۲/۵ کیلومتر کرد تا شهر را در برابر حملات احتمالی حفاظت کند. [۱۷]

سمبات دوم تمام تلاش خود را به منظور همراه ساختن حاکمان محلی به کار بست و در این راه تاحدودی موفق بود. جانشین او، گاگیک یکم، نیز به قصد ادامهٔ همین سیاست آنی را از سوی شرق توسعه داد. او در صدد بود تا مرزهای آنی را به ایالت سیونیک متصل سازد. [۱۸]

به این ترتیب، محدودهٔ مرزهای آنی تا اواخر قرن یازدهم میلادی از جهت‌های مختلف گسترش یافت. در اواخر سده مذکور آنی به شهری بزرگ و قدرتمند تبدیل شده بود که از اهمیت تجاری خاصی نیز برخوردار بود. از اواخر سده دهم میلادی و با انتقال مرکزیت کلیسای سنتی ارمنستان به این شهر اهمیت دینی نیز پیدا کرد. کلیساهای متعددی در آن ساخته شد به گونه‌ای که در بسیاری از نقاط این شهر کلیساهایی با معماری خاص و متفاوت بنا گردید. تعداد این کلیساها به قدری زیاد بود که آنی را به شهر هزار و یک کلیسا تبدیل کرد. البته، ذکر این تعداد کلیسا در آنی از صحت چندانی برخوردار نیست اما بر اساس اسناد باستان‌شناسی بیش از هشتصد کلیسا در آنی وجود داشته که شمار بسیاری از آن‌ها در دورهٔ باگراتونی ساخته شده‌است. در فاصلهٔ قرن دهم تا یازدهم میلادی در کنار کلیساها و قلعه‌ها خانه‌های مسکونی فراوان، بازارهایی با مغازه‌های متعدد، مسافرخانه‌ها و حمام‌هایی مجهز به وسایل گرمایشی خاص نیز در آنی ساخته شد.

کوچه‌های آنی هر کدام معماری متفاوتی داشتند و هریک بر اساس موقعیت خاص خود و به منظور سهولت رفت‌وآمد ساکنان طراحی شده بودند. این کوچه‌ها که آن‌ها را نام‌گذاری کرده بودند، بعضاً به میدانی زیبا منتهی می‌شدند که معمولاً مزین به چشمه‌ای جوشان از آب‌های زیرزمینی بود. شهر آنی قبرستانهای متعددی داشت. اکتشافات باستان‌شناسی نشان داد که در استحکامات مرکزی شهر قبرستانی متعلق به خاندان سلطنتی وجود داشته و در اثر کاوش‌های باستان‌شناسی قبرهای متعلق به تعدادی از شاهان و ملکه‌های باگراتونی در این ناحیه پیدا شد. در آنی چندین مسافر خانهٔ مجلل نیز وجود داشته که تنها به حکاکی‌ها و آثار تاریخی مکتوب از آن دوران محدود می‌شود اما در کاوش‌های باستان‌شناسی هیچ‌گاه اثری از بنای این مهمان خانه‌ها یافت نشده‌است. همچنین آنی دارای آب‌انبارهایی بوده که برخی از آن‌ها در حدود ۲۵ متر عمق داشتند.

پس از مرگ گاگیک پادشاهی باگراتونی دچار تحولاتی ناخوشایند شد. از سویی اختلافات داخلی بین دو فرزند گاگیک سرزمین آنان را به دو بخش تقسیم کرد که طی این تقسیمات آنی و سرزمین‌های اطراف آن ازآن برادر بزرگ‌تر؛ یعنی، هوهانس-سمبات سوم (۱۰۲۰ ۱۰۴۱م) شد. از سوی دیگر دولت قدرتمند امپراتوری روم شرقی، که قصد گسترش متصرفات خود را داشت، اکنون دیگر به پشت دروازه‌های ارمنستان رسیده بود و تهدیدی جدی برای این سرزمین به‌شمار می‌رفت. [۱۸]

چندی بعد برادر کوچک‌تر سمبات، آشوت چهارم(۱۰۲۰–۱۰۴۰م)، درگذشت و سرزمین‌های تحت سلطهٔ او را یکی از حاکمان محلی به تصرف درآورد. یک سال بعد نیز سمبات از دنیا رفت و با مرگ او قلمرو پادشاهی باگراتونی و پایتخت آن، آنی، وارد مرحله‌ای سخت و دشوار شد. سمبات جانشینی نداشت و همین امر سبب شد تا تعدادی از درباریان مدعی مقام سلطنت شوند.

دو نبرد بزرگ بین سپاهیان بیزانس و ارمنستان صورت گرفت که در نبرد آخر واهرام پاهلاوونی، سردار بزرگ سپاه ارمنی، به همراه نیروی نظامی خود ارتش بیزانس را از سوی استحکامات غربی آنی مورد هجوم قرار داد و موفق به شکست سپاهیان بیزانس شد و به این ترتیب، آنان را وادار به عقب‌نشینی کرد. کنستانتین نهم، که پیشروی سلجوقیان را به سوی غرب تهدیدی جدی برای دولت بیزانس می‌دانست از گاگیک خواست تا پیمان سمبات، مبنی بر واگذاری آنی به بیزانس، را عملی سازد. گاگیک این درخواست را نپذیرفت و نبردها بین ارمنستان باگراتونی و بیزانس از سر گرفته شد. نیروهای بیزانس موفق به تصرف شهرهای ارمنستان یکی پس از دیگری می‌شدند که نتیجه‌ای جز کشتار و ویرانی به همراه نداشت تا اینکه در ۱۰۴۴ میلادی نیروهای بیزانس به پشت دروازه‌های آنی رسیدند. گاگیک جوان، که بسیاری از نیروهای خود را از دست داده و از سوی شرق نیز مورد تهدید سلجوقیان قرار گرفته بود، به کنستانتین پیشنهاد صلح داد و از وی خواست تا در قبال واگذاری آنی به او حاکم این شهر باقی بماند. کنستانتین در ابتدا این پیشنهاد را پذیرفت اما به محض خروج گاگیک از آنی با دادن وعدهٔ حکومت در داخل قلمرو بیزانس از بازگشت او به شهر ممانعت کرد و به این ترتیب، آنی بدون جنگ ازآن ارتش بیزانس شد و حکومت باگراتونی پس از ۱۶۰ سال استقلال و اقتدار به پایان رسید. [۱۹]

نیروهای نظامی سلجوقیان طی ۱۰۴۸–۱۰۴۹ میلادی موفق به تصرف ده ناحیهٔ اصلی ایالت واسپوراکان ارمنستان شدند و نیروی نظامی عظیم بیزانس نیز در برابر آن‌ها شکست خورد و عقب‌نشینی کرد. در اواخر ۱۰۵۴ میلادی، سلجوقیان به رهبری طغرل [۲۰] حملات خود را در خاک ارمنستان ادامه دادند و سرانجام، به نزدیکی دیوارهای آنی رسیدند. طغرل، با مقاومت شدید ساکنان آنی مواجه شد و هیچ‌گاه موفق به تسخیر این شهر نشد و چون مقاصد دیگری را در سرزمین‌های اطراف دنبال می‌کرد، تصمیم گرفت تصرف آنی را به زمانی دیگر موکول سازد اما نتوانست به این مقصود خود دست یابد.

پس از مرگ طغرل، سلجوقیان حدود ده سال به آنی نزدیک نشدند اما از اوایل ۱۰۶۴ میلادی، با هجوم آلب ارسلان نبردها از سر گرفته شد. [۲۱] آلب ارسلان و سپاهیانش پس از تصرف بسیاری از شهرهای ارمنستان و گرجستان سرانجام به پشت دروازه‌های آنی رسیدند. او به همراه پسرش، جلال الدین ملکشاه و تعدادی از دیگر سردارانش روزها وقت صرف مطالعهٔ استحکامات و قلعه‌های نظامی آنی کردند و سرانجام به این نتیجه رسیدند که بهترین نقطه برای حمله به شهر استحکامات واقع در شمال شرقی آنی است که البته در این ناحیه خندقی عظیم نیز قرار داشت. سلجوقیان برای عبور از این خندق و استحکامات نیاز به نیروی نظامی فراوان در دسته‌ها و گروه‌های متعدد داشتند. به همین منظور و به دستور آلب ارسلان سپاهیان وی نیزههای بلند را به یکدیگر متصل کردند و بر روی خندق پلی ساختند. به این ترتیب، او موفق شد بخش اعظمی از نیروی سوارهٔ خود را از خندق عبور دهد اما پس از عبور از خندق با خیل تیرهایی مواجه شد که سربازانش را نشانه گرفته بودند و متحمل تلفاتی فراوان شد. سرانجام با دادن وعده‌هایی به فرماندهٔ بیزانسی استحکامات شهر توسط او قلعه از نظامیان و محافظان خالی شد و نیروهای نظامی سلجوقی وارد شهر شدند.

در تمام سال‌هایی که سلجوقیان بر آنی حکومت می‌کردند هیچ اقدام جدی برای آبادانی شهر صورت نگرفت. تنها یکی از امرای سلجوقی، به نام منوچهر، که از سوی سلطان ملکشاه سلجوقی به حکومت آنی رسیده بود، دست به فعالیت‌هایی در جهت آبادانی و بهبود وضع زندگی ساکنان آنی زد. از جمله اقدامات او بنای مسجدی موسوم به مسجد منوچهر بود. معماری مسجد منوچهر طی دو دورهٔ مختلف و با دو روش کاملاً متفاوت صورت پذیرفته‌است. پایه‌های اصلی این مسجد در دوران پادشاهی باگراتونی بنا نهاده شد که شامل ساختمانی دو طبقه بود. بعدها، در دوران امارت منوچهر، این بنا تبدیل به مسجد شد و یک طبقهٔ دیگر نیز به آن اضافه گردید. سقف آن را بازسازی کردند و مناره‌ای نیز برای آن در نظر گرفتند که دارای ۸۵ پله بود. این مسجد یکی از بناهای بی نظیر موجود در آنی است. [۲۲]

آنی در دوران حاکمیت منوچهر وضعیتی مطلوب داشت اما پس از مرگ او زمام آن به دست امرایی افتاد که بسیار ناتوان و ضعیف عمل می‌کردند و همین امر سبب شد که مورد تهاجم امرای محلی دیگر قرار گیرد. عدم وجود نیروی نظامی منسجم بارها سبب ویرانی‌های مکرر این شهر به دست امیرنشینهای دیگر شد.

در اولین نبرد بین سپاهیان گرجستان، که بخش اعظم نیروهای آن را ارمنیان تشکیل می‌دادند و لشکریان مغول سپاهیان گرجی و ارمنی به شدت شکست خوردند و مجبور به عقب‌نشینی شدند. یک سال بعد، مغولان از مرزهای گرجستان عبور کردند و در نبردی سنگین، موفق به شکست دو لشکر ارمنی و گرجی شدند و به این ترتیب، بخش اعظمی از نواحی جنوب شرقی گرجستان و شمال ارمنستان را به تصرف درآوردند. پس از مرگ چنگیز خان جانشینان او به فتوحات خود در ارمنستان ادامه دادند. در این دوران بخش اعظمی از ساکنان شهرهای مختلف ارمنستان، که خبر تهاجم مغولان را شنیده بودند، برای حفاظت از جان خود به دیگر شهرهای بزرگ ارمنستان، که در احاطهٔ حصارها و قلعه‌های نظامی قوی بود، مهاجرت کردند. به این ترتیب، در این مقطع تاریخی، آنی میزبان ده‌ها هزار مهاجر شد که از شهرهای مختلف ارمنستان و از ترس حملهٔ مغولان به آنجا پناه آورده بودند. استقامت آنی در برابر مغولان موقتی بود زیرا دیری نپایید که با خیانت برخی از ساکنان شهر دروازه‌های آنی در برابر سپاهیان مغول گشوده شد و شهر در اندک زمانی به غارت مهاجمان رفت. از آنجایی که مغول‌ها تجربهٔ کافی در کشورداری نداشتند با ایجاد حکومتی به نام خود ادارهٔ برخی از سرزمین‌های تحت سلطه را به حاکمان قبلی واگذار کردند تا به همان شیوه و روش‌های سابق عمل کنند و هرچه زودتر نظم را به سرزمین‌های تصرف شده بازگردانند. [۲۳]

به این ترتیب، ادارهٔ آنی همچنان در دست خاندان زاکاریان باقی‌ماند، تا اواخر ۱۳۲۰ میلادی، که آنی تقریباً به پایان حیات خویش نزدیک شده بود، پادشاهی از این خاندان حکومت شهر را در دست داشت. آنی پس از تهاجم نهایی مغولان در ۱۲۳۶ میلادی دچار ویرانی بسیار شد و تقریباً، اکثر بناهای مهم آن آسیب جدی دید. این ویرانی‌ها در طول مدت حکومت مغولان هیچ‌گاه ترمیم نشد زیرا آنان اکثر منابع مادی شهر را به نفع خود مصادره می‌کردند تا آن را در نواحی مختلف سرزمین‌های تحت سلطهٔ خویش به کار گیرند. در پی این دگرگونی‌ها، جمعیت زیادی از هنرمندان و صنعتگران، آنی را به قصد گرجستان و سایر شهرهای ارمنستان ترک کردند. این امر سبب شد اکثر کارگاه‌های هنری و صنعتی شهر فعالیت خود را متوقف سازند و مابقی کارگاه‌ها نیز، که تعداد آن‌ها بسیار اندک بود، فقط به تولید مایحتاج شهروندان بسنده کنند. به این ترتیب، آنی به سوی فقر و نابودی حرکت نمود. البته وجود مالیات‌های سنگینی که مغولان برای شهروندان تعیین کرده بودند باعث تسریع این نابودی شد.

نابودی آنی از اواخر سده سیزدهم میلادی آغاز شده‌است. در این تاریخ، تاحدودی اکثر شهرها و روستاهای اطراف آنی نیز در اثر حکومت نادرست مغولان در حال نابودی بوده. آنان با غارت منابع مادی شهرهای مهم ارمنستان سبب نابودی فرهنگی و حیات معنوی این شهرها شدند. در پی این اتفاقات، اکثر شهروندان آنی به اجبار شهر را ترک گفتند و به تدریج به سوی غرب، اروپای شرقی، مجارستان و لهستان مهاجرت کردند. پس از مدتی، بخش دیگری از آن‌ها نیز به روسیه و مناطق مجاور رودخانه ولگا رفتند و در آنجا ساکن شدند.

سنگ نوشته‌ها و حکاکی‌های موجود نشان می‌دهد که آنی تا اواخر سده چهاردهم میلادی همچنان پابرجا بوده‌است و بر اساس برخی منابع تاریخی در آنی تا اوایل قرن پانزدهم میلادی هنوز مردمانی ساکن بوده‌اند. از این تاریخ به بعد، منابع تاریخی در این خصوص بسیار اندک است و به همین دلیل نمی‌توان به درستی بیان کرد که بر آنی چه گذشته و چگونه آنی به بیابانی از ویرانه‌های فراوان تبدیل شده. مورخان دو نظریهٔ متفاوت در مورد آنی ارائه داده‌اند. عده‌ای معتقدند که در طی حملات تیمور لنگ، بین ۱۳۸۶–۱۳۸۷ میلادی، آنی دچار صدمات جبران ناپذیر فراوان شد و از همین زمان به بعد به پایان باشکوه خویش رسید. عده‌ای دیگر بر این باورند که آنی در اثر زلزله، در اوایل سده پانزدهم میلادی، از بین رفت و مردمانی که از این حادثه جان سالم به در برده بودند برای همیشه این شهر را ترک کردند.

مورخان اعتقاد کامل دارند که آنی همچون روستایی کوچک تا اوایل سده شانزدهم میلادی و تا قبل از حملات تُرکان عثمانی، همچنان پابرجا بوده‌است و جمعیتی از ارمنیان، که به کشاورزی و دامپروری اشتغال داشته‌اند، در آن ساکن بوده‌اند. از این تاریخ به بعد، آنی به‌طور کامل خالی از سکنه شد.

در۱۸۴۰ میلادی، زلزله‌ای دیگر در آنی روی داد که بر ویرانی‌های قبلی آن افزود. [۲۴]

در ۱۸۷۸ میلادی و پس از اتمام جنگ روسیه تزاری و امپراتوری عثمانی، بر اساس توافق‌نامه‌ای (عهدنامه قارص) بین این دو کشور، آنی به منزلهٔ بخشی از ناحیهٔ قارص به روسیهٔ تزاری واگذار شد. با شروع جنگ جهانی اول، آنی نیز به مانند دیگر بخش‌های ارمنستان غربی به میدان نبرد تبدیل شد. در پاییز ۱۹۲۰ میلادی، سپاهیان تُرک، آنی را به تصرف خود درآوردند و بر اساس عهدنامه‌ای که در ۱۶ مارس ۱۹۲۱ میلادی بین روسیه و تُرک‌ها امضاء شد آنی تحت حکومت تُرک‌ها قرار گرفت.

همزمان با نسل‌کشی ارامنه نه تنها اموال قربانیان به تاراج رفت، بلکه کلیهٔ کلیساها و دیرها، که غیر از بناهای مذهبی، مراکز علمی و فرهنگی ارمنیان به‌شمار می‌آمدند و در آن‌ها آثار فرهنگی ارزشمندی وجود داشت، غارت شدند و بیش از بیست هزار نسخه کتاب‌های دست‌نویس که قدمتی چندین صدساله و گاهی بیش از هزار سال داشتند نیز از میان رفتند. بعد از وقایع آن سال‌ها بناهای تاریخی، همچون خانه‌های متروکهٔ ارمنیان برای یافتن گنج‌های پنهان کندوکاو شدند، زیرا روستاییان ترک و کرد منطقه این باور را داشتند که ارمنیان با هدف بازگشت به خانهٔ خود کلیهٔ اموال قیمتی را در خانه‌هایشان پنهان کرده‌اند؛ لذا تخریب‌های انجام شده در این دورهٔ زمانی چندان گسترده و سازمان یافته نبود که باعث محو بناها شود. اولین ویرانگری‌های سازمان یافتهٔ ارتش ترکیه در پایان جنگ جهانی اول در شهر باستانی آنی، انجام شد. [۲۵]


Event #5403: Kaskians, peoples living in mountainous Pontic Anatolia during Hittite times unknown origins

The Kaska (also Kaška, later Tabalian Kasku and Gasga) were a loosely affiliated Bronze Age non-Indo-European tribal people, who spoke the unclassified Kaskian language and lived in mountainous Pontic Anatolia, known from Hittite sources. They lived in the mountainous region between the core Hittite region in eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea, and are cited as the reason that the later Hittite empire never extended northward to that area.

The Kaska first appear in the Hittite prayer inscriptions that date from the reign of Hantili II, c. 1450 BC, and make references to their movement into the ruins of the holy city of Nerik. During the reign of Hantili’s son, Tudhaliya II (c. 1430 BC), “Tudhaliya’s 3rd campaign was against the Kaskas.” His successor Arnuwanda I composed a prayer for the gods to return Nerik to the empire he also mentioned Kammama and Zalpuwa as cities which he claimed had been Hittite but which were now under the Kaskas. Arnuwanda attempted to mollify some of the Kaska tribes by means of tribute.

Some time between the reigns of Arnuwanda and Suppiluliuma I (about 1330 BCE), letters found in Maşat Höyük note that locusts ate the Kaskas’ grain. The hungry Kaska were able to join with Hayasa-Azzi and Isuwa to the east, as well as other enemies of the Hittites, and burn Hattusa, the Hittite capital, to the ground. They probably also burned the Hittites’ secondary capital Sapinuwa. Suppiluliuma’s grandson Hattusili III in the mid-13th century BC wrote of the time before Tudhaliya. He said that in those days the Kaska had “made Nenassa their frontier” and that their allies in Azzi-Hayasa had done the same to Samuha.

In the Amarna letters, Amenhotep III wrote to the Arzawan king Tarhunta-Radu that the “country Hattusa” was obliterated, and further asked for Arzawa to send him some of these Kaska people of whom he had heard. The Hittites also enlisted subject Kaska for their armies. When the Kaska were not raiding or serving as mercenaries, they raised pigs and wove linen, leaving scarcely any imprint on the permanent landscape.

Tudhaliya III and Suppiluliuma (c. 1375–1350 BC) set up their court in Samuha and invaded Azzi-Hayasa from there. The Kaska intervened, but Suppiluliuma defeated them after Suppiluliuma had fully pacified the region, Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma were able to move on Hayasa and defeat it too, despite some devastating guerrilla tactics at their rear. Some twelve tribes of Kaska then united under Piyapili, but Piyapili was no match for Suppiluliuma. Eventually Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma returned Hattusa to the Hittites. But the Kaska continued to be a menace both inside and out, and a constant military threat. They are said to have fielded as many as 9,000 warriors and 800 chariots.

In the time of ailing Arnuwanda II (around 1323 BC), the Hittites worried that the Kaskas from Ishupitta within the kingdom to Kammama without might take advantage of the plague in Hatti. The veteran commander Hannutti moved to Ishupitta, but he died there. Ishupitta then seceded from Hatti, and Arnuwanda died too. Arnuwanda’s brother and successor Mursili II recorded in his annals that he defeated this rebellion. Over the ongoing decades the Kaskans were also active in Durmitta and in Tipiya, by Mount Tarikarimu in the land of Ziharriya, and by Mount Asharpaya on the route to Pala they rebelled and/or performed egregious banditry in each place. At first Mursili defeated each Kaska uprising piecemeal.

Then the Kaska united for the first time under Pihhuniya of Tipiya, who “ruled like a king” the Hittites recorded. Pihhuniya conquered Istitina and advanced as far as Zazzissa. But Mursili defeated this force and brought Pihhuniya back as a prisoner to Hattusas. Mursili then switched to a defensive strategy, with a chain of border fortresses north to the Devrez. Even so, in the early 13th century, when Mursili’s son Muwatalli II was king in Hatti, the Kaskas sacked Hattusa. Muwatalli stopped enlisting Kaska as troops he moved his capital to Tarhuntassa to the south and he appointed his brother, the future Hattusili III, as governor over the northern marches. Hattusili defeated the Kaska to the point of recapturing Nerik, and when he took over the kingdom he returned the capital to Hattusa.

The Kaska contributed to the fall of the Hittite empire in the Bronze Age collapse, c. 1200 BC. Then they penetrated eastern Anatolia, and continued their thrust southwards, where they encountered the Assyrians. The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I recorded late in the 12th century BC that the Kaska and their Mushki allies were active in what had been the Hatti heartland. Tiglath-Pileser defeated them, and the Kaska then disappear from all historical records.

Repulsed by the Assyrians, a subdivision of the Kaska might have passed north-eastwards to the Caucasus, where they probably blended with the Proto-Colchian or Zan autochthons, forming a polity which was known as the Kolkha to the Urartians and later as the Colchis to the Greeks. Another branch might have established themselves in Cappadocia, which in the 8th century BC became a vassal of Assyria and ruled some Anatolian areas.

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Hattusa Complex

Ḫattuša was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazkale, Turkey, within the great loop of the Kızılırmak River (Hittite: Marashantiya Greek: Halys).

Hattusha was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986.

Surroundings

The landscape surrounding the city included rich agricultural fields and hill lands for pasture as well as woods. Smaller woods are still found outside the city, but in ancient times, they were far more widespread. This meant the inhabitants had an excellent supply of timber when building their houses and other structures. The fields provided the people with a subsistence crop of wheat, barley and lentils. Flax was also harvested, but their primary source for clothing was sheep wool. They also hunted deer in the forest, but this was probably only a luxury reserved for the nobility. Domestic animals provided meat.

There were several other settlements in the vicinity, such as the rock shrine at Yazılıkaya and the town at Alacahöyük. Since the rivers in the area are unsuitable for major ships, all transport to and from Hattusa had to go by land.

Early history

Before 2000 BC, the apparently indigenous Hattian people established a settlement on sites that had been occupied even earlier and referred to the site as Hattush. The Hattians built their initial settlement on the high ridge of Büyükkale. The earliest traces of settlement on the site are from the sixth millennium BC. In the 19th and 18th centuries BC, merchants from Assur in Assyria established a trading post there, setting up in their own separate quarter of the city. The center of their trade network was located in Kanesh (Neša) (modern Kültepe). Business dealings required record-keeping: the trade network from Assur introduced writing to Hattusa, in the form of cuneiform.

A carbonized layer apparent in excavations attests to the burning and ruin of the city of Hattusa around 1700 BC. The responsible party appears to have been King Anitta from Kussara, who took credit for the act and erected an inscribed curse for good measure:

Whoever after me becomes king resettles Hattusas, let the Stormgod of the Sky strike him!

The Hittite imperial city

Only a generation later, a Hittite-speaking king chose the site as his residence and capital. The Hittite language had been gaining speakers at the expense of Hattic for some time. The Hattic Hattush now became the Hittite Hattusa, and the king took the name of Hattusili, the "one from Hattusa". Hattusili marked the beginning of a non-Hattic-speaking "Hittite" state and of a royal line of Hittite Great Kings, 27 of whom are now known by name.

After the Kaskas arrived to the kingdom's north, they twice attacked the city to the point where the kings had to move the royal seat to another city. Under Tudhaliya I, the Hittites moved north to Sapinuwa, returning later. Under Muwatalli II, they moved south to Tarhuntassa but assigned Hattusili III as governor over Hattusa. Mursili III returned the seat to Hattusa, where the kings remained until the end of the Hittite kingdom in the 12th century BC.

At its peak, the city covered 1.8 km² and comprised an inner and outer portion, both surrounded by a massive and still visible course of walls erected during the reign of Suppiluliuma I (circa 1344–1322 BC (short chronology)). The inner city covered an area of some 0.8 km² and was occupied by a citadel with large administrative buildings and temples. The royal residence, or acropolis, was built on a high ridge now known as Büyükkale (Great Fortress).

To the south lay an outer city of about 1 km 2 , with elaborate gateways decorated with reliefs showing warriors, lions, and sphinxes. Four temples were located here, each set around a porticoed courtyard, together with secular buildings and residential structures. Outside the walls are cemeteries, most of which contain cremation burials. Modern estimates put the population of the city between 40,000 and 50,000 at the peak in the early period, the inner city housed a third of that number. The dwelling houses that were built with timber and mud bricks have vanished from the site, leaving only the stone-built walls of temples and palaces.

The city was destroyed, together with the Hittite state itself, around 1200 BC, as part of the Bronze Age collapse. Excavations suggest that Hattusa was gradually abandoned over a period of several decades as the Hittite empire disintegrated. The site was subsequently abandoned until 800 BC, when a modest Phrygian settlement appeared in the area.

Discovery

Ernest Chantre opened some trial trenches at the village then called Boğazköy, in 1893–94. Since 1906, the German Oriental Society has been excavating at Hattusa (with breaks during the two World Wars and the Depression, 1913–31 and 1940–51). Archaeological work is still carried out by the German Archaeological Institute (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut). Hugo Winckler and Theodore Makridi Bey conducted the first excavations in 1906, 1907, and 1911–13, which were resumed in 1931 under Kurt Bittel, followed by Peter Neve (site director 1963, general director 1978–94).

Cuneiform royal archives

One of the most important discoveries at the site has been the cuneiform royal archives of clay tablets, consisting of official correspondence and contracts, as well as legal codes, procedures for cult ceremony, oracular prophecies and literature of the ancient Near East. One particularly important tablet, currently on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, details the terms of a peace settlement reached years after the Battle of Kadesh between the Hittites and the Egyptians under Ramesses II, in 1259 or 1258 BC. A copy is on display in the United Nations in New York City as an example of the earliest known international peace treaties.

Although the 30,000 or so clay tablets recovered from Hattusa form the main corpus of Hittite literature, archives have since appeared at other centers in Anatolia, such as Tabigga (Maşat Höyük) and Sapinuwa (Ortaköy). They are now divided between the archaeological museums of Ankara and Istanbul.

Sphinx

A pair of sphinxes found at the southern gate in Hattusa were taken for restoration to Germany in 1917. The better-preserved sphinx was returned to Istanbul in 1924 and was placed on display in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, whereas the other remained in Germany and had been on display at the Pergamon Museum since 1934. Previously, Turkey had made numerous requests for its return.

In 2011, threats by Turkish Ministry of Culture to impose restrictions on German archaeologists working in Turkey finally persuaded Germany to return the sphinx. The Istanbul sphinx was also brought back to its place of origin and the pair were reunited in Boğazköy Museum outside the Hattusa ruins.


Caucasus III

The Kaska (also Kaška, later Tabalian Kasku and Gasga) were a loosely affiliated Bronze Age non-Indo-European tribal people, who spoke the unclassified Kaskian language and lived in mountainous East Pontic Anatolia, known from Hittite sources.
They lived in the mountainous region between the core Hittite region in eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea, and are cited as the reason that the later Hittite Empire never extended northward to that area.
The Kaska, probably originating from the eastern shore of the Propontis, may have displaced the speakers of the Palaic language from their home in Pala. The Kaska first appear in the Hittite prayer inscriptions that date from the reign of Hantili II, c. 1450 BC, and make references to their movement into the ruins of the holy city of Nerik.
During the reign of Hantili’s son, Tudhaliya II (c. 1430 BC), “Tudhaliya’s 3rd campaign was against the Kaskas.” His successor Arnuwanda I composed a prayer for the gods to return Nerik to the empire he also mentioned Kammama and Zalpuwa as cities which he claimed had been Hittite but which were now under the Kaskas. Arnuwanda attempted to mollify some of the Kaska tribes by means of tribute.
Sometime between the reigns of Arnuwanda and Suppiluliuma I (about 1330 BC), letters found in Maşat Höyük note that locusts ate the Kaskas’ grain. The hungry Kaska were able to join with Hayasa-Azzi and Isuwa to the east, as well as other enemies of the Hittites, and burn Hattusa, the Hittite capital, to the ground.
They probably also burned the Hittites’ secondary capital Sapinuwa. Suppiluliuma’s grandson Hattusili III in the mid-13th century BC wrote of the time before Tudhaliya. He said that in those days the Kaska had “made Nenassa their frontier” and that their allies in Azzi-Hayasa had done the same to Samuha.
In the Amarna letters, Amenhotep III wrote to the Arzawan king Tarhunta-Radu that the “country Hattusa” was obliterated, and further asked for Arzawa to send him some of these Kaska people of whom he had heard. The Hittites also enlisted subject Kaska for their armies. When the Kaska were not raiding or serving as mercenaries, they raised pigs and wove linen, leaving scarcely any imprint on the permanent landscape.
Tudhaliya III and Suppiluliuma (c. 1375–1350 BC) set up their court in Samuha and invaded Azzi-Hayasa from there. The Kaska intervened, but Suppiluliuma defeated them after Suppiluliuma had fully pacified the region, Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma were able to move on Hayasa and defeat it too, despite some devastating guerrilla tactics at their rear.
Some twelve tribes of Kaska then united under Piyapili, but Piyapili was no match for Suppiluliuma. Eventually, Tudhaliya and Suppiluliuma returned Hattusa to the Hittites. But the Kaska continued to be a menace both inside and out and a constant military threat. They are said to have fielded as many as 9,000 warriors and 800 chariots.
In the time of ailing Arnuwanda II (around 1323 BC), the Hittites worried that the Kaskas from Ishupitta within the kingdom to Kammama without might take advantage of the plague in Hatti. The veteran commander Hannutti moved to Ishupitta, but he died there. Ishupitta then seceded from Hatti, and Arnuwanda died too.
Arnuwanda’s brother and successor Mursili II recorded in his annals that he defeated this rebellion. Over the ongoing decades, the Kaskans were also active in Durmitta and in Tipiya, by Mount Tarikarimu in the land of Ziharriya, and by Mount Asharpaya on the route to Pala they rebelled and/or performed egregious banditry in each place. At first, Mursili defeated each Kaska uprising piecemeal.
Then the Kaska united for the first time under Pihhuniya of Tipiya, who “ruled like a king” the Hittites recorded. Pihhuniya conquered Istitina and advanced as far as Zazzissa. But Mursili defeated this force and brought Pihhuniya back as a prisoner to Hattusas. Mursili then switched to a defensive strategy, with a chain of border fortresses north to the Devrez. Even so, in the early 13th century, when Mursili’s son Muwatalli II was king in Hatti, the Kaskas sacked Hattusa.
Muwatalli stopped enlisting Kaska as troops he moved his capital to Tarhuntassa to the south and he appointed his brother, the future Hattusili III, as governor over the northern marches. Hattusili defeated the Kaska to the point of recapturing Nerik, and when he took over the kingdom he returned the capital to Hattusa.
The Kaska may have contributed to the fall of the Hittite empire in the Bronze Age collapse, c. 1200 BC. Then they penetrated eastern Anatolia, and continued their thrust southwards, where they encountered the Assyrians.
The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I recorded late in the 12th century BC that the Kaska (who he referred to as “Apishlu”) and their Mushki and Urumu (Urumean) allies were active in what had been the Hatti heartland. Tiglath-Pileser defeated them, and the Kaska then disappear from all historical records.
Repulsed by the Assyrians, a subdivision of the Kaska might have passed north-eastwards to the Caucasus, where they probably blended with the Proto-Colchian or Zan autochthons, forming a polity which was known as the Kolkha to the Urartians and later as the Colchis to the Greeks. Another branch might have established themselves in Cappadocia, which in the 8th century BC became a vassal of Assyria and ruled some Anatolian areas.

Diauehi or Daiaeni (Urartian Diauekhi, Assyrian Diaeni, Greek Taochoi, Armenian Tayk, Georgian Tao) was a tribal union of possibly proto-Armenian, Hurrian or proto-Kartvelian groups, located in northeastern Anatolia, that was formed in the 12th century BC in the post-Hittite period. It is mentioned in the Urartian inscriptions. It is usually (though not always) identified with the Yonjalu inscription of the Assyria king Tiglath-Pileser I’s third year (1118 BC).
Diauehi is a possible locus of Proto-Kartvelian it has been described as an “important tribal formation of possible proto-Georgians” by Ronald Grigor Suny (1994). Although the exact geographic extent of Diauehi is still unclear, many scholars place it in the Pasinler Plain in today’s northeastern Turkey, while others locate it in the Turkish–Georgian marchlands as it follows the Kura River.
Most probably, the core of the Diauehi lands may have extended from the headwaters of the Euphrates into the river valleys of Çoruh to Oltu. The Urartian sources speak of Diauehi’s three key cities – Zua, Utu and Sasilu Zua is frequently identified with Zivin Kale and Ultu is probably modern Oltu, while Sasilu is sometimes linked to the early medieval Georgian toponym Sasire, near Tortomi (present-day Tortum, Turkey). The region roughly corresponded to the previous Hayasa-Azzi territory.
This federation was powerful enough to counter the Assyrian forays, although in 1112 BC its king, Sien, was defeated by Tiglath-Pileser I (who listed the kingdom as the northernmost point of Nairi). He was captured and later released on terms of vassalage. In 845 BC, Shalmaneser III finally subdued Diauehi and downgraded its king, Asia, to a client ruler.
King Asia of Diauehi (850–825 BC) was forced to submit to the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in 845 BC, after the latter had overrun Urartu and made a foray into Diauehi. In the early 8th century, Diauehi became the target of the newly emerged regional power of Urartu.
Both Menua (810–785 BC) and Argishti I (785–763 BC) campaigned against the Diauehi kingdom. Argishti I defeated King Utupursini, annexing his possessions and in exchange of his life, Utupursini was forced to pay a tribute including a variety of metals and livestock. Diauehi was finally destroyed by Colchian incursions by about the 760s BC, the date of the last recorded references to Diauehi.
Koban culture


ഉറവിടങ്ങൾ [ തിരുത്തുക ]

  • Kazhdan, Alexander Petrovich (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, New York, New York and Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, ISBN  978-0-19-504652-6
  • Treadgold, Warren T. (1988), The Byzantine Revival, 780–842, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, ISBN  978-0-8047-1462-4
  • Treadgold, Warren T. (1997), A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, ISBN  978-0-8047-2630-6  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: 
  • Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. Cite has empty unknown parameters: ә= , |month= , and |coauthors= (help) Missing or empty |title= (help) CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) [1]

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