Alacahöyük is located 36 km to the northeast of the Hattusa (Boğazköy) in north central Turkey in the Çorum province. It was first excavated by Makridi Bey in 1907, but proper researches started in 1935 by Turkish Historical Association. Early excavations were carried out by H. Z. Koşay and R. O. Arık. Currently Prof. Dr. Aykut Çınaroğlu of Ankara University is working on the site since 1997.
Alacahöyük was an important city in pre-Hittite times, but after the Hittite conquest it remained in the shadow of the nearby capital Hattua. The most important findings of the location are the artifacts from the pre-Hittite royal tombs dating from about 2500 BCE. Most of the standing monuments are from the Hittite period. The town walls with their carved orthostats have inner and outer gateways with ramps for archers. The southern outer monumental gateway was set between two towers and guarded by two great sphinxes. In the doorjambs are two 13 foot hight monoliths which were carved to create 7 foot high sphinxes. Inside this Sphinx Gate was a large Hittite building complex that still requires excavation. The bases of the two towers by the Sphinx Gate are decorated with several orthostats. Most of the reliefs and sphinxes date to 14th century BCE. The sphinxes and orthostats are replaced with replicas and the originals are moved to Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.
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Sphinxes and Reliefs of Southern Gate
Originals of the reliefs and sphinxes are in Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.
Alacahöyük Hittite Dam
It is probably one of over 10 dams that were built by Tudhaliya IV around 1240 BCE as it was written in the Hittite documents. The dam holds about 15,000 cubic meters of water and was restored in 2002. The Alacahöyük village still uses it for irrigation.
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Bora Bilgin, 1999
Tayfun Bilgin, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, Beck, München 1976, ISBN 3406030246.
T. Yıldırım ve T. Zimmerman, "News from the Hatti Heatland," Antiquity Vol 80 No 309, September 2006.