culture. It has been continuously occupied ever since, until today's
modern settlement in the form of a small village. The standing and
distinguishing remains at Alacahöyük, however, such as the "Sphinx
Gate", date from the Hittite period that followed the Hatti, from the fourteenth century BC.
According to Trevor Bryce:
″There is a theory that the occupants of the tombs were not from the native Hattian population of central Anatolia, but were Kurgan immigrants from the region of Maikop in southern Russia, who spoke an Indo-European language and perhaps became rulers of the local Hattian population.″
However, Hittitologist J.G. Macqueen suggested that these tombs, while constructed by an Indo-European people, were not constructed by Anatolian-speakers, such as Hittites:
"[...] there is no sign of any spread of this kurgan culture
further south in Anatolia, so it cannot be linked to the spread of
Hittite, to say nothing of Palaic or Luwian. The language of the rulers
who were buried in the Alaca tombs, although probably Indo-European, was
almost certainly not Proto-Hittite."
Many of the artefacts
discovered at Alacahöyük, including magnificent Hattian gold and bronze
objects found in the Royal Tombs, are housed today in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Among these artefacts are gold and electrum standing cups and other vessels. The most unusual are the Alaca Höyük bronze standards; bulls or stags
on pedestals whose purpose remains the subject of debate. The standards
are cast in copper, many in the form of flat circles, half-circles or
squares that are filled with an openwork network of cross bars, central crosses, and swastikas. Leonard Woolley found that the Royal Tombs "seem to belong to the end of a period, as
marked by a stratum of destruction and the burning of the citadel. The
culture which the tomb objects illustrate does not continue into the
next historical phase, that of Kültepe". Modern assessment
finds that the site continued as a flourishing community to the end of
the Late Bronze Age. There was also a sizable occupation in Phrygian times.
A dam, dating from 1240 BC, was announced to be reopened for use on September 23, 2006. The dam was ordered by King Tudhaliya IV in the name of the goddess Hebat.
According to ancient Hittite tablets, a drought struck Anatolia in 1200
BC, prompting the King to import wheat from Egypt so that his land
would avoid famine. Following this, the king ordered numerous dams to be
built in central Anatolia, all but one of them becoming non-functional
over time. The one in Alacahöyük has survived because the water source
is located inside the dam's reservoir.