Since Hrozny’s deciphering of the Hittite language, nearly thirty thousand Hittite texts have been translated. About thirty of these texts directly or indirectly refer to the “Ahhiyawa” kingdom and its king. Upon learning of the existence of an Ahhiyawa Kingdom in the Late Bronze Age, deliberations as where and when it existed, its geographical boundaries, its culture, its kings, and whether the Ahhiyawa king was the “Great King” and whether he was equal to the Hittite king began.
The word “Ahhiya” as an early version of “Ahhiyawa” was mentioned in the period of Tudhaliya I / II and Arnuwanda I (late 15th‒early 14th century BC), and most recently in the period of Tudhaliya IV and Suppiluliuma II (late 13th century BC) . From these inscriptions, it was understood that the Ahhiyawa had been in contact with the Hittites for more than two hundred years.
The frst suggestion for the localization of Ahhiyawa was proposed by Forrer in 1924. Forrer evaluated the issue philologically and equated the Ahhiyawa in the Hittite texts with Achaioi, Lazpa with Lesbos, Taruisa with Troy, King Attarissiya with Atreus, and Tawagalawa with Eteokles. He concluded that Mycenae and its surroundings were Ahhiyawa . While many scientists rejected Forrer’s hypothesis , a number have stated that they backed Forrer’s opinion . In the debates that have been going on for nearly a hundred years, the geography discussed has expanded, and in recent publications it has generally been accepted that the Ahhiyawa Kingdom was based in Mycenae . However, as these proposals present some problems, it became necessary to prepare this study and to re–evaluate the “Ahhiyawa Question”.
Previous Hypotheses and Proposals
To date, in line with their specialties, many scientists including Hittitologists, archaeologists, philologists, proto-historians, Near Eastern archaeologists, and classical archaeologists have given their opinions about the “Ahhiyawa Question”. Some of these views are given below.
Forrer[79 , who frst mentioned the Ahhiyawa problem, equated Ahhiyawa with Achaioi (Achaea) (Ahhiyawa=Achaioi) and stated that Ahhiyawa had to have been in Greece. However, Sommer stated that the words “Ahhiyawa” and “Achaea” did not come from the same philological roots. This idea was supported by Muhly . Huxley held that Ahhiyawa, although dominant in Western Anatolia, was a place in Argolis. Güterbock declared: “I see no evidence for the existence of a country Ahhiyawa in Asia Minor. Evidence from the fourteenth–thirteenth centuries points overseas, and I prefer Mainland Greece to any of the islands as the seat of the Great King of Ahhiyawa.” However, he then added that he evaluated Ahhiya and Ahhiyawa separately: “Attarissiyas, the man of Ahhiya in the ffteenth century, is diferent.” Hawkins pointed out that Ahhiyawa was in Mainland Greece, by saying: “Ahhiyawa is located across the sea and is reached via the islands.” Niemeier supported the Ahhiyawa=Achaioi equation and rejected other views. Cline stated that Ahhiyawa was Mycenae and defended his thesis by asking: If Ahhiyawa=Achaea=Mycenae are not equal, why is there no Hittite text about Mycenae, which had a signifcant trade potential in the Mediterranean?” Kelder taking into account the geopolitical position of the city of Mycenae, proposed that Ahhiyawa was based in Mycenae. Weiner stated that Mycenae had a developed culture in the 14th and 13th centuries BC and that some of the structures exhibited Hittite architectural infuence, indicating that the two cultures knew each other and that the city of Mycenae was called “Ahhiyawa” by the Hittites. In their book, Beckman, Byryce and Cline re–evaluated all “Ahhiyawa” inscriptions:
“So, is it possible that Ahhiyawa was similarly a confederation of Mycenaean kingdoms, rather than one single kingdom? Such a suggestion may resolve many of the lingering questions about Ahhiyawa, including the problem of why there was a single “Great King” recognized by the Hittites, when we know that there were multiple Mycenaean kings ruling at the same time. If so, we might perhaps draw a parallel and see Ahhiyawa as a very early version of the Delian League (which itself morphed into the Athenian Empire), with members contributing money, men, and ships to a common cause such as overseas trade or warfare.”
They declared that Forrer was right and that Ahhiyawa belonged to the Bronze Age Mycenaean world. This idea was also supported by Kelder. Hope– Simpson re–evaluated the Ahhiyawa localization proposals and concluded that the Ahhiyawa=Mycenae equation was the most suitable possibility.
Rhodes/Lower Interface/Southwestern Anatolia
Hrozny was the frst to state that Ahhiyawa might have been in Rhodes. Hrozny said that Ahhiyawa corresponded to the city of Achaeapolis in Rhodes and Miletos in Millawanda. Sommer then rejected Forrer’s views and stated that Ahhiyawa must have been on the southwest coast of Anatolia. Page argued that Ahhiyawa had been a powerful naval state outside the Hittite domain and therefore, Hrozny’s suggestion of Rhodes was suitable for Ahhiyawa. Turkish archaeologists and historians, including Akurgal, Boysal and Çapar have also associated Ahhiyawa with the city of Achaeapolis in Rhodos.
Gates stated: “Homer has conditioned us to think of the Mycenaean world as divided into small local polities. But the Hittites speak of a King of Ahhiyawa. The Mycenaean pottery of the East Aegean was long thought to be imported, yet now analyses of the clay, especially from Miletus and Rhodes, show that much was locally made. Ahhiyawa is listed together with the city of Tarhuntassa and the land of Mira, places attested in Anatolia. It has a seacoast. In sum, the location is not defnite, but it would seem to be in Anatolia, on the seacoast.”
Mountjoy expressed his opinion such: “I suggest that Ahhiyawa, if it was not located on the Greek Mainland, was a maritime kingdom stretching from Miletos down to Rhodes including coastal Anatolia and the ofshore islands and that the Ahhiyawans were the local inhabitants who had undergone Mycenaean acculturation to varying degree.”
Troas/South Marmara Region
MacQueen suggested that the Kingdom of Ahhiyawa was in the Troas (Troad) region. MacQueen stated that Millawanda was the land of Ahhiyawa and that it had an impact on the territories of the Seha River Land, the Lukka (Lycia) Lands, Masa and Karkisa (Karkiya). He also stated that between 1380 and 1190 BC Ahhiyawa was mentioned in the Hittite texts, and that these dates were identifed with Troy VI, VIIa, and VIIb1. MacQueen stressed that a large number of Cypriot ceramics were found in Troy, and therefore, Troy merchants had traded with Cyprus and perhaps had extended their sea trade to the Eastern Mediterranean. Melaart claimed that Ahhiyawa was in the Troas region. Melaart reasoned that a great empire like that of the Hittites needed bronze for the manufacture of weapons and that Ahhiyawa controlled the tin route from Bohemia to North Anatolia. The Hittites had to get along with the king of Ahhiyawa in order to maintain a secure tin trade and thus, it emerged that the king of Ahhiyawa was placed on the list of kings that were equivalent to their (the Hittite) king. Muhly stated that Troy VI was Ahhiyawa, and that the kingdom was extended to include some Aegean islands. Bryce stated that in the Hittite texts, the Taruisa and Wilusiya settlements were distinct from one another and were located in the territory of Ahhiyawa. If Wilusa=Ilios and Taruisa=Troy, then Troy VI, VIIa, and VIIb1 would have been Ahhiyawa. However, in his later works he changed his mind and stated that Ahhiyawa had been in Mycenae.
Based on what Herodotus (VII.91) said about the Cilicians, Kretschmer stated that Ahhiyawa must have been in Cilicia.
Mylonas proposed two diferent Ahhiyawa regions, one in Pamphylia and the other in Greece.
Gurney stated that the Minoans were an important seafaring power, and that Ahhiyawa, which is often associated with the sea, might have been in Crete.
Ahhiyawa Texts and Discussions
One of the earliest and most important documents on the localization of Ahhiyawa is the text known as the Indictment of Madduwatta. This text is dated to the period of Arnuwanda I (late 15th‒early 14th century BC) and describes how Tudhaliya had rescued Madduwatta from an attack by Attarissiya of Ahhiya and had appointed him to rule the land of Mount Zippasla. The Zippasla Mountain mentioned here was a region within Western Anatolia, near the Hittite border, around Afyon/Sandıklı or in Sakarya (fg. 1). The text shows that Attarissiya (King of Ahhiyawa) invaded Madduwatta with chariots and occupied his land. As a result of the information provided by this text, the following questions arise and need to be answered:
1. If the Ahhiyawa were Achaeans, were the Achaeans capable of attacking a city in Anatolia with chariots in 1400 BC? Even if they had the power to attack, what were their interests in doing so?
2. The Achaeans were a seafaring civilization. Why should the Achaeans set out on such a long, dangerous and difcult expedition to take “arid lands” in Anatolia (later in the text it is stated that this was an arid region).
This attack seems an unnecessary and impossible one given the status, size and form of governance of the Achaean city–states at that time. Güterbock localized Ahhiyawa in Greece, while in the same publication he stated, “Attarissiya, the man of the Ahhiya in the ffteenth century, is diferent.” He declared that, according to the circumstances of that period, it would have been impossible for a Mycenaean– based Ahhiyawa to come to Anatolia from Mycenae with 100 chariots and more than a thousand soldiers.
The text continues: “After the defeat of Attarissiya, the man of the Ahhiya, with the support of the Hittites, Attarissiya then turned [away(?)] from Madduwatta, and he went of to his own land. And they installed Madduwatta in his place once more”. Here, when Attarissiya is driven back to his own country, words like ship, sea, and island do not appear. However, in the following years, when talking about Ahhiyawa, the words ship, sea, and island have been mentioned often. Moreover, it is not feasible chronologically for Forrer to equate Attarissiya with Atreus. Atreus, the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus, lived in the 13th century BC, while Attarissiya lived in the late 15th‒early 14th century BC.
According to the Text of Madduwatta, Attarissiya and Madduwatta acted together, established sovereignty in Western and Southwestern Anatolia and organized campaigns against Alashiya/Cyprus. By interpreting the text, this is the case used by researchers who argued that Ahhiyawa was in Mycenae. “The Mycenaean warlord called Attarissiya, a ruler of Ahhiya, extended his military operations in western Anatolia to piratical raids of the southern Anatolian coast. Opportunistically, he appears to have coordinated his operations against the cities of Alasiya with his former enemy Madduwatta. Both beneftted from the partnership”.
Here, it would be appropriate to ask the following question: Could a warlord from Mycenae organize the people of Western Anatolia and have a say in all of Western Anatolia and Cyprus when these people were not from their own race and did not speak their language but rather spoke the Luwian language?
Mycenaean ceramics are generally distributed in the coastal cities of Western Anatolia and the Mediterranean. It is not possible to talk about a Mycenaean domain/Mycenaean cultural zone/Mycenaean military power in the inland regions. In addition, it was proven in a recent publication that from the period of LHII, Troy had carried out mutual trade relations with Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Canaanite region and Egypt. In the same publication, it is stated that goods from Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean were more numerous in Troy than in other Western Anatolian cities and that this trade network had been established through Southwest Anatolia, Rhodes and Samos. If we accept Northwest Anatolia as the location of Ahhiyawa, the route of this trade network would seem to have been in accord with the campaigns of Attarissiya and Madduwatta extending to Cyprus.
The Troas region was in control of the Northwest Anatolia–Thrace–Dardanelles trade network with the Aegean–Marmara–Black Sea regions. It would have been seen as impossible for such a strategic region to be controlled by the small city of Troy/Hisarlık in a period of powerful kingdoms such as the Hittites, Arzava, the Seha River Land, Mira and the Achaeans. This suggests that the Troas region may have been controlled by a more powerful state. This state was probably the Ahhiyawa state, as pointed out by Götze, MacQueen, Melaart and Ünal.
In addition, a state that frequently attacked around Mount Zippasla had to have been a border neighbor in the same area, possibly west of Mount Zippasla.
One of the important records dealing with the localization of Ahhiyawa is a document dated to the late 15th century BC. This text was sent by the king/ lord of the Ahhiyawa to the Hittite king, and in it he states that some islands in the hands of the Hittites belong to him. The important question is: Were these islands in the Aegean Sea or in the Sea of Marmara? If they were Aegean islands, did the Hittites expand in the mid–15th century BC to claim them? In addition, if Ahhiyawa=Achaea, which of their islands did the Achaeans claim were under the control of the Hittites? The Achaeans were governed as independent city states. Which Achaean state claimed to own these islands? It seems difcult to answer these questions at this time. In addition, then, the Aegean islands were independent city states like those of Mainland Greece. If Mountjoy’s hypothesis is correct a “Lower Interface” unit may have been formed under a Rhodes–based Ahhiyawa kingdom. At this time, the Achaeans did not appear to be a political, cultural or political force that could claim rights to the Aegean islands. If these islands were in the Sea of Marmara, did the Achaeans expand to capture the islands of the Sea of Marmara at that time? At that time, the Achaeans had no right to claim the islands in the Marmara Sea. If Ahhiyawa had been a kingdom including Troas and a part of the southern Marmara, it would appear that the Marmara and Avşa islands and the Kapıdağ peninsula were located on the border between Ahhiyawa and the Hittites, where both countries could claim rights (fg. 1). If Ahhiyawa=Achaea, then no Aegean or Marmara island was at that time in a position to cause confict between the Achaeans and the Hittites. Moreover, if, as Ünal states the Hittite word “gursawar” does not mean “island” but means “earth/ land”, then the Hittites and the Achaeans would not be confronting each other under any circumstances. These lands could have been in the southern Marmara or the inland parts of the Aegean Region.
In AhT 20 it is mentioned that the gods of Ahhiyawa and Lazpa were brought to Hattusha in order to cure the disease aficting Mursili II. Here, Lazpa was proven both philologically and archaeologically to be the island of Lesbos (fg. 1). In order to treat the king, the Hittite gods frst had to be be called, and then the gods of the neighboring countries: “The gods of Hattusha, the gods of Ahhiyawa and Lazpa…” were called. It is not certain whether the Achaean pantheon was fully established at this time (end of the 14th century BC). Furthermore, it is doubtful that the reputation of the Achaean gods had reached miles away to the Hittite capital of Hattusha. Even if the Achaean pantheon had been fully established, it is doubtful that the Hittite priests would have known the capabilities of the Achaean/Mycenaean gods. As a result, this text shows that the Hittites knew about the Ahhiyawa religion and culture, and that Ahhiyawa likely could have been as close as Lazpa. In addition, Lazpa and Ahhiyawa were both mentioned within the same time frame in several texts. Thus, it can be concluded that both regions were close to each other.
One of the most important texts for the localization of Ahhiyawa is the Ten– year Annals of Mursili II, Years 3–4. In this text, Arzava and Millawanda, with the support of the king of Ahhiyawa, started a rebellion against the Hittites. Thereupon, Mursili II sent two generals to Western Anatolia and captured Millawanda. Mursili II then wrote a letter to Uhhaziti, the king of Arzava, and asked for the return of some refugees whom he had harbored. Uhhaziti humiliated Mursili II by calling him “child” and not giving over the refugees. Mursili II then embarked on the Arzava campaign. Uhhaziti had sustained a knee injury before the war started. Acting as commander in his place, his son Piyamakurunta fought Mursili II near the Astarpa River. Mursili II won the war and seized the capital Apasa. Piyamakurunta escaped with his family to the islands of Ahhiyawa and stayed there. In the following chapters, Mursili II wrote: “… When spring arrived, because Uhhaziti was still ill, he remained in the midst of the sea. His sons were with him, and Uhhaziti died in the midst of the sea. Then his sons parted company: one remained right there in the midst of the sea, while the other, Tapalazunawali, came out from the sea…”. This passage is cited by some researchers as the most important evidence that Ahhiyawa had been located in Mainland Greece. However, no evidence has been found that Uhhaziti and his sons went to Mainland Greece or to Mycenae. From this text, it is understood that they only went from Apasa to the islands, stayed there and then came back again. There is no information about the proximity of these islands to Anatolia or whether they were to the north or to the south. Moreover, Uhhaziti died in the midst of the sea. Both the princes’ easy travel to and from the island and the arrival of the news of Uhhaziti’s death to Mursili II suggest that the islands were close to Western Anatolia. It is quite apparent that Uhhaziti and his children were staying on an island in the middle of the sea, while there is no evidence that they went to Mainland Greece.
As we know from the Text of Madduwatta above, Attarissiya, the man of the Ahhiya, together with Madduwatta, seized some Aegean islands close to Anatolia and established a commercial and political network that extended to Cyprus. The available information suggests that the island to which Uhhaziti and his family fed could have been an island located near or around Izmir (probably Samos, Ikaria or Chios) connected to Ahhiyawa. If these islands had belonged to Ahhiyawa since the time of Attarissiya, it would have been easy for the king of Ahhiyawa to incite Millawanda, which was just across from the islands, against the Hittites.
The Tawagalawa Letter, probably dated to the period of Hattusili III (mid–13th century BC), provides important information about Ahhiyawa. In this letter written to the king of Ahhiyawa, the Hittite king complained about a rebel named Piyamaradu. In this very long letter, the issues that need to be addressed are:
1. At that time, Millawanda belonged to Ahhiyawa, where the king’s brother Tawagalawa was living, while the governor was Atpa, son–in–law of Piyamaradu.
2. When the Hittite king came to Millawanda to retrieve the rebel Piyamaradu, he fed with a ship to the islands of Ahhiyawa.
3. The 7,000 civilian refugees abducted from Lukka by Piyamaradu were settled in Ahhiyawa. Among these 7,000 people were some voluntarily feeing the Hittites.
4. Piyamaradu came from Ahhiyawa territory to the lands of Masa and Karkisa.
5. In this letter, the Hittite king addresses the Ahhiyawa king as “Great King, My Brother, My Peer,”
As we mentioned above, at that time, Ahhiyawa controlled Millawanda and some of the Aegean islands near Western Anatolia. That Piyamaradu boarded a ship with his family and escaped to Ahhiyawa cannot be regarded as evidence that Ahhiyawa was in Mainland Greece/Mycenae. It is more likely that he had taken refuge on one of the islands near Millawanda that was under the control of Ahhiyawa.
If Ahhiwaya had been in Mainland Greece, moving 7,000 refugees from Western Anatolia to Mycenae by ship would have been a huge undertaking. In the Hittite texts it is stated that when a person or a group went to a place, they had to go by ship. But here in the text it is reported that: “Many civilian captives have slipped across to your(!) [territory], and you, my brother, have [taken(?)] 7000 civilian captives from me”. The narrative in the text suggests that the captured prisoners may have been smuggled into the territory of a bordering state. It is also unlikely that a person from Mycenae (Piyamaradu), speaking a language they did not know, and believing in a diferent religion, would enter Anatolia and convince 7,000 people to be taken to a country far over the sea. In my opinion, Ahhiyawa may have been a place whose culture, country, language and land were known to the refugees (7,000 people). Moreover, why these people would have been taken to Mycenae is also a diferent matter for discussion. Bryce and Gür state that these people were taken to work in the construction of the palaces of Mycenae. This many (7,000) people) would have been a huge number for any Achaean city–state at that time. Furthermore, organizing the collection and transportation of these people from inside of Anatolia would have been a problem in itself. If the goal was to fnd workers to build palaces, this could have been done more easily in Mainland Greece. If it is assumed that Ahhiyawa was in the South Marmara, the purpose of bringing these people to Ahhiyawa could be understood. The purpose might have been for them to work in the fertile agricultural areas in the South Marmara. Moreover, these people were not likely to have been slaves or captives, but were more likely to have gone to Ahhiyawa voluntarily to work.
Piyamaradu passed through Ahhiyawa on the way to the countries of Karkisa and Masa. Here is one of the most important pieces of information for the localization of Ahhiyawa. It must have bordered the Karkisa and Masa territories. The same text also mentions Wilusa along with these three countries. Ahhiyawa, Karkisa, Masa and Wilusa were probably in the same region, and this region was probably Northwestern Anatolia.
The fact that the Hittite king addressed the king of Ahhiyawa as “Great King, My Brother” does not show that Ahhiyawa was as big a country as the Hittite Empire. This was an international diplomatic form used to show respect. Kelder’s interpretation is not correct in my opinion. He stated that “Great King” was “a title that was only bestowed upon the most powerful rulers of the ancient world, such as the Kings of Egypt, Assyria, and Hatti itself.” At various times in the Hittite texts, the king of Mira, the king of Kizzuwatna/Cilicia and the king of Tarhuntassa were addressed as “Great King”. These states were not at the level of a great empire and their kings were not equal to the Hittite king. Therefore, it may not be correct to refer to Ahhiyawa as a great empire with vast lands. In addition, the idea that Ahhiyawa was in Mainland Greece raises some questions: To the king of which city was the Hittite king referring when he used the title “Great King”? To the king of Mycenae, Tyrins, Argos, Orchamenos, Thebes, Sparta or Pylos? If there had been an Ahhiyawa Kingdom based in Mycenae, why have no Hittite tablets, writings, or works been found in Mycenae, which has been meticulously excavated for over a century?
A letter (the Milawata Letter) to Tarkasnawa, king of Mira dated to the Tudhaliya IV period (late–13th century BC) gives information about the boundaries of the kingdom of Hittite. From the Milawata Letter, it is understood that Milawata (Millawanda) was under Hittite rule. Based on this, researchers say that Millawanda was no longer an Ahhiyawa territory and that they had lost land in Western Anatolia. In later texts it was stated that the Ahhiyawa king had been removed from the list of “Great Kings”.
One of the most important and widely discussed Ahhiyawa texts is the treaty numbered CHT 105. This treaty was made in the late 13th century BC between the Hittite king Tudhaliya IV and the king of Amurru, Shaushgamuwa, who was also a brother–in–law of Tudhaliya IV. In the most important section of the text, Tudhalia IV, King of the Hittites, says:
“… and the Kings who are my equals in rank are the King of Egypt, the King of Babylonia, the King of Assyria, and the King of Ahhiyawa. If the King of Egypt is the friend of My Majesty, he shall be your friend. But if he is the enemy of My Majesty, he shall be your enemy. And if the King of Babylonia is the friend of My Majesty, he shall be your friend. But if he is the enemy of My Majesty, he shall be your enemy. Since the King of Assyria is the enemy of My Majesty, he shall likewise be your enemy. Your merchants shall not go to Assyria, and you shall not allow his merchants into your land. He shall not pass through your land. But if he should come into your land, seize him and send him of to My Majesty…”
The “King of Ahhiyawa” here was later erased from the tablet. This political situation was directly related to the Near Eastern countries. The main subject of the text of this treaty was the dispute between the king of Assyria and the king of the Hittites. The Hittite king appears to have been organizing moves against Assyria. Therefore, this agreement had no direct relationship with Ahhiyawa, which we know to have been in the West. In the previous period, in the Tawagalawa Letter, the king of Ahhiyawa was referred to as the “Great King”, wherein the name is removed here. This was interpreted by the researchers who equated Ahhiyawa with Achaea to mean that Ahhiyawa had lost its power. The reason for this was that Millawanda had passed from Ahhiyawa to Hittite rule. Here, it would be appropriate to ask the following question: If the Ahhiyawa Kingdom had been Achaeans, with hundreds of cities in Greece, the Aegean Islands and Crete, have been expelled from the great kingdoms when it had only lost Millawanda? Was being or not being a Great King dependent on having or not having a single city? Moreover, this city was not even a capital. Many kingdoms in the Middle East have lost or won dozens of cities over their centuries–old history. Nevertheless, in terms of international relations, their rulers have still been referred to as Great Kings. Therefore, it may not be correct here to interpret the removal of Ahhiyawa’s name as resulting from its loss of Millawanda or the loss of its power. In this text, which was a regional treaty, the deletion of the name of Ahhiyawa can be interpreted to mean that the name of Ahhiyawa was not necessary since it was not part of that region.
Later in the text it was wiritten: “You shall not allow(?)] any ship [of] Ahhiyawa to go to him (that is, the King of Assyria) [ … ] When he dispatches(?) [ … ] the deity of your land [ … ] the palace…”. This is a commercial embargo treaty made directly against the Assyrian Kingdom. Assyria had to pass through the territory of Amurru in order to reach the Mediterranean market (fg. 1). Therefore, the Hittite king was warning the king of Amurru. However, even if Assyrian merchants were prevented from passing through the territory of Amurru, other traders going there would be able to trade with Assyria. Therefore, in the following sections of the text, Ahhiyawa merchants were asked not to pass through their territory. This situation was both the cause of constant turmoil for Ahhiyawa in Western Anatolia and an embargo on Assyria. The tin originating in Afghanistan, which was used in the production of bronze, was distributed to the ports of Amurru via Assyria and then to the entire Mediterranean world. This embargo would not only have prevented Assyrian trade, but would also have prevented Ahhiyawa, as a constant threat to the Hittites in Western Anatolia, from producing bronze weapons. First of all, the embargo here must have been an embargo on the Kingdom of Assyria, not on Ahhiyawa. In my opinion, the Ahhiyawa Kingdom, which included Troy, engaged in mutual trade with Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. At the same time, with this treaty, it was requested to block trade. When we look at Mycenaean trade in the Eastern Mediterranean (ceramics, fgurines), the trade is seen to have continued during the LHI–LHIII periods.
Some researchers have concluded from this text that Ahhiyawa was a Thalassocratic Kingdom. At that time, it was thought that only Crete or the Achaeans would have had a strong naval dominance, i.e., the Ahhiyawa=Achaea or Ahhiyawa=Crete equations. On this tablet, however, after the sentence that was defaced, following “any ship [of] Ahhiyawa to go to him (that is, the King of Assyria),” about ten lines are unreadable. In these lines, it is likely that other kingdoms are forbidden to pass through the territories of Assyria and Ahhiyawa. However, there is no evidence to ascertain or prove this.
Another important tablet for the localization of Ahhiyawa is the tablet numbered CHT 214.12.A, probably dated to the period of Mursili II or Muwatalli II, which mentions a queen exiled to Ahhiyawa: “…and while my father [was] (still) alive, [so– and–so… ], and because (s)he [became hostile] to my mother, [ … ] he dispatched him/her to the Land of Ahhiyawa, beside [the sea]”. As can be clearly understood here, Ahhiyawa is referred to as having a seacoast. If Ahhiyawa had been in Mainland Greece, the term across or beyond the sea would have had to be used.
In the tablets numbered CHT 214.12.B and CHT 214.12F the King of Ahhiyawa is mentioned together with the Western Anatolian “King of the Land of Mira.” The fact that Mira and Ahhiyawa are in the same passage in these two tablets, which are broken in large parts, may prove that Ahhiyawa was located near Mira (Western Anatolia).
Another important piece of information is found in the tablet numbered CHT 214.15. This tablet, known as the Kingdoms in the Boundary List, describes the Southwestern and Western Anatolian neighbors bordering the Hittites: “(§1’) [ … ] border [ … ] (§2’) [ … ] border which [ … ] (§3’) [ … ] the king(?). The border which [ … ] (§4’) [ … the land] of Tarhuntassa [ … ] (§5’) [ … the land] of Mira [ … ] (§6’) [ … ] the land of Ahhiyawa [ … ] (§7’) [ … ] the land of [ … ] (§8’) [ … ] the land [of ]”.
The “Tarhuntassa” referred here covers the regions stretching from Southwestern Anatolia to Cilicia (fg. 1). To the best of our current knowledge, the missing sections on the tablets were likely to include the Lands of Lukka (Lycia), Arzava, and the Seha River. Since all of these countries were located in Western Anatolia, it is likely that Ahhiyawa would have been located in Northwesern Anatolia, north of the Seha Riwer Land. It does not make sense that an Ahhiyawa/Achaean Kingdom in Greece would have been included in this list.
A bilingual inscription (Inscription of Warika) found in Adana/Çineköy in 1997 gives important information about the localization of Ahhiyawa. According to this inscription, the country of Hiyawa (Ahhiyawa?) was located in the Kizzuwatna/ Cilicia/Adana region. However, this inscription is dated to the second half of the 8th century BC. This inscription may indicate that Ahhiyawa had moved here from Western Anatolia. Oreshko states that in the ARSUZ I–II and Çineköy inscriptions Hiwaya=Ahhiyawa is in the Cilicia region, while the Karatepe inscription indicates that it is referred to as “Adanawa”, and he interprets Adanawa as a city and Hiyawa as a people/region. He then emphasizes the Ahhiyawa=Achaea equation. However, Hawkins objected to these translations and equations and stated that Hiya was not equal to Dana. In the inscription of Arsuz II, Adana and Hiyawa are mentioned as regions/cities/territories. The Warika, Arsuz I–II, Çineköy, and Karatepe inscriptions may indicate that the name Ahhiyawa was given to the Cilicia region during the Iron Age. Bryce re–evaluated these inscriptions and stated: “Hiyawa is an aphaeresised form of Ahhiyawa, and Ahhiyawa is the Hittite name for the Mycenaean World.” However, the interpretation of the inscriptions and the Adanawa=Quwa=Que=Hiyawa=Ahhiyawa=Achaea equations are still controversial.
At the end of the Bronze Age, a migration of the Sea Peoples took place from Sicily, Sardinia, Greece and Western Anatolia to Egypt. The Ahhiyawa were probably among these tribes. When the Sea Peoples were defeated in Egypt in 1177 BC, the tribes in this wave of migration were spread all over the Mediterranean domain. After this defeat, the people of Ahhiyawa may have settled in Cilicia and its surrounding areas and maintained their names and states there. However, as Ünal mentions Hiyawa and Ahhiyawa may only be similar names. If so, the Kingdom of Ahhiyawa which dominated Northwestern Anatolia and some Aegean islands, like many kingdoms in Anatolia and the Middle East, must have been erased from the stage of history after the Bronze Age.
In the present study, the main Ahhiyawa texts were examined. In these texts, Ahhiyawa was seen as a kingdom bordering the Hittites that often caused turmoil in Western Anatolia, sometimes getting along with the Hittite kings and sometimes hostile to them. Güterbock stated, “I see no evidence for the existence of a country Ahhiyawa in Asia Minor.” On the contrary, as discussed above, there is strong evidence that Ahhiyawa was a state in Anatolia.
Kelder conducted an analysis of Ahhiyawa’s military power and stated that none of the Mycenaean city–states had such power. Therefore, he said that Ahhiyawa should be termed a force outside of Greece.
Later, however, he pointed out the equation Mycenae=Ahhiyawa: To conclude: whilst none of the scenarios that have been discussed above can, at this point, be conclusively rejected or accepted, the growing body of circumstantial evidence for a unifed Mycenaean state now seems overwhelming.
Beckman, Bryce, and Cline also supported the Mycenae=Ahhiyawa equation: “If the Mycenaeans are not the Ahhiyawans, then they are never mentioned by the Hittites. This, though, seems unlikely, for Ahhiyawa must, essentially by default, be a reference to the Mycenaeans. Otherwise, we would have, on the one hand, an important Late Bronze Age culture not mentioned elsewhere in the Hittite texts (the Mycenaeans) and, on the other hand, an important textually attested Late Bronze Age “state” without archaeological remains (Ahhiyawa).
Likewise, Yakar emphasized the Ahhiyawa=Achaea equation by asking why the Hittites never spoke of the Achaeans if Ahhiyawa and Achaea were not the same. All the kingdoms and vassals (kingdoms under the Hittites) mentioned in the Hittite texts were bordering neighbors and most of the correspondence was related to problems on the borders. Between the Mycenaeans and the Hittites, there were vassals and kingdoms in Western Anatolia such as Lukka, Arzawa, Mira, the Seha River Land, Karkisa, Masa and Wilusa. It may not have been necessary for the Hittite kingdom, in the center of Anatolia, to make treaties with or to write anything about the many small kingdoms in Western Anatolia and the Achaeans beyond the Aegean Sea. If Ahhiyawa=Achaea, the Hittites surely would have mentioned an Achaean city. However, to date, no Achaean city has ever been mentioned in Hittite documents. In addition, the Achaeans / Myceneans were generally engaged in maritime trade and their relations were largely with seaside cities. The Achaeans made no efort to establish a commercial or political relationship with a terrestrial region or the Kingdom of the Hittites. As a matter of fact, in the entire Mycenaean world, only a dozen Hittite works have been found. Cline stated that, “… possible Hittite objects constitute only one percent of all of the Orientalia imported from Egypt and the Near East during these centuries…” these fgures may indicate that there was no intense commercial or political relationship with the Hittites within the Mycenaean sphere and therefore, there was no need to mention them in the Hittite texts. The fact that Herodotus and Homer, who commented on everything down to the fnest detail in the Classical Antiquity Period, did not mention the Hittites does not demonstrate that there were no Hittites. The fact that the Hittites did not mention the Mycenaeans does not mean that they had disappeared.
Furthermore, to date, the word Ahhiyawa has not been discovered in any Achaean inscription, except for one found in Knossos. If the Achaeans were the Ahhiyawa, if the king of Achaea was equal to the great Hittite king, and if correspondence was carried out, why then in the Achaean inscriptions is the word Ahhiyawa not mentioned with their own names and why is the Hittite Kingdom not mentioned?
The fndings from these texts and discussions about the Ahhiyawa can be listed chronologically as follows:
1. In the second half of the 15th century BC, there was a dispute between the Ahhiyawa and the Hittites over the ownership of some islands (lands). This time span does not encompass the dates when the Achaean cities confronted the Hittites. Therefore, Ahhiyawa must have been located in Anatolia, near the sea and close to the Hittites.
2. Attarissiya’s invasion of Anatolia with 100 chariots and foot soldiers in the late 15th century BC may indicate that Attarissiya and the Ahhiyawa were of Western Anatolian origin. Again, during this period it would have been impossible for the Achaeans to carry out campaigns against the Hittites using chariots. Moreover, to date, no Achaean commercial or political activities have been identifed in Anatolia.
3. Together with Madduwatta, Attarissiya’s incursion on some Aegean Islands and Cyprus shows that the Ahhiyawa had taken over islands near Anatolia and possibly Millawanda.
4. The invocation of the gods of Lazpa (Lesbos) and Ahhiyawa in Hattusha in order to cure Mursili II of his disease may indicate that that they were neighbors and that the gods of this region were known to the Hittites. The prospect of the Achaean gods being known during the period of Mursili II is problematic.
5. During the Arzava campaign of Mursili II, Uhhaziti fed to the islands of Ahhiyawa in the middle of the sea and died there. There is no record indicating that Uhhaziti was going to Mainland Greece.
6. The 7000 people Piyamaradu collected from the lands of Lukka and the Hittites had passed into Ahhiyawa lands. Sea–ship–island words were not mentioned in this migration. Moreover, it is reckoned that transporting such a large group to Mainland Greece by ship would have been very difcult. Thus, Ahhiyawa is likely to have been a kingdom sharing terrestrial boundaries with Lukka and the Hittite lands.
7. The lands of Piyamaradu, Masa and Karkisa were reached by passing through Ahhiyawa. This shows that these three countries were bordering.
8. In the Text of Tawagalawa, the Hittite king referred to the king of Ahhiyawa as “Great King”. At that time, the word “Great King” was used international respect. Therefore, it may be wrong to concider Ahhiyawa as a great kingdom.
9. In the period of Tudhaliya IV, when the neighbors on the western border were considered, Ahhiyawa was counted along with the countries we know to have been in Western Anatolia. The information in this text can be interpreted to mean that Ahhiyawa was in Western Anatolia, north of the Seha River Land.
10. During the Tudhaliya IV period, Ahhiyawa merchants were forbidden to enter Assyria. Abundant Cypriot ceramics were found during the Troy excavations. Ceramics of Trojan origin were also found in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. This shows that Troy was trading with the Eastern Mediterranean. This embargo prevented the commercial activities of both Assyria, which was hostile to the Hittites, and Ahhiyawa, which constantly caused unrest in Western Anatolia. Moreover, there are no records indicating that, prior to this embargo, the Achaeans engaged in extensive trade with Assyria, except for a few Mycenaen ceramics.
11. The Cilicia region is referred to as “Hiyawa” in the Arsuz I–II, Çineköy and Karatepe inscriptions dated to the 10‒9th century BC. If this is not a similarity in names, most likely the Ahhiyawa people who set out on campaign to Egypt with the Sea Peoples’ migration, after Egypt defeated them, scattered to the north with many other tribes, and the inhabitants of Ahhiyawa settled in the Cilicia region and kept the name of their kingdom alive there.
To summarize, in the 15th century BC Ahhiyawa was probably located in Northwestern Anatolia. Under the leadership of Attarissiya, expeditions were organized into Anatolia as he tried to expand his territory. From the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 14th century BC, under the leadership of Attarissiya, Ahhiyawa captured some Aegean islands and possibly Millawanda. The Ahhiyawa were probably among the tribes that went to Egypt together with the Sea Peoples, after defeated to Egypt, probably they must have settled in Cilicia. In my opinion, the historical, philological and archaeological evidence that Ahhiyawa was located in Mainland Greece is insufcient. The tablets and the data obtained to date indicate that Ahhiyawa was a kingdom established in Western Anatolia.
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