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The Hittites: and their Contemporaries in Asia Minor (Ancient Peoples and Places) [Paperback]

J. G. Macqueen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 April 1996 Ancient Peoples and Places
The Hittites were an Indo-European speaking people who established a kingdom in Anatolia (modern Turkey) almost 4,000 years ago. They rose to become one of the greatest powers of the Ancient Middle Eastern world by conquering Babylon and challenging the power of the Eygptian Pharaoh Rameses II at the battle of Quadesh. They themselves were destroyed in the wake of movements of the enigmatic Sea peoples around 1180 BC. This study investigates the origins of the Hittites, the sources of the metals that were so vital to their success and their relationship with contemporaries in the Aegean world, the Trojans and the Mycenaean Greeks. It includes descriptions of excavations, particularly at the temples and great defensive ramparts of the Hittite capital at Hattusas.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (15 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500278873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500278871
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.1 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Originally published in 1976, 'The Hittites and their Contemporaries in Asia Minor' is a classic text that still stands up well to this day. Although much has been discovered in Hittite archaeology since the book's original publication, this is still the most easily accessible title on these fascinating ancient people outside of expensive academic titles. If you can afford it, It would be worth getting Trevor Bryce's up-to-date work on the Hittite Empire, but if you don't have the money, then this is the best alternative.

J.G Macqueen has given the book a slight update since 1996, and in a brief paragraph at the book's introduction, he does give the reader an overview of the discoveries made between 1976 and 1996. Everything from that year to our own has not been covered. Macqueen traces the history of the Hittites from their first arrival in Anatolia as a possible migratory people, to their subsequent takeover of Hattian culture, and their rise to becoming the dominant people of Asia Minor. Along the way he gives us the archaeological background of Anatolia, from Neolithic settlements at Catal Huyuk, to a discussion on the Hattian people. He then takes us on a short tour of Hittite history, through the reigns of some of its kings such as Hattusilis I, Suppiluliumas I, Mursilis II, Muwatallis etc. He also explains the importance of tin to the Hittite economy, as well as attempting to reconstruct Anatolian geography from the Hittite texts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price, but dated 29 Mar 2009
This book is excellent value, has a lot of photos, but lacks decent maps. Slightly let down the the author not attempting to fill in any historical gaps himself. Gives a good basic history of the Hittites but a lot more has been found about them since this book was published in the 70s.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Isis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Given the brevity of this work, and how long ago it was written, the reader ought to take this as an introduction to the history of the Hittites rather than a comprehensive guide. Macqueen begins by providing the background of the environment in which the Hittites existed and the history of the region in the several thousand years before the appearance of the Hittites. This allows the reader to place the Hittites in context. The book then moves on to discuss the various attempts at identifying the origins of the Hittites, a tangled issue whose best hypothesis suggests an origin around the mouth of the Danube, though whether these people arrived in Anatolia via the Bosporus or the steppes of the Caucasus remains a matter of debate. The work then provides a history of the Hittites via its kings and the major events that spanned the rise and fall of the empire, before exploring different aspects in greater depth. A chapter each is devoted to warfare, society and administration, daily life, religion, and art and literature. The concluding chapter discusses the peoples who occupied Anatolia following the Hittites and whether any of them can be said to be the descendants or successors of the Hittites.

Whilst the book does cover the basics, and thus should be treated as an introduction to the Hittites, the work is very much an academic piece, including discussions of key archaeological debates surrounding the Hittites and plenty of diagrams and factual descriptions of the art, architecture and artefacts uncovered by excavation. The casual reader may therefore find the book a little dry.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Bryce, but solid 1970's work 4 Nov 2007
Macqueen's book is from 1975, and some of his speculation has now been replaced with new data in the past 30 years. Nonetheless, the book has technically solid information sourced from inscriptions. etc..
The Hittites were feared for the mayhem wrought by their ferocious charioteers during the mid 2nd millennium iron age; and their true origin and identity is still sketchy.
They were of Indo-European descent, possibly of Balkan/Thracian origin.
As with the (later) Spartans, they seemed unduly obsessed with military matters & trade dominance and left little by way of art or literature. Their sculptures were prosaic. However they were able to overwhelm the mighty Egyptian Empire itself. Placenames such as Hattusa, Arzawa, Wilusa, Nesa, Karchemish and Kadesh (Syria) the site of a key battle, will be known to students of the period.
If the OUP prices were less exorbitant, readers would no doubt benefit more fully from Bryce's more recent offerings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of information for the serious layman... 16 Oct 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This clasic summary of all that is known about the long-forgotten Hittites of Anatolia was written in 1975 and updated in 1986. The paperback edition includes a page of added prefatory material summarizing--too briefly--finds made and new theories proposed in the last 10 years, including the discovery at last of tin mines in central Anatolia. Despite being behind the times, however, this information-packed 176-page book is an excellent source of solid information. (Aramco World
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but there are better 29 Nov 2004
By Suppiluliuma - Published on Amazon.com
Although it has been updated, this book retains the emphasis and approach of its predecessors. The author is a fine scholar. The strengths of the book lie in its archeological information. But even here there are other sources for non-technical readers that are more helpful, such as the guide to the ruins of Hattusa by Juergen Seeher. The information about history and culture, drawn principally from textual sources (i.e., Hittite clay tablets) are better summarized in the two books by Trevor Bryce: Kingdom of the Hittites, and Life and Society in the Hittite World (both published by Oxford Univ. Press).
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 Sep 2002
By magellan - Published on Amazon.com
My main historical interest is from man's earliest origins down to the formation of the first great city states in the third and second millenium B.C. in Mesopotamia and Old Kingdom Egypt. Since the Hittite empire can be traced back to at least 2000 B.C., they just barely make it into the period I'm interested in. As result, I was mainly interested in the first half of the book, discussing the earliest origins of the Hittites, so I will only comment on that. However, I found it to be a very readable history, as McQueen's writing flows well and doesn't get bogged down in trivial facts. There is a lot of good information here, and it was exactly what I needed to fill a gap in my knowledge of the earliest civilizations. This is the second updated edition, but I'd love to see an even more recent study on the subject, and as a result of reading McQueen's book, I may see if there are anymore out there. Overall, a readable and scholarly book on this important, ancient civilization.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent- Macqueen writes as if he was there 16 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Anyone who remembers Macqueen's superb "Babylon" will not be surprised by his triumph here. Always accessible, always entertaining and full of surprises, Macqueen makes ancient history come alive. In short, an excellent read.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be read 1 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is one that you are not able to stop as soon you start. Very readable with a very nice fluent English. The author is a very good professor (Lecturer?) and knows how to keep your attention. Further, he is able to shows his opinion against the literature even when is not at a good position. The book has very nice maps and archeological site photos that really add nicely to the text. Sometimes you are able to read a book that make you think.Well done!
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