First the real.....then the alternative! Read on!

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Hittite Fortifications c.1650 - 700 BC
Author: Konstantin S Nossov
Paperback - 64 pages
Publisher: Osprey
Series: Fortress 73
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 978-1-84603-207-3

Introduction

Following on from my recent review of the Stronghold of the Border Reivers, Vinnie has been kind enough to allow me to review yet another Osprey publication. This time it is a book about Hittite fortifications.

Who were the Hittites?

The Hittites were an Indo-European tribe who started to migrate and settle in Central Anatolia around the 3rd millennium BC.

Where did the Hittites live?

The Hittites settled in Anatolia, which is where we know modern-day Turkey to be. Some of their success is attributed to the fortifications they built, which were often based upon, within or around geographical features use to their advantage, topped by individual sun-dried mud brickwork. When the Hittites settled in Central Anatolia they assimilated themselves into an already well-constructed region of small, fortified city-states. There was some conflict with the pre-existing population, the Hattians, but both cultures were absorbed into the Hittite form, Hattian influence persisting often in the religious ceremonies and languages. Once settled in Central Anatolia, the Hittites became a cohesive force to behold taking on even the Egyptians; no small task. Eventually the Hittites became a Bronze-age superpower, creating a mighty empire that lasted a thousand years - an empire which spanned the Turkish isthmus between southern Europe and the Orient, which is geo-politically pertinent.

At the end of the book is a chapter about visiting the sites, which is quite appetite whetting, especially when you see all the super pictures of the sites, that seem so much more open and accessible than similar ones in Western Europe.

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The art within the book

Yet again, the great illustrations in this Osprey book can be easily defined into five different groups: (mostly) the author’s superb photographs, Brian Delf’s artistic illustrations, tabulated historical facts, graphic designs of the strongholds, and a couple of simple annotated maps. A number of the photographic references are of large ramparts of archaeological sites that gives one an idea of the large scale of these well-built citadels.

Other relevant texts

If you have a particular interest in the Hittites, Osprey have published other factual books about them and their timeframe, the most relevant text being ‘The Hittite Warrior’ from the Osprey Warrior series, ISBN 978-1-84603-081-9. I suspect one of the forum contributors has already reviewed this book, so having been inspired by this reference text I think I will go out & buy that one to complete the set and gain more information.

Conclusion

This book actually contains plenty of information and useful facts about the Hittites and their fortifications with many references to Hittite culture and several excellent pictures of rock carvings and stone relief's/carvings with background factual info to support them.

With particular reference to the fortifications, there is background information about how the structures were built, where, when and why. As mentioned, the Hittites often used geographical points as bases for their fortifications and ‘signature’ stone work for the bottom few courses of the building, then building the upper parts with baked mud bricks, which, sadly, have been washed away with time, creating an archaeological conundrum, but there are plenty of artists impressions within the book to give you a good idea of what the fortifications looked like in their prime.

Not being an ancient history buff, it is difficult to recommend this book to a group of armour modellers, but looking through the book one can see the depth of research and energy that has been put in to presenting the facts. It is with ease, therefore, that I can recommend this book to anyone who would have an interest in the Hittite culture and history.

Thanks to Osprey for the review sample

Contents

At 64 pages this is Osprey’s standard ‘Fortress’ paperback fare.

The book has chapters covering the following topics: · Introduction
· Chronology
· Methods of Construction
· Anatomy of Hittite Fortresses
· Tour of the Sites: Hattusha, Alacahöyük and Karatepe
· Sanctuaries and the Living Sites
· Aftermath
· The Sites Today
· Bibliography and Further Reading
· Index

For full information on all Osprey Publishing titles, please see their website: Osprey Publishing




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....And now the 'Alternative' version.....

Hittite Fortifications c.1650 - 700 BC
Author: Konstantin S Nossov
Paperback - 64 pages
Publisher: Osprey
Series: Fortress 73
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 978-1-84603-207-3

Introduction

Following on from my recent review of the Stronghold of the Border Reivers, Vinnie has been kind enough to allow me to review yet another Osprey publication (thanks dude). This time it is a book about Hittite fortifications. “What on earth is a Hittite?” I hear you cry.

What is a so-called Hittite?

The Hittites were a bunch of Indo-European tribes-people who started to migrate and settle in Central Anatolia around the 3rd millennium BC.

Where did these so-called Hittites Live?

Anatolia is where, like, modern-day Turkey is, by the way. Surprise, surprise! Some of these dudes lived in ‘fortifications’. When these dudes settled in Central Anatolia they sort-of assimilated themselves into an already well-constructed region of small, fortified city-states. There was a bit of head-cracking to start off with, but eventually the Hattians (like, yokels, man – get with the beat) got swallowed up by the Hittites. Hattians? Hittites? Cor blimey, Guv – I’m getting confused. Ok – just merember this – the Hittites migrated to Turkey, bish bash bosh, took over and Bingo! They were, like, not to be messed with, Ok?

So, what is so special about these so-called Hittites?

They were big, tough and scary. Mind you, one of their kings was called Anita, which is funny, because I thought she used to be in Eastenders.

And what about these so-called Hittite Fortifications?

These so-called Hittite fortifications allowed the Hittite-dudes to become some kind-of international ‘big boy’, a ‘Bronze Age superpower’, if you will. These scary dudes schmealed loads of folks and created a mighty empire that lasted a thousand years (now, that sorta sounds, like, familiar – or what!) Let us not forget that, though their empire was not exactly global it spanned the Turkish Isthmus between Europe and Asia – significant? Most likely!

The Arty-Party:

Yet again, the great illustrations in this Osprey book can be easily defined into five different groups: (mostly) the author’s superb photographs, Brian Delf’s artistic illustrations, tabulated historical facts, graphic designs of the strongholds, and a couple of simple annotated maps. A number of the photographic references are of large ramparts of archaeological sites that gives one an idea of the large scale of these well-built citadels.

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Pic 5, Pic 6, Pic 7, Pic 8,

The Parts of the Book:

At 64 pages this is Osprey’s standard ‘Fortress’ paperback fare.

The book has chapters covering the following topics: · Introduction
· Chronology
· Methods of Construction
· Anatomy of Hittite Fortresses
· Tour of the Sites: Hattusha, Alacahöyük and Karatepe
· Sanctuaries and the Living Sites
· Aftermath
· The Sites Today
· Bibliography and Further Reading
· Index

Peculiarly Interesting:

I remember when I was a kid my granddad, Ol’Bill Hazard himself, bought me a fantastic book called ‘Ancient Civilizations’. This was a massive (to a small boy) hardback book with information about all the ancient civilizations (dur, yeh!) and lots of piccies of the sites to stimulate your interest. To this day I still rate that book highly, even though I see it more often in charity shops than bookshops (oops). I suspect this book about Hittite fortresses actually contains more information and useful facts about the Hittites and their fortifications than this original Hazard library reference text. In addition to all the castly stuff there are also many references to Hittite culture and some cool pictures of rock carvings and stone reliefs and carvings with background factual info to support them.

In the book there is loads of historical stuff, lots of scrapping and quite a lot of castly stuff including how these places were built, where, when and why. These dudes used geographical points as bases for their castles and some special stone work for the bottom few courses, then built the upper parts with baked mud bricks, which, of course, have been washed away with time. This subject is obviously a sort-of archaeologist’s brain teasing type of thing.

Interesting Peculiarity:

If you have a particular interest in these so-called Hittite dudes, Osprey have published other factual books about them, the most relevant text being ‘The Hittite Warrior’ off of the Osprey Warrior series, ISBN 978-1-84603-081-9. I suspect one of the dudes has already reviewed this book, so I reckon I will go out & buy that one to complete the set back at the ranch.

At the end of the book is a chapter about visiting the sites, which is quite appetite whetting, until you realise that the sites are spread all over inland Turkey and I’m not going there for a long time to come, not least with 4 Kinder in tow! Oh well, maybe on day, eh? For now, I’ll just have to thumb through this mint Osprey book and dream...

Particular thanks:

Thanks to Vinnie for supplying the copy to me and for giving me opportunity to review it, let alone being a contributor to MilMod once more.

Taking down the peculiars:

Hittite Fortifications c.1650 – 700 BC
Author: Konstantin S Nossov
Illustrator: Brian Delf
Paperback - 64 pages
Publisher: Osprey
Series: Fortress (73 in the series)
ISBN: 978-1-84603-207-3

What a Carry-On!

For full information on all Osprey Publishing titles, please see their website: Osprey Publishing