Kizzuwatna (or Kizzuwadna) is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the second millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan river. The center of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia.

The land

The country possessed valuable resources, such as silver mines in the Taurus Mountains. The slopes of the mountain range are still partly covered by woods. Annual winter rains made agriculture possible in the area at a very early date (see Çatal Hüyük). The plains at the lower course of the Ceyhan river provided rich cultivated fields.

The people

The population of Kizzuwatna was made up of both Luwian and Hurrian peoples. The Luwian language was part of the Indo-European language group, with close ties to the Hittite language. Hurrian culture had a strong influence on the people of Kizzuwatna. Although Kizzuwadna later became a vassal of the Hittite Empire, both the Luwian and Hurrian cultures were to have a profound influence on the Hittites as well.

Pudu-Hepa, queen of the Hittite king Hattusili III, came from Kizzuwatna, where she had been a priestess. Their pantheon was also integrated into the Hittite one, and the goddess Hebat of Kizzuwatna became very important in Hittite religion towards the end of the 13th century BC. A corpus of religious texts called the "Kizzuwatna rituals" was discovered at Hattusa.

History of Kizzuwatna

King Sargon of Akkad claimed to have reached the Taurus mountains (the silver mountains) in the 23rd century BC. However, archaeology has yet not confirmed any Akkadian influence in the area. The trade routes from Assyria to the "karum" in the Anatolian highlands went through Kizzuwatna by the early second millennium BC.

The kings of Kizzuwatna of the second millennium BC had frequent contact with the Hittites to the north. The earliest Hittite records seem to refer to Kizzuwatna and Arzawa (Western Anatolia) collectively as Luwia.

In the power struggle that arose between the Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni, Kizzuwatna became a strategic partner due to its location. Ishputashu made a treaty with the Hittite king Telepinu. Later, Kizzuwatna shifted its allegiance, perhaps due to a new ruling dynasty. The city state of Alalakh to the south expanded under its new vigorous leader Idrimi, himself a subject of the Mitannian king Barattarna. King Pilliya of Kizzuwatna had to sign a treaty with Idrimi. Kizzuwatna became an ally of Mitanni from the reign of Shunashura I, until the Hittite king Arnuwanda I overran the country and made it a vassal kingdom.

Kizzuwatna rebelled during the reign of Suppiluliuma I, but remained within the Hittite empire for two hundred years. In the famous Battle of Kadesh (ca. 1274 BC), Kizzuwadna supplied troops to the Hittite king.

After the fall of the Hittite empire, several minor Neo-Hittite kingdoms emerged in the area, such as Tabal, Kammanu and Quwe.

Kings of Kizzuwatna

* Pariyawatri
* Isputahsu / Išputahšu† - contemporary of Hittite king Telepinu (ca. mid 15th century BC (short chronology))
* Paddatisu / Paddatišu
* Pilliya - contemporary of Idrimi of Alalakh (ca. 15th century BC (short chronology))
* Sunassura I / Šunaššura I
* Talzu
* Sunassura II / Šunaššura II - contemporary of Hittite king Tuthaliya II (c.1400 BC)

conquest by Arnuwanda I of Hatti (c.1380 BC)

† "š represents a "s" sound (as in "sun") in Hittite and Luwian transliteration, despite the fact that š usually represents "sh" (as in shun) in other languages."


* Beckman, Garry M.: "Hittite Diplomatic Texts", Scholars Press, Atlanta 1996.
* Götze, Albrecht: "Kizzuwatna and the problem of Hittite geography", Yale university press, New Haven 1940.
* Haas, Volkert: "Hurritische und luwische Riten aus Kizzuwatna", Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 1974.

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