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53 Moreover, as archaeologists began to excavate Hittite sites and eventually to translate the numerous clay tablets found at these sites, it became clear that they had not called themselves Hittites. Their name for themselves was actually something close to “Neshites” or “Neshians,” after the city of Nesha (now known and excavated as Kultepe Kanesh in the Cappadocian region of Turkey). This city flourished for some two hundred years as the seat of a local Indo-­European dynasty, before a king named Hattusili I (meaning “the man of Hattusa”) sometime around 1650 BC established his capital city farther to the east, at a new site with that name, Hattusa.

However, in order to understand the enormity of the events that took place around 1177 BC, we have to begin three centuries earlier. Hittite Assyrian Babylonian Mitanni Ugarit Other 18th Hammurabi Zimri-­Lim (Mari) 17th Hattusili I Mursili I 16th Seknenre Khyan (Hyksos) Kahmose Apophis (Hyksos) Ahmose I Thutmose I Thutmose II 15th Hatshepsut Tudhaliya I/II Saushtatar Kukkuli (Assuwa) Thutmose III 14th Amenhotep III Suppiluliuma I Adad-­nirari I Kurigalzu I Shuttarna II Ammistamru I Tarkhundaradu (Arzawa) Akhenaten Mursili II Assur-­uballit Kadashman-­Enlil I Tushratta Niqmaddu II Tutankhamen Burna-­Buriash II Shattiwaza Niqmepa Ay Kurigalzu II 13th Ramses II Mursili II (cont’d) Tukulti-­Ninurta I Kashtiliashu Niqmepa (cont’d) Shaushgamuwa (Amurru) Merneptah Muwattalli II Ammistamru II Hattusili III Niqmaddu III Tudhaliya IV Ammurapi Suppiluliuma II 12th Ramses III Suppiluliuma II Ammurapi Shutruk-­Nahhunte (Elam) (cont’d) (cont’d) Century Egyptian Table 1.

22 It is during Hatshepsut’s reign, in the fifteenth century BC, that the first of the tombs was built in which Aegean peoples are actually shown in wall paintings. In these tombs, we frequently see Minoans depicted, often with their goods and with inscriptions that identify them in unequivocal terms as coming from the island of Crete. 23 In another painting, within the tomb of Rekhmire, vizier to Thutmose III (ca. 1450 BC), we see men dressed in typical Aegean-­style kilts and carrying specifically Aegean objects.

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