Tarḫuntašša (Hittite: 𒀭𒅎𒋫𒀸𒊭 dIM-ta-aš-ša "City of Tarhunt"; Hieroglyphic Luwian: 𔖖𔓢𔕙𔑯𔗦 (DEUS)TONITRUS-hu-ta-sá) was a Hittite Bronze Age city in Asia Minor mentioned in Hittite documents. Its location is unknown; in 2019, a previously little-researched site at Türkmen-Karahöyük, near Çumra on the Konya Plain, was investigated and put forward by Michele Massa and James Osborne.[1][2] Previously proposed locations include Konya, somewhere near Cilicia, the Göksu valley, the vicinity of Kayseri,[3] Kilise Tepe (near Mut, formerly known as Maltepe), and Kızıldağ (north of Karaman).

New Hittite capitalEdit

In the early 13th century BC, Muwatalli II moved the Hittite capital from Hattusa to Tarhuntassa, officially as the result of an omen. His son Mursili III later moved the capital back to Hattusa.[4] After Hattusili III deposed Mursili, the new king[5] appointed Muwatalli's son Kurunta as king in Tarhuntassa. The treaty which survives[6] mostly refers to the appointed king as "Ulmi-Tessup", and so some scholars believe that Ulmi-Tessup and Kurunta are two different rulers of Tarhuntassa.

Kurunta of TarhuntassaEdit

Tudhaliya IV re-ratified Kurunta as king in a treaty inscribed in bronze.[7] At this time, Kurunta was leading his forces to war with Parha. This treaty, unlike previous treaties involving Tarhuntassa, calls to witness the Hittites' vassal kings of Mira and the Seha River Land on the Aegean coast. This implies that Tarhuntassa's stature was now a matter of importance for all western Anatolia.

Kurunta later claimed the title of Great King for himself. Whether or not this claim extended to the whole domain of Hatti, the court in Hattusa contested it (and buried the treaty).[citation needed]

Fall of the Hittite EmpireEdit

Toward the end of the Hittite empire, Suppiluliuma II recorded in a Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription that Hatti had attacked and sacked the city of Tarhuntassa. Other Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions from the late 13th century BC also mention a certain great king Hartapu, son of the great king Mursili (III), who likely ruled Tarhuntassa. It may be possible that Suppiluliuma II's campaign was directed against Hartapu.[8]


Oriental Institute archaeologists unearthed a lost ancient kingdom dating to 1400 B.C to 600 B.C near the Türkmen-Karahöyük site in 2020 which might be connected to Tarḫuntašša, and its king Hartapu. The script written in Luwian Hieroglyphs about Hartapu's victory over Phrygia translated by OI scholars was discovered in 2019 by University of Chicago and Konya Regional Archaeological Survey Project.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ James Osborne & Michele Massa, 2019, A New Iron Age Kingdom in Anatolia: King Hartapu and his Capital City (lecture; video) Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
  2. ^ "Archaeologists discover lost city that may have conquered the kingdom of Midas". phys.org. 21 February 2020.
  3. ^ "hittites.info - Informationen zum Thema hittites". ww1.hittites.info. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013.
  4. ^ KBo 21.15 i 11-12.
  5. ^ And not Tudhaliya IV, according to Gurney (1993), p. 19.
  6. ^ This treaty is referenced as KBo. IV 10 + KUB XL 69 + 1548/u, CTH 106 in Gurney (1993).
  7. ^ Bronze Tablet III 59.
  8. ^ Trevor Bryce: The World of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History. Oxford, New York 2012, p. 21 f, 29, 145.
  9. ^ "Archaeologists discover lost city that may have conquered the kingdom of Midas". phys.org. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  10. ^ "Oriental Institute archaeologists help discover lost kingdom in ancient Turkey". University of Chicago News. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  11. ^ "VICE - Archaeologists Have Discovered a Lost Ancient Kingdom in Turkey". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2020-06-28.