Hittites settled in Turkey before 2000 B.C., around a capital at Hattushash. One of their first kings, Hattusilas I, invaded Syria. His successor Mursilis I pressed farther south and sacked Babylon around 1595 BC. But he was killed shortly after, and his conquests were lost.

By 1380 BC, they were ruled by their greatest king, Suppiluliumas, who built an empire which briefly rivaled Egypt. Egyptian pharaoh, Ramesses the Great, was not able to beat their king Muwattalis at Kadesh around 1300 BC.

Hittites produced iron on a large scale. They made it from iron core. They mined it and heated repeatedly, while quenching and hammering to get it ready for making into tools and weapons. Their iron-workers also produced steel, out of iron and carbon. They kept their mining technology a secret for several centuries.

Hittites became powerful largely due to their military skill, particularly by developing a horse-drawn chariot.

Hittite power did collapse around 1200 BC, at the onslaught of the Aegean sea peoples.

Sources:

Fry, Plantagenet Somerset. The Dorling Kindersley History of the World. London: D. Kindersley, 1994. Print.

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