Portal:Ancient Near East/Selected article/13
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who spoke a language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. They established a kingdom (c. 1800 – 1180 BC) centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia and reached its height c. the 14th century BC, encompassing a large part of Anatolia and interacting with Assyria, Mitanni and ancient Egypt. The collapsed c. 1180 BC, during the upheavals of the Bronze Age collapse; a number of independent "Syro-Hittite" city-states then emerged, some surviving until as late as the 8th century BC.
Although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron products from as early as the 14th century BC, when letters to foreign rulers reveal the demand for their iron goods. The Hittites were not, however, the first to work iron, and iron remained a precious metal throughout the history of their empire.