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The Hittite construction of cities – an urban-historical study

Abstract: The development of city construction was a subject that enjoyed the interest of Czech scholars particularly during the mid-20th century (Fiala, 1959; Krásný, 1962; Hruška, 1970; etc.). These works, however, were based on the perception of historical events prevalent at that time as well as on the extent of the knowledge of historical science in general. After 1989, urban theoretical research began to be directed towards addressing the crucial problems of today while researchers essentially ceased to address the study of historical contexts. The last researchers in the Czech Republic to continue with such contexts were Jiří Hrůza (Hrůza, 2002–2007, Hrůza, 2011, 2013) and Jan Koutný (e.g. Koutný, 2003). Even though the approach to the concept of cities was transformed in these recent works, changes in the approach to the understanding of history and its interpretation were reflected only marginally. While historical science has radically changed over the last 50 years, starting with the paradigm and ending with the manner of presentation, the view of the development of city construction from the perspective of urban planners (and for urban planners) has remained essentially unchanged. This article will attempt to present a new insight into the development of city construction enriched by current trends in the study of history. The study will focus on the neglected period of Hittite cities. Using the background of the three main periods of Hittite "civilization" (Early Period, the Period of the Hittite Empire, and the Late Hittite Period) and the main centers of life during these periods (Kaneš / Hattusa and Arinna / Zincirli and Carchemish), the study will track the main city-forming elements and their transformation over time together with the link to their sources of inspiration on the one hand and on the other hand their perception as a source of inspiration for the cities of subsequent cultures. The text should be understood as a preliminary study of a broader intention to address the issue of the development of ancient city construction from a new angle and in a new context. The theme of city construction from the period of the Hittite Empire was not chosen randomly, but as a pilot or a test set for a period that was neglected or overlooked by previous urban specialists. It shows an interesting link between the two greatest early ancient periods – the Sumerian-Akkadian Period and the onset of Greek city construction.

ŠILHÁNKOVÁ, Vladimíra (2016). Chetitská stavba měst – urbanisticko-historická studie. In: Pavel Holubec, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 9. České vysoké učení technické v Praze pp. 6-28. ISBN 978-80-01-06002-5. ISSN 2336-7695.