added by archaeologs A people of obscure origin who infiltrated Anatolia and the Levant from the north during the later 3rd millennium BC. In the Old Kingdom (c 1750-1450) they established a state in central Turkey with its capital first at Kussara, then at Boghazköy. They overran north Syria c 1600 and pushed on as far as Babylon. Under the empire (1450-1200) a more stable state was built up over most of Anatolia and north Syria, displacing the kingdom of the Mitanni and successfully challenging Assyria and Egypt. The end came quite suddenly in the Late Bronze Age c 1200 BC, notably by movements of the Peoples of the Sea and Anatolian groups from the north. The Hittite outposts in north Syria, however, survived as a chain of Syro-Hittite or neo-Hittite city-states - Karatepe, Sinjerli, Sakçe, Gözü, Malatya, Atchana, and Carchemish - down to their final annexation by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC. They are also known for their metal-working. They exploited and traded copper, lead, silver and also iron; indeed, they were among the first peoples to use iron, and for a period maintained a virtual monopoly in the new metal. Their language, Hittite and Hieroglyphic Hittite, is Indo-European, the earliest to be recorded. Hurrian, the language of the Hurri, was non-Indo-European, as of course was the Akkadian much used for commercial and foreign correspondence. The Akkadian cuneiform script was generally used too, though for monumental purposes local hieroglyphs were preferred. The discovery of the Hittite language was the major advance this century in the field of Indo-European languages - with archives yielding thousands of tablets in many languages. The great period of the empire was 14th-13th centuries BC when a vast amount of material was recorded - some in the important sister Anatolian languages of Palaic and Luvian.