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Terror from the North – The Kashkans

The Hittite Empire dominated historic Anatolia for over 5 centuries. If a neighbouring kingdom attacked, the Hittites crushed the offending state and made them vassals. When the nice up to date empires of Egypt or Assyria encroached, the Hittites referred to as upon their mighty military and the subjugated vassals and marched to struggle – normally sending Pharaoh or the Kings of Ashur house, humbled. There was one hazard that got here not in the type of a rival empire or a plucky kingdom. This risk was fixed and easily couldn’t be crushed or envassalled.

The Kaskans – also called the Kaska, Gagsa and Kaskia – have been a Bronze Age folks indigenous to northern Turkey. Hardy and ferocious, they lived in the Pontic Mountains (or ‘The Soaring Mountains’ in the Empires of Bronze collection), a protracted and rocky sierra overlooking the Hittite heartlands. They had no king as such, however they have been populous and grouped in twelve tribes (presumably extra), every residing in a ramshackle picket settlement the place they alternated between farming pigs and descending into the Hittite lands to rob, raze and loot. Whenever the Hittite Labarna tried to deal with them, they might soften away into their mountain retreats once more. Then, when the Labarna and his imperial armies have been absent on campaigns far from the heartlands, they might raid throughout Hittite lands yet again.

The lay of the land - The 'Soaring Mountains' (modern-day Pontic range), home of the Kaskans, with the 'Lost North' above and the Hittite fortification chain below.

The lay of the land – The ‘Soaring Mountains’ (trendy-day Pontic vary), house of the Kaskans, with the ‘Lost North’ above and the Hittite fortification chain beneath.

One depiction of the Kaskan mountain warriors - bearded and brutal!

One depiction of the Kaskan mountain warriors – bearded and brutal!

The mountains which served as their homes and their defences.

The mountains which served as their properties and their defences.

Around 1400 BC, the Kaskans descended from their mountain properties and overran the Hittite territories mendacity north of the vary, all the strategy to the Upper Sea (trendy Black Sea) coast, toppling the sacred Hittite cities of Nerik, Zalpa and Hakmis alongside the means. With that northern land misplaced, the Hittite Kings constructed a sequence of forts and towers alongside the mountain vary’s southern edge to comprise this Kaskan rebellion. Yet it was solely partially efficient – Kaskan raiding events broke via the defences a number of occasions, bringing hearth and fury upon the Hittite heartlands.

Small-medium scale raids have been probably pricey and troubling, however on the uncommon events when the many Kaskan tribes put aside their rivalries and united towards the Hittites – together with assist from close by Hayasa-Azzi and Isuwa peoples – the risk turned crucial. Indeed, on multiple event, these northern hordes swept southwards, all the strategy to the Hittite capital of Hattusa, burning the metropolis to the floor. More than as soon as the Hittite throne needed to be relocated additional to the south for concern of the Kaskan risk.

Over the years of fixed wrestle, the Hittites discovered that the Kaskans would by no means be conquered. However, round 1300 BC, Hattusilis III (our Prince Hattu in Empires of Bronze) did handle to reclaim the ‘misplaced north’, and in addition pioneered the enlistment of Kaskan troops into the Hittite Army – one thing that will need to have helped relations between the two peoples.

Still, it will need to have been a very tense co-existence, I’m certain you may agree!

Thanks for studying! You can discover out far more about the Kaskans and the Hitittes in Empires of Bronze: Son of Ishtar

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