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Heth (Hebrew: חת, Ḥēth; "Name means::warrior") was the second son of son of::Canaan and progenitor of the Biblical Hittites (Hebrew: חתים, Ḥittīm) according to Genesis 10:15 .


Hittites and Hattians

He was the progenitor of the Hittite (or Hattian) nation, whose name was known to the Assyrians as the Khatti. The Hattians were an ancient people who inhabited the "land of Hatti" in the central and southeastern parts of Anatolia until they were gradually displaced and absorbed by the Indo-European Hittites ("Nesites" or "Late-Hittites") who adopted their name for themselves and the "land of Hatti".

Early in Scripture, mention is made of the Hittite tribes dwelling in central Palestine (Genesis 15:19-21, 23:3-7, 10, 16-20, 27:46; Numbers 13:29; Deuteronomy 7:1-5, 20:17; Joshua 3:10). The Hittites were apparently the first nation to smelt iron. The Armarna tablets contain letters that were sent from the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I to the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. Rameses II also tells us how he engaged the Hittites in what was the earliest recorded battle involving massed chariots. This was the famous Battle of Kadesh, and it appears that the Hittites got the better of the Egyptian forces. Heth's name was perpetuated in the Hittite capital Hattusa, near modern Boğazkale in Turkey.

In time they migrated from Palestine to Dardania in Asia Minor. The Indo-Europeans who settled in the territory of these Hittites took their name and applied it to themselves because they were such famous warriors. In the Middle East, three or four racial groups may be identified as Hittites. Many Historians still do not yet understand this:

Biblical references to Hittites in southern Palestine - Esau marries two Hittite women, for example - remain a puzzle to scholars. [1]

The Hittites, previously mentioned, were invaders from Asia Minor, not the original group descended from Heth. Some confuse the Hittites with the Khittites, another group who inhabited Asia Minor. The Hattians and the Indo-European "Late-Hittites" both had distinct racial characteristics. The original Hittites (Hattians) were a dark-skinned people who had a yellow/brown skin tone. In Egyptian monuments the original Hittite people were depicted with prominent noses, straight or hawked who were

somewhat proud, with full lips, the cheek-bones high, the eyebrows fairly prominent, the forehead receding like the chin, and the face hairless ... The hair is black, the eyes dark brown.
The skin colour varied from brown to yellowish and reddish [because of the racial stocks being confused by writers?]. Greek tradition insists the people were warlike, rude people, known for their frenzied dances and music. [2]

Egyptian depictions of the Battle of Kadesh reportedly show long-nosed Hattian soldiers, while their Hittite leaders looked different according to Turkish archaeologist Ekrem Akurgal.[3] Akurgal claims that "The Hattians were still the great majority of the population in the Hittite period."[4] If true, the Indo-Europeans constituted a ruling elite within the Hittite Empire whereas the assimilated Hattians were lower ranking members of Hittite society.

Hittites in the Americas?

The only dark people anywhere on the face of this planet bearing the name Hatti or Chatti (that is, Hittites) are amongst the American Indians. Europeans first encountered them in New England and in the plains of America. The inter-tribal name of the plains confederation of the Indians was "Chatti". The main tribe was the Sioux, living in both North and South Dakota. Even today, they call themselves Očhéti Šakówį. They are an exception to the rule that the American Indians are brachycephalic (i.e. round-headed), a characteristic of Mongoloids - the Sioux are actually long-headed (dolichocephalic). Their features are quite different too. For example, their noses are hooked and longer than most Indians.

Further, the name "Heth" (whence "Hittite" is derived), means "Warrior". The Sioux were commonly called "braves" which means "warriors".

We know that some Hittites mixed with their Indo-European conquerers. This is probably the reason why some of the Indians of North Dakota had blond hair.

A final point to mention is that the line of descent of the Canaanitish tribes were always counted through women (i.e. they possessed a matriarchy). The Mohawk, Mahican or Iroquois Indians had old women as ruling chiefs. Sometimes, of course, they had men rulers because they went to war, women figured very prominently. Another clue may be the K'nai-a Khotána Indians in Alaska. Their name may derive, in part, from Canaan.

See Also

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  1. "Expeditions", Biblical Archaeological Review, 1998: 77.
  2. (Hoeh: 1969:2:28.)
  3. Ekrem Akurgal, The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations, Publications of the Republic of Turkey: Ministry of Culture, 2001, p.8 Akurgal writes here: "The large-nosed soldiers identified as "Hitti" in the Egyptian temple depictions of the Battle of Kadesh show a completely different ethnic type from their [Indo-European] kings in the same scenes."
  4. Akurgal, op. cit., p.6

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