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Branch of the Indo-European language family spoken in Anatolia from the 3rd millennium BCE to the early centuries CE. The attested Anatolian languages are Hittite, Palaic, Cuneiform Luwian (Luvian), Hieroglyphic Luwian, Lycian, Lydian, Carian, and possibly Pisidian and Sidetic. Hittite, by far the most copiously attested of the group, is known chiefly from a vast archive of cuneiform tablets found from 1906 onward at the Hittite capital city, Hattusa, near the modern town of Bogazkale (formerly Bogazköy), Tur. By the late Roman or early Byzantine period at the latest, the Anatolian languages had all become extinct. Several non-Indo-European languages of ancient Anatolia are known from cuneiform texts: Hattian (Hattic), spoken in central and northern Anatolia before the coming of the Hittites and known solely from words and texts preserved by Hittite scribes; Hurrian, spoken in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE in northern Mesopotamia and southeastern Anatolia; and Urartian (Urartean), known from Anatolian texts of the 9th–7th centuries BCE.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Anatolian languages, visit Britannica.com.
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