The village in north central Turkey (köy
is Turkish for 'village'), situated on the River Halys
, which turned out to be the site of Hattusas
, capital of the ancient Hittite
In 1891 Sir Flinders Petrie's excavations at Amarna, royal capital of Akhnaten of Egypt, uncovered amidst the rich archives letters in an unknown language, in cuneiform script, addressed to the King of Arzawa, a hitherto unknown country. The Amarna archive also produced evidence that the Hittites, who got very minor mentions in the Bible, were actually a major power in the Near East. In 1893 the same unknown language was discovered at Boghazköy, in what turned out to be another huge archive. This showed that the Hittites, far from just being a minor power on the Egyptian border in Syria, themselves possessed a great empire covering much of Anatolia as well as Syria. (Arzawa turned out to be the country to their west in Anatolia.)
The German archaeologist Hugo Winckler uncovered the archive from 1906. Eight different languages were discovered in Boghazköy, seven of them new: Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, and Hieroglyphic Hittite constituted a new branch of Indo-European called Anatolian; Hurrian and Hattic were unrelated to anything else or to each other; Mitannian was Indo-European and similar to Indian; and the familiar Babylonian enabled the site to be understood.
The city of Hattusas was occupied from perhaps 1900 to 1200 BCE; it was sacked around 1800 by rulers of Kussara.
The correct Turkish spelling is actually Bogazköy with a breve (cup) accent on the G: yumusak g, in modern Turkish effectively silent, so pronounced Bo-az-köy.