Lukka lands

The Lukka lands are often mentioned in Hittite texts from the 2nd millennium BC. It denotes a region in the southwestern part of Anatolia. The Lukka lands were never put under permanent Hittite control and were viewed as hostile by the Hittites.

It is commonly accepted that the Bronze Age toponym Lukka is cognate with classical Lycia. There is a contrast between the maximalist and the minimalist hypotheses with regard to the extent of the Lukka Lands. The maximalist hypothesis is upheld by Trevor Bryce, who discusses the occurrences of Lukka in Bronze Age texts.[1]

From these texts we can conclude the Lukka, or Lukka lands, referred to a regions extending from the western end of Pamphylia, through Lycaonia, Pisidia and Lycia.

The minimalist hypothesis is upheld by Ilya Yakubovich, who concludes based on the analysis of textual evidence:[2]

[W]e have positive philological arguments for the presence of Bronze Age Lukka settlements in classical Lycia, but not anywhere else in Asia Minor or beyond it.

Soldiers from the Lukka lands fought on the Hittite side in the famous Battle of Kadesh (c. 1274 BC) against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. A century later the Lukka had turned against the Hittites. The Hittite king Suppiluliuma II tried in vain to defeat the Lukka. They contributed to the collapse of the Hittite empire.

The Lukka are also known from ancient Egyptian texts. They were one of the tribes that constituted the Sea Peoples who invaded Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 12th century BC.[3]

See also


  1. Trevor Bryce (2005) The Kingdom of the Hittites, p. 54
  2. Ilya Yakubovich (2010) Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language, Leiden: Brill, p. 134
  3. Bryce 2005, p. 336; Yakubovich 2010, p. 134
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