Asia Minor and Beyond
The 17th century BCE saw the rise to power of the Hittites, who ruled Anatolia (Asia Minor) and part of upper Mesopotamia from their capital Hattusa. This was followed by the rise of Mitanni, a kingdom dominated by Hurrians, which controlled a large territory in northern Mesopotamia by the early 15th century. The period of the supremacy of the New Hittite Empire in the 14th and 13th centuries was initiated by King Suppiluliumas, whose campaigns led him to the borders of Babylonia and to the Lebanon mountains. The kingdom of Ugarit on the Mediterranean coast was flourishing at this time. It is notable in particular for the texts in the local language which provide what is perhaps the best available evidence to shed light on Canaanite religion. The Egyptians and Hittites sought to maintain good relationships with the kings of Ugarit, doubtless because of its commercial and strategic potential.