MOOC Hittite
  • Research

MOOC To the Discovery of Hittite civilization

Who were the Hittites? What was remarkable about their civilization? Discover their beliefs and relationships with other ancient kingdoms. Go on an journey to discover a civilization that had a decisive influence in the Ancient Near East, and whose influence still resonates today!

French version.

A unique MOOC dedicated to Hittite civilization

Little known to the general public, Hittite civilization had a decisive cultural influence on the Ancient Near East.  At the end of the 19th century, explorers and archaeologists set out to rediscover past civilizations of Turkey; they uncovered Hittite civilization whose beliefs and history intrigued them.

Charles Texier and later Archibald Henry Sayce explore Anatolia and unearth traces of an unknown civilization. They discovered enigmatic scenes engraved on rocks at the site of Yazılıkaya and numerous remains in the city of Hattusa. Thanks to Bedrich Hrozný's deciphering of the cuneiform tablets found at these sites, a vanished civilization was brought to light, that of the Hittites.

This MOOC has no pre-requisites. It offers an overview of the data relating to the Hittite civilization (Anatolia in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC): its languages and scripts, its history, its religious system and more. An international team of researchers (historians, philologists, linguistists and art historians) will lead the 5 sessions of this free course first aimed at the French-speaking public and now open to the English-speaking public as well.




This MOOC, consisting of five sessions delivered at a rate of one per week, covers the languages, history and religion of this ancient kingdom, among other subjects. The lessons will be combined with exercises that will enable participants to assess the knowledge they have gradually acquired on the subject.

  • S1 - History of discovery
  • S2 - Languages and scripts of Hittite Anatolia
  • S3 - History of the Hittite kingdom
  • S4 - Diplomacy and espionage
  • S5 - Hittite iconography

Registrations open: access the MOOC.

Courses start on May 6th, 2024.

Interview with Alice Mouton, co-responsible for the creation and organization of the MOOC

Directrice de Recherche in Hittitology at the CNRS (Orient et Méditerranée laboratory), Alice Mouton has been teaching Hittite and Luwian in universities since 2004 (Strasburg University, Catholic University of Paris, École Pratique des Hautes Études and Sorbonne University). She is co-responsible for the creation and organization of this MOOC with Isabelle Prieto, communication officer at the Orient et Méditerranée laboratory.

Read the interview.

Definition of a MOOC

A MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a video-based learning tool delivered via the Internet. It is a whole new way of learning and broadening your horizons from the comfort of your own home. It is a university-standard course, freely accessible and free of charge. MOOCs cover a wide range of subjects, from the arts to medicine, science, history, economics, computing, languages, literature and more.

Sorbonne University joined edX to benefit from the largest international audience and opportunities for exchange and feedback on online teaching practices. Founded in 2012 by two leading American universities - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard - edX now boasts over 4 million users, 450 MOOCs, and 68 partner institutions.

Scientific and audiovisual speakers


  • Alice Mouton, Directrice de Recherche in Hittitology at the CNRS (Orient et Méditerranée laboratory), and co-responsible for the creation and organization of this MOOC with Isabelle Prieto.
  • Sylvie Vanséveren, full-time lecturer in Indo-European linguistics at the Université Libre of Brussels (Belgium)
  • Amir Gilan, Professor of Hittitology at Tel Aviv University (Israel)
  • Francesco Giannone, PhD student in Hittitology and Assyriology at the University of Naples (Italy) and at the Faculty of Letters of Sorbonne University, Paris, under the joint supervision of Alice Mouton and Gian Pietro Basello. His doctoral thesis focused on intelligence and espionage practices in the Near East in the second millennium BC.
  • Vincent Blanchard, art historian and curator in the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. He organized the Forgotten Kingdoms exhibition at the Musée du Louvre in 2019.


  • Isabelle Prieto, communication officer at the CNRS (Orient et Méditerranée laboratory). Involved in the promotion of research to the general public, she is co-responsible for the creation and organization of this MOOC with Alice Mouton.