Anitta reigned in the 17th century BC (short chronology) and is the author of the Anitta text (CTH 1.A, edited in StBoT 18, 1974) , the oldest known text in the Hittite language (and the oldest known Indo-European text altogether). This text seems to represent a cuneiform record of Anitta's inscriptions at Kanish, perhaps compiled by Hattusili I, one of the earliest Hittite kings of Hattusa.
The Anitta text indicates that Anitta's father, Pithana, conquered Neša (Kanish, Kültepe), which became an important city within the kingdom of Kussara. During his own reign, Anitta defeated the Hattic king Piyusti and then conquered his capital at the future Hittite capital of Hattusa. He then destroyed the city, sowed cress over it, and laid a curse on the site.
Anitta's name appears on an inscription on a dagger found in Kültepe and also, together with the name of his father Pithana, on various Kültepe texts, as well as in later Hittite tradition.