Hittite relief of the God Sharruma and King Tudhaliya

Nayan Tara Temple in Syria with Mysterious Foot Prints! (Post No.3799)

The latest book on The Hittite Civilization has new information on Hittites Gods. They ruled Parts of modern Syria and Turkey.

The very name of the country SYRIA comes for the Sanskrit word Surya. Sun God worship is the most popular in ancient Syria. Hittites who ruled for 400 years between 1600 BCE and 1200 BCE spoke old form of Sanskrit (Indo-European) and worshipped Sun God (Surya).

I have identified at least three Hindu Gods in the pantheon.

Lion from the temple (wikipedia picture)

My research shows they worshiped

(1). Twelve Adityas (12 forms of Surya)

(2).Goddess Nayanatara (Ayn Dara in Hittite language)

(3).Varuna (Tarunhas)

Linguistics show that some time the initial letters are dropped (Nayn Dara= Ayn Dara) and initial letters are changed (T=V tarunhas=Varuna)

The oldest religious book Rig Veda has all the three gods and goddesses.

Nayanatara= Ayn Dara

Nayan Tara means Star of the eyes (iris). It is a popular Hindu name for girls. Nayantara saghal, novelist, related to Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister) is one example. Nayan Tara got corrupted and became Ayn Dara in Syria. Hindus worship goddess in different forms. One of them is Eye of the Goddess It is worshipped even now in the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh, India (Naina=Nayana=Eye) . It is a very popular temple attracting thousands of devotees with EYE of the goddess as the main symbol. It is one of the 51 Shakti Kendras (51 Centres of Goddess Parvati).

Ayn Dara Temple near Aleppo in Syria

Ain Dara temple in Syria belongs to 1300 BCE. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It is similar to Solomon temple (Word Solomon is also Sanskrit word meaning Surya Solar=Surya=Solomon=Sulaiman in Arabic).

Nayantara statues are available in Nepal.

As Hindus worship the same Goddess Durga with 51 different names in 51 Goddess temples on the Indian Sub Continent, Middle East people worshipped goddess as Ishtar, Ashtarte (to the Babylonians), Ashtoreth (to the Hebrews), Douga/Durga (in Tunis), Kathayee (in Carthage ) and several other names. If one reads the attributes of the gods, one wold find out that it is one and the same. (Douga and Carthage are place names – named after goddess).

In the Middle East there 3000 gods and goddesses like we find in Hinduism. For a Hindu, it is easy to understand. Same God Shiva is having 1000s of names around India and it is same with Lord Vishnu. Each one has got one special story in these places. For a layman, everything looks different. For a scholar, it is the same God with different names. It is same in the West Asia.

Nayana Devi (nainadevi) Temple in Himachal Pradesh.

There are some proofs to conclude that Ayn Dara was a Hindu temple.

1.Big Lion statues are excavated lion is the vahana (mount) of Hindu Goddess Durga even today all the temples take the goddess on lion statue during Hindu festivals in India.

  1. The second proof is the discovery of Massive Foot Prints in front of the temple. I have already explained the worship of foot prints and sandals in my two research articles (see below for the links).

3.One foot step goes into the temple that is right foot Hindus are supposed to put the right foot first into the house newlywed Hindu brides must use her right foot when she comes into the house.

4.Hindus use Foot prints even today to show that god is coming into the house. All the Hindus draw the symbol of foot prints of Lord Krishna on the Birth day of Krishna (Janmashtami) from the gate up to the prayer room inside the house.

5.The whole region of Syria and Turkey were under Hindu rule for 1000 years under the Kassites, Hittites and Mitanni. The world has recognised Mitannian civilization as the Hindu Civilization because of the clay tablets showing Rig Vedic Gods and Sanskrit numbers and Sanskrit names Dasaratha (tushratta), Pratardhana, Sathya Sila =hattusa=hattusili

( Please read my article about Bogazkoy it is available in all encyclopaedias.)

6.Hindu Girls were married to Egyptian Pharaohs (Please read Amarna letters, Dasaratha letters Kikkuli’s horse manualavailable in all encyclopaedias and in my articles)

7.Hindus have thousand names/Sahasranama for all the gods. Most famous are of Vishnu, Lalita and Shiva. Hittites also used the word THOUSAND GODS OF HATTI. Hittites were polytheists. (hatti=Hittite=Kshatri/ya).

Hittite religion is an amalgam of beliefs, cults and traditions drawn from different regions and cultures.

12 Adityas from Wikipedia location Yazilikaya, Turkey

The main deity of the Hittite Kingdom was the Storm God TARHUNA. It is the Vedic God Varuna , changed as Taruna. He was considered king of all gods. He was a celestial God that brought storms and therefore thunder and lightning were his attributes. It looks similar to Vedic God INDRA. But even in India, when they need rains, they do Varuna Japa (Prayers to Varuna) and not to Indra. His consort was the Sun Goddess of Arinna. It is similar to Gayatri (Sun Goddess). Apart from these Gods, local and regional deities joined the Hittite pantheon and new names and new stories were created.

Like Hindus, the Hittites considered the sun ,the moon and the stars as Gods. They believed in astrology, predictions and foecasts.

Dwadasa (12) Adityas at Yazilikaya

Dwadasa means Twelve Aditya means Suns. The twelve Adityas represent 12 months of Sun’s orbit. They are Vedic deities. 12 Adityas were sculptured on huge rocks of Yazilikaya Rock Temple (Please see the picture).

My Old Articles:

Hindu Wonders in a Muslim Country!

The Sandals- posted on 24 April 2013

Posted by Tamil and Vedas on April 8, 2017


Overview of Chamber A. Chamber A, rock relief depicting a procession of male deities. Chamber A, two bull men stand between male gods on the hieroglyphic symbol of the earth and supporting the sky. Left wall of Chamber A depicting male gods. Chamber A, main scene in the middle of the chamber where Teshup and Hepat meet and female goddesses in procession on the right wall. Chamber A, goddesses in procession. Chamber A, main scene depicting (left to right) the God Kumarbi (chief god of the Hurrians), the weather and storm god Teshuba, the earth goddess Hepat, Sharumma (son of Teshuba & Hepat) and Alanzu (daughter of Teshup Hepat). Chamber A, relief depicting the sanctuary’s founder, King Tudhaliya IV, standing on two mountains.

Entrance to Chamber B with a relief of a winged, lion-headed demon. Chamber B. The narrow gallery is thought to be a memorial chapel for Tudhaliya IV, dedicated by his son Suppiluliuma II Chamber B, the niches were probably used for offerings. West wall of Chamber B depicting the twelve Gods of the Underworld. East wall of Chamber B with a depiction of Negal, the Sword God and God of the Underworld. Chamber B, cartouche showing the name and title of King Tudhaliya IV. East wall of Chamber B depicting in a niche the God Sharruma (son of the Thunder God Teshub) embracing King Tudhaliya IV. The god has his left arm over the king’s shoulders while holding the king’s right wrist. The god wears a short tunic and has pointed shoes. The king wears a long coat and carries a sword and a lituus. West wall of Chamber B depicting the twelve Gods of the Underworld.

The Hittites and the Aegean World

The first thing to realize about the Hittites is that they are not Hittites. The sad fact is that we are stuck with an incorrect terminol­ogy, but it is too late to do anything about it now. This unfortunate situation came about as a result of several deductions made by earlier scholars which, though entirely reasonable at the time, have proved to be false. The Bronze Age civilization of Central Anatolia (or Tur­key), which we today call Hittite, completely disappeared sometime around 1200 B.C. We still do not know exactly what happened, though there is no lack of modern theories, but that it was destroyed, of that there can be no doubt. The capital city was burnt to the ground and remained uninhabited for several hundred years. Out of the wreckage of Bronze Age civilization there emerged a group of small independent states, retaining some of the features and one of the languages of their all but forgotten ancestors, but dominated by the new ethnic groups in the area, chiefly the Arameans. The greatest number of these states were situated about the Taurus and Amanus mountain ranges, in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria. This is the area known to the kings of Assyria as the “Hatti­Land,” and this terminology is also to be found in the Old Testament where we meet such Hittites as the unfortunate Uriah and his beautiful wife, Bathsheba.

The Bronze Age civilization of Central Anatolia had disappeared from the pages of history without a trace, but, thanks to the Assyrians and their Hebrew contemporaries, the Iron Age Hittites survived to enter into the western historical tradition. Thus, when sites in northern Syria and southern Turkey began to be investigated, it was only natural to apply to them the name Hittite, meaning the inhab­itants of the Hatti-Land. Such terminology is correct: these people are the true Hittites, the Hittim of the Old Testament.

General view of the area of Boghazköy, looking northeast through the Lion’s Gate.

In 1906 the Assyriologist Hugo Winckler, representing the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, and Theodore Macridy Bey of the Ottoman Museum in Istanbul, opened excavations at a site near the Turkish vilage of Boghazkoy (“Gorge Village”), today modern Boghazkale. In 1907 they were joined by the architect Otto Puchstein, working on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute, and excavations con­tinued in 1911 and 1912 till they were inter­rupted by the First World War. The Germans returned to the site in 1931 and, with a long hiatus caused by the Second World War, they have been there ever since and will be for some time to come. The recent excavations have been under the general direction of Kurt Bittel.

The site of Boghazkoy had been known to European scholars since 1834, when Charles Texier visited it and published his account and drawings of the existing visible ruins, both at Boghazkoy and at nearby Yazilikaya (“Inscribed Rock”). A plan of the city had been prepared by Carl Humann in 1883. In 1893-1894 the French archaeologist Ernest Chantre had explored the site, even finding a few clay tablets written in cuneiform characters. This is what attracted the attention of Winckler, who was then working on similar texts, the Amarna Letters, found in Egypt in 1887. Winckler hoped to find similar tablets at Boghazkoy and he was not to be disap­pointed, for, in that first season in 1906, work­ing on the west slope of the citadel or Buyukkale, he and Macridy Bey excavated some 2500 tablets or fragments of tablets. I use the term “excavated” in a very general sense, for they were hacked out of the ground with a pickaxe and carted away in baskets. Fortu­nately, Hittite tablets were baked for contem­porary use or little would have survived. By 1912 the count had reached some 10,000 pieces and virtually all of them had been sent to the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, where they still remain.

As chance would have it, many of the first tablets to be found were written in Akka­dian , the lingua franca of the day, a language with which Winckler was very much at home. They revealed a kingdom situated in an area called the “Hatti-Land,” using the same name as the later Assyrian texts, this kingdom being ruled by kings bearing such names as Hattu­shili, Tudhaliya, and Shuppiluliuma, kings who stood on an equal footing with and were in diplomatic relations with the kingdoms of Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt during the mid second millennium B.C. Winckler announced the discovery of the capital city of the Hittites, and so we know it still today. The ancient name of the site turned out to be Hattusha. Winckler also found in these texts a group of people called the Hur-ri or Har-ri (the signs could be read either way), governed by kings with Indo-Aryan sounding names like Tush­ratta. Winckler chose the latter reading, to his and our great misfortune, as the Harrians were, of course, soon to be identified with the Aryan master race, a confusion which still exists today, though it has long been apparent that the Hurrians have nothing to do with any Indo-European language group.

Mycenean pottery from Ephesus (fourteenth century B.C.) as displayed in the Ephesus Museum, located in the town of Seljuk. The pottery comes from a tomb found by chance in the course of levelling for a parking lot on the Ayasoluk hill, near basilica of Saint John.

The majority of the tablets found in these early excavations, and in all subsequent ones, were written not in Akkadian but in some hitherto unknown language. Transliterations of the texts were published, but they could not be read. The situation was similar to that which exists today between Linear B and Linear A. In 1915 the Czech scholar, Bedrich Hrozny, published a paper in which he claimed to read this language as an early form of Indo-European. His decipherment was greeted with great scepticism, but has proved to be correct. We now know that these people we call Hit­tites were Indo-Europeans, belonging to the so-called Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. The similarity between Hit­tite and other Indo-European languages was quickly established.

It is now believed that the Hittites came into Anatolia sometime in the latter part of the third millennium B.C., though exactly when and from where are questions we still cannot answer. Presumably the arrival of the Hittites is related to that general migration now dated to the years around c. 2200 B.C., which also brought the first Greek-speaking peoples (or Proto-Greeks) into the Balkan peninsula, but the connection remains purely hypothetical and much work remains to be done on the whole question of early Indo-European his­tory. At the present time, historical linguistics is about the only remaining field still dom­inated by the diffusionist theories of the nine­teenth century.

The decipherment and translation of the Hittite texts themselves confirmed the histor­ical picture derived from the Akkadian letters and treaties. The Hittites were indeed a major world power in the period 1700-1200 B.C., but they were not Hittites. That is, they did not call themselves Hittites. They refer to them­selves as Neshians, “inhabitants of the city Nesha,” and their language Neshian. But so much for that the scholarly world had already labelled them Hittites and, like it or not, Hit­tites they shall forever remain. It is just as well for the term Neshian only calls attention to our ignorance of this early period we do not even know where Nesha is to be located.

With the decipherment of Hittite, schol­ars were finally able to appreciate the evidence provided by one of the Amarna letters, a text long known but of no use to anyone because no one could read it. The letter turned out to be one of two Amarna Letters actually written not in Akkadian but in Hittite. They represent correspondence with the kingdom of Arzawa, a land so remote that its scribes were unable to read and write Akkadian. In the letter in question the scribe from Arzawa addresses his Egyptian colleague:

May the god Nabu, the “king of wisdom” and the Sun-god of the hilammar kindly protect the scribe who is to read this tab­let (to the king) may they hold their hands protectively around you. Do, please, write me, 0 scribe. Also, put your name at the end (of the letter). Do write all tablets which they will bring me in Neshian!

There was the evidence all along: what we call Hittite should be called Neshian and the ev­idence for this had been available since 1887.

Rock-cut relief at Karabel as drawn by Charles Texier, from the Description de l’Asie Mineure, 2 vols., Paris 1839, 1849, vol. 2, pl. 132. Photograph courtesy of the Marquand Library, Princeton University.

The same monument as it looks today. This is the rock relief now known as Karabel A.

This raises the question: what is meant by the name “Hatti-Land,” where does it come from? Fortunately, we can now answer that question. Prior to the arrival of the Hittites the area of central Anatolia was controlled by a non-Indo-European group who called their language Hattic, their land the Hatti-Land, and their capital city Hattush. Presumably these people are to be identified with the royal graves at the site of Alaca Huyuk, north of Boghazkoy, but this is not certain. All that we can say is that they greatly influenced the later Hittite inhabitants of the area, who bor­rowed much from them, including the name of the land and of their capital city and who, to our great good fortunate, preserved Hattic texts in their own archives. By the time of the Old Assyrian merchant colony, or karum, at Boghazkoy, we find that the site is already known as Hattush, for the Old Assyrian tab­lets found there refer to the karum Hattush. Sometime around c. 1650 B.C. the Hittites took over the site. They took the name Hattush and added a Hittite nominative ending, making it Hattushas. The Hittite king, whose native name was Labarnash, took the throne name Hattushili, “the one of Hattusha.” The name Labarnash survived to become a royal title taken by all later rulers, as did the name of Caesar.

Hattic, Akkadian and Hittite are but the beginning. In 1919 the Swiss scholar, Emil Forrer, announced that he had identified no less than eight languages in the Hittite ar­chives. You see now why the study of the Hit­tites has been dominated by philologists, for further research was to prove him quite cor­rect. In 1924 Forrer tried to add a ninth, Achaean Greek. In the figure of Alakshan­dush, the prince of Wilusha, Forrer tried to find Alexandros of (W)ilios, the son of Priam and abductor of Helen. The men of Ahhiyawa in the Hittite texts were, of course, Homer’s Achaeans, the Achaioi (*Achaiwoi), who are in some way related to the land of Achaea (*Achaiwia). In Attarsiya, the man of Ahhiya(wa), Forrer found Atreus, while in Tawaga­lawa from Ahhiyawa Forrer managed to iden­tify an *Etewoklewe s , better known as Eteokles.

Hittite rock relief on Mount Sipylos, near Manisa, from The Art of the Hittites, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

I am sure that everyone is familiar with that first chapter of Denys Page’s History and the Homeric Iliad, in which Page makes sport of the work of Forrer. As will be clear from what follows, I too find myself unable to ac­cept the basis of Forrer’s theory, but, unlike Page, I respect Forrer as a scholar. Forrer is more than Ahhiyawa there is scarcely a single subsequent development in Anatolian studies that does not go back to something first sug­gested by him.

What I want to emphasize here is the paradox that Forrer was, in fact, merely oper­ating in the established tradition for, from the time of the ancient Greeks on, Hittite history and Hittite monuments have been seen as something other than Hittite. Scholars have seldom been content to see things in purely Anatolian terms. This, of course, also holds true for Troy or, to be more precise, for what was found at Hissarlik. The attempts to see the Hittite texts and the excavations at Hissar­lik as providing evidence for the historical reality of Homer’s Trojan War are turning out to be even more of an illusion than Forrer’s Achaeans.

By the time the Greeks became interested in the interior of Anatolia the Hittites had long since gone. Herodotus tells us marvelous sto­ries about Lydians and Phrygians. He came from a Carian city, Halicarnassus, and tells us about the early Carian population of Miletus, a group already mentioned by Homer. But of the Hittites not a word. Pausanias also came from Asia Minor, probably from Smyrna, and he too is a mine of information about Ionia and its environs, but of the Hittites he is sweet ignorance itself.

How can this be, you might ask what about that Mycenaean pottery at Miletus and Ephesus, sites probably actually mentioned in Hittite texts as Millawanda and Apasas? Now we read of masses of Mycenaean pottery at Miletus and even of Mycenaean brick struc­tures and a Mycenaean brick factory, to say nothing of a Mycenaean fortification wall. Surely this must mean that the Mycenaeans came into direct contact with the Hittites, and that it would be reasonable to expect a refer­ence to them in Hittite texts. Let me take two reasonably concrete examples of possible con­tact: the two Hittite monuments mentioned in Greek literature. The first is the great rock-cut relief at Karabel near modern Kemal Pasa, east of Smyrna. It shows a Hittite king striding right, with a bow in his right hand and with his outstretched left hand holding a spear. From the rock-cut hieroglyphic inscription we can identify this as a representation of the Hittite king Tudhaliya, probably Tudhaliya IV. Now this monument was recorded by Herod­otus, who describes it in some detail in chap­ter 106 of Book II, as part of his account of the Egyptian pharoah Sesostris:

General view of Yazilikaya, as drawn by Charles Texier in 1834. From his Description de l’Asie Mineure, vol. 1, pl. 72. Photograph courtesy of the Marquand Library, Princeton University.

The pillars which Sesostris erected in the conquered countries have for the most part disappeared but in that part of Syria called Palestine, I myself saw them still standing. … In Ionia also, there are two representations of this prince engraved upon rocks, one on the road from Ephesus to Phocaea, the other between Sardis and Smyrna. In each case the figure is that of a man, four cubits and a span high, with a spear in his right hand and a bow in his left, the rest of his costume being likewise half Egyptian, half Ethiopian. There is an inscription across the breast from shoul­der to shoulder, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, which says, “With my own shoulders I conquered this land.” The conqueror does not tell who he is or whence he comes, though elsewhere Sesostris records these facts. Hence it has been imagined by some of those who have seen these forms, that they are figures of Memnon but such as think so err very widely from the truth. (And so does Herodotus.)

Though Herodotus has the hands and objects reversed, there can be no doubt of the identifi­cation of his description with the Karabel relief. This was already recognized by Texier in his publication of the monument in 1849. Kiepert, who visited the Hittite monument in 1843, also accepted this identification, but no one, from Herodotus on, suspected it could have anything to do with the Hittites, for they knew nothing about the Hittites. Such Hittites as were mentioned in the surviving historical literature were clearly located in quite a dif­ferent part of the world. The nineteenth cen­tury travellers realized that the monument could not be Egyptian they suspected that it was Persian or perhaps even a testimony to the Scythian conquest of Asia.

The Site of Yazizikaya, as it looks today. This is a view of Gallery A, as shown in the accompanying plan. The central scene shows deities nos. 42 and 43, Teshub and Hepat.

Ah well, this is only Herodotus, writing in the mid fifth century B.C. My second example comes from Homer. Now Homer, if anyone, should know something about the Hittites and, indeed, many efforts have been made to find them in the Iliad or the Odyssey, either under their own name or disguised as Amazons. Homer is, after all, writing about Anatolian affairs surely he must be aware of the exis­tence of the major Bronze Age power in Ana­tolia. Homer does give a “Trojan Catalogue,” listing the allies of Priam, but there is no men­tion of the Hittites, nor should we be surprised by this for nothing Hittite has ever been found at Troy. Homer does speak of the Phrygians, a problem which bothered Strabo and is still an embarrassment to most Homeric scholars today. The meeting between Priam and Achil­les, in the 24th book of the Iliad, inspired Homer to think of Niobe who, like Priam, had also suffered the loss of all of her children. So much did she weep for their loss that she was turned to stone:

And now somewhere amid the rocks, on the lonely mountains, on Sipylos, where, men say, are the crouching-places of god­desses, even of the nymphs that range swiftly in the dance about Achelous, there, although a stone, she broodeth over her woes sent by the gods. (XXIV:614-617)

Though these lines were rejected by Aristoph­anes of Byzantion and by Aristarchus, the stone figure of the weeping Niobe on Mount Sipylos is well known in Greek literature and is mentioned by Sophocles (Antigone, 825f.), Pausanias (1.21.3 3.22.4 7.2.7) in the frag­mentary Niobe of Aeschylus, in Quintus Smyrnaeus (I. 293-306), and even by Nonnus (2. 160). All this was studied by W. M. Ramsay in 1882 who came to the conclusion that the stone figure of the weeping Niobe could be identified with a rock-cut relief on Mount Sipylos near Akpunar, in the Manisa region. Ramsay did have his doubts:

General plan of Yazilikaya, from The Art of the Hittites, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. The buildings shown in front of the rock sanctuary have almost completely disappeared.

Moreover, I have never been able to see it weep. I have gone twice in the midst of heavy rain which had lasted for some time, but found not a drop of water flow­ing over the figure: the water drops from the front of the niche quite clear of the figure and does not touch even its knees.

This is what happens when you take your Classics too literally. The image of poor old Ramsay standing out there in the rain is enough to sustain me through months of fruit­less research.

The Greeks identified the figure as that of Niobe, but we now know it to be Hittite, rep­resenting some Hittite goddess. We still know very little about the relief, but the iconography and style of carving make it unquestionably Hittite.

The presence of the Greeks in Anatolia has made such an impression upon modern scholars that, until proved otherwise, almost everything has at first in some way been con­nected with Greeks or with events and people discussed in Greek authors. The rock-cut sanctuary at Yazilikaya is another good ex­ample. Charles Texier visited the site in 1834 his account and drawings were published five years later. He decided that the two proces­sions of figures at Yazilikaya represented Amazons and Paphlagonians. Others decided the whole scene represented the signing of the treaty between Alyattes and Kyaxares, follow­ing the eclipse of the sun as predicted by Thales, presumably the eclipse of May 28, 585 B.C. The central male and female figures were identified as Astyages, son of Kyaxares, and Aryenis, the daughter of Alyattes, the scene being their royal wedding as described by Herodotus (1.74). As for the ruins at Bo­ghazkoy itself, they were identified with Pteria, the site of the battle between Croesus and Cyrus and described by Herodotus (1.76) as “the strongest position in the whole country thereabouts.”

We now know that Yazilikaya is a Hittite religious sanctuary, constructed by the Hittite king Tudhaliya IV around the middle of the 13th century B.C. He carved his own image there, showing himself in the dress of a Hittite king with the royal staff of office, the Iituus, also carried by Etruscan judges. He is identified by inscription, as are all the central figures at Yazilikaya. The central group shows, not a Lydian princess and a Median prince, but Teshup, the storm god his wife, Hepat their son, Sharruma and their pet bulls, Hurri and Sheri (“night” and “day”). The inscrip­tions demonstrate the great impact of Hurrian religion upon Hittite civilization, for all of the deities depicted here have Hurrian names and are the chief deities of the Hurrian pantheon. The exact purpose of Yazilikaya is still not entirely clear, but presumably it had some­thing to do with the celebration of the annual New Year’s festival.

I do not wish to belittle the efforts of the nineteenth century travellers we owe much to

their diligent and intelligent recording of an­cient monuments. The point is that they made use of what was at hand. The ancient Greeks themselves had made identifications based upon what they knew from surviving history and traditions, and the European travellers were only following suit. Nobody, ancient or modern, suspected the Hittites, because no­body knew anything about the Hittites. In the surviving Greek literary traditions there is not a trace of anything that can be said to indicate Greek knowledge of the Hittite civilization of Bronze Age Anatolia.

It is against this historical background that we must evaluate the possibility of the Mycenaean Achaeans having been within the Hittite sphere of interest. There are a number of Hittite. texts which mention Ahhiyawa, though most of them have survived as mere bits and pieces of what were once long compo­sitions, extending over several tablets. The most detailed edition of these documents was published by Ferdinand Sommer as Die Ahhi­java-Urkunden, in Berlin, 1932. Sommer asked what is for me the most significant question: What do these texts tell us about the land of Ahhiyawa? In particular, is there anything which would suggest the existence of some­thing other than a local Anatolian power? Sommer’s answer was an emphatic NO, and nothing written in the past forty years has done anything to change that position. Schol­ars have expressed wonder over the fact that the king of Ahhiyawa can actually be found operating on Anatolian soil. Well, I would answer, where else should he be! He is found in this text right where he belongs: not stand­ing beside the Lion’s Gate at Mycenae but in the company of Anatolian princes in western Anatolia.

In the famous Tawagalawa Letter (KUB XIV 3) the Hittite king refers to the sending of a high-ranking ambassador, one Dabala-Dat­tash, to the king of Ahhiyawa:

Now Dabala-Dattash is not a man of low rank from my youth on he used to ride the chariot (with me) as a court official, also with your brother and with Tawa­galawa he used to ride [on the chariot] .

As everyone has recognized, this passage establishes the close personal relationship which must have existed between the king­dom of Ahhiyawa and the Hittites.

We are asked to believe that an oral tradition that could remember the extent of the kingdom of Polypoites and Leonteus, that it consisted of the cities of Argissa, Gyrtone, Orthe, Elone and Oloosson (places that no­body in the Classical period had even heard of), and that it contributed 40 ships that this oral tradition remembered not only the names of places, often places whose very location was unknown to later Greek authors, but also their appropriate epithets as well, so that Pyrasos is “flowery,” Arne is “many vined,” that Enispe is “windy,” Orchomenos “rich in sheep,” that Messe (in Laconia) had many doves and Mantinea is “desirable” it could remember all this but somehow managed to forget completely the very existence of the major Bronze Age power in Anatolia, the power that exercised nominal control over most of western Anatolia and whose armies were, throughout the 13th cenutry B.C., con­ducting almost continual military campaigns in the West, against the kingdoms of Arzawa and Assuwa. Yet the king of Ahhiyawa, who engages in diplomatic correspondence with the Hittite king, is supposed to be none other than the ruler of Mycenaean Greece he re­sides at Mycenae, but his brother actually goes chariot riding with Arnuwanda, the king of the Hittites, To quote the Duke of Wellington: “If you believe that, Sir, you can believe any­thing.”

One final question: is there any reason to believe that the Hittites would have, let alone must have, come into contact with Mycenaean civilization. Here we are dealing with what is really a problem in historical perspective. Because we continually see things from the Greek point of view, we tend to assume that Greece was always the center of events and that everyone else knew of and was concerned with Greek affairs. Yet, seen in proper histor­ical perspective, Greece was, in all periods prior to the conquests of Alexander the Great, a remote and peripheral area, on the very fringes of the civilized world,

The Hittites had no interest in Myce­naean Greece. Why should they have con­cerned themselves with a primitive, rather barbaric and mostly illiterate land, far beyond a sea they would never have dreamed of crossing? Mycenaean pottery has indeed been found on the Ionian and Carian coasts, but we must be very careful in assessing the signifi­cance of what are still but a few chance finds, apart from Miletus and now lasos. Much work remains to be done, if only it were possible to do it. The Hittites themselves had very little interest in the west coast. They were not a sea power and seem to have had little or no concern with Aegean or Mediterranean trade. Hittite interests looked to the east and to the south, to Syria and the kingdom of Mitanni, to Assyria, Babylonia and Egypt. Here was to be found the real center of the civilized world in the second millennium B.C. The Mycenaeans were about as much a part of this as England was a part of the world of Pericles. We often tend to view the transmission of ideas as a movement from west to east but, in broad historical terms the actual movement of civil­ization has been, for all periods prior to the Renaissance, a movement from east to west (ex Oriente lux).

This lack of perspective is a sin of mod­ern historiography the ancients knew better. The first great conflict between East and West came at the beginning of the fifth century B.C. For the wars between Greece and Persia we are wholly dependent upon Greek sources, for the Old Persian texts never mention this con­frontation, though they do refer to “the Greeks who dwell beyond the sea.” It took Persia some time to realize that she was now dealing with something other than the usual run of barbarian, to be frightened off with an appro­priate show of force. For me the key passage comes in Herodotus’ description of the re­action of Cyrus, upon learning of the burning of Sardis at the hands of the Ionians and Athenians (V. 106):

It is said that he no sooner understood what had happened than, laying aside all thought concerning the Ionians, who would, he was sure, pay dear for their rebellion, he asked, “Who the Athenians were?”

for Darius had never heard of them and, lest he forget, having once been told, he bade one of his servants every day, when his dinner was spread, three times repeat these words to him—”Master, remember the Athenians.”

The Hittites had no cause to remember the Achaeans they had never even heard of them.

The Kingdom of the Hittites. New Edition

1998 saw the original publication of Trevor Bryce’s (henceforth B) The Kingdom of the Hittites (henceforth κἠ, reviewed by the Hittitologist Gary Beckman for BMCR the next year (BMCR 1999.04.18). KH immediately became indispensable, the only up-to-date narrative history in English of Bronze Age Anatolia’s once-forgotten empire, a great power contemporary with Pharaonic Egypt, Minoan Crete, Mycenaean Greece, the Hurrians of Mitanni, and the Assyrians and Babylonians of Mesopotamia. Now Oxford University Press has brought out a “New Edition” of this acclaimed and useful book (henceforth κηνἐ, expressly targeting students of the Near East, Classics, and Egyptology scholars of Aegean prehistory should also be among its readers. Completely re-typeset, KHNE retains KH’s division into 14 chapters plus a “Final Comment” and two appendices on chronology and sources. They trace the political and military fortunes of the polyglot Hittites from their first appearance (as Nesites) in the early second millennium BCE and the reigns of early kings Labarna, Hattusili I, and Mursili I, to the breakdown of Hittite hegemony during Tudhaliya IV’s reign in the waning years of the 13th century.

Is KHNE worth buying if you or your institution’s library already own KH? Yes, because archaeological research and textual scholarship are constantly increasing and modifying our knowledge of the Hittites and their world, so that any comprehensive survey more than 20 years old is basically obsolete. KHNE’s back cover states that all the chapters have been “revised and partly rewritten” to include “recent discoveries,” textual and archaeological, and “reassessments and updates” of material already known, producing an expanded bibliography and notes, and that “maps have been redrawn, and a number of illustrations added.” B himself confirms (preface, xvii-xix) the need to revise a text first submitted for publication in June 1996, noting new additions to the written record of Hittite diplomatic and military activity, in particular Hattusili I’s letter to Tuniya (also known as Tunip-Teshub) king of Tikunani, and the Hatip and Karabel inscriptions, new archaeological discoveries at Hattusha, as well as errors and omissions noted in KH.

KHNE is some 90 pages longer than its predecessor because of the numerous changes and expansions in response to criticisms regarding various philological and chronological points. 1 They affect the running text, the notes, and the bibliography (xviii: “almost 300 new items”). Many of the translations of primary sources on which the narrative depends have been improved and updated. The spelling of many proper names has been corrected to reflect current scholarship on Hittite phonology. 2 The orthography of the maps (22, 43, 53, 162) has also been corrected newly added are a map of the Syrian principalities in the 14th century and more place-names. Sprinkled through the text are eight black-and-white plates, of which more anon. The principal innovations of substance are the following. B has introduced a new section (78-81) discussing the letter of Hattusili I to Tuniya mentioned above, evidence that Old Kingdom Hittites advanced further into Mesopotamia than hitherto supposed. The presentation of theories about tin sources has been revised to allow more space for the views of Turkish scholars (9, 82). The potential significance of the word Tawananna — a woman’s proper name, royal title, or both? — has been expanded (88, 90-94, cf. 159). Completely new are the paragraphs about a silver bowl, inscribed with Luwian hieroglyphs referring to king Tudhaliya I/II and Taruisa (Troy?), and Tudhaliya’s campaigns against the Assuwan Confederacy (125-26). King Tudhaliya III’s problems with the Kaska peoples feature in a new section (145-46). The consequences of the murder of Tudhaliya by Suppiluliuma, and the latter’s relations with Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten and eventual fate occupy another new passage (154-56) enlivened by an extra quotation from Mursili II’s First Plague Prayer. B has revised and expanded his account of Suppiluliuma’s dealings with the Egyptians and with Sharrupshi of Nuhashshi (166-67) he also relates the fortunes of Rib-Hadda and Aziru, leaders of the unquiet land of Amurru, a bone of contention between Egyptians and Hatti (172-75) at greater length. Sorting out the documentation for Mursili I and II and Danuhepa/Tanuhepa (one woman, or two?) results in another expansion of the text (211), as does the enlarged discussion of Urhi-Teshub’s exile in Egypt and Phoenicia, to the great annoyance of the new king Hattusili (280-81).

For the last decades of the Hittite empire, KHNE offers new material (313-14) on Tudhaliya IV’s relations with the Assyrian king Shalmaneser, much of it formerly in a chapter dealing with Hattusili III (cf. KH 304). Kurunta’s hypothetical coup against Tudhaliya IV receives more extended treatment (319-20), as does the significance, in the so-called Südburg inscription (329-30), of his campaigns against the kingdom of Tarhuntassa, which B supposes was “lost to the Hittites in Tudhaliya’s reign.” 3 The Sea Peoples’ invasion of Ugarit is rendered more fully and vividly with added direct quotation (334-35). B has rewritten his account of the end of Hittite rule at Hattusha (345-47) to reflect Seeher’s revised view of events, which discards the scenario of a massive conflagration in favor of gradual abandonment and dereliction, with some destruction and squatting, over a period of a few months to a few years in the early 12th century. 4 The aftermath of the Hittite empire is illuminated by an expanded passage (352-53) on the Kizildag inscription, which has affinities to an inscription of Tudhaliya IV at Yalburt and refers to a “Great King” Hartapu, thought by B to be the son of the deposed Urhi-Teshub B relates this text to the conflict with Tarhuntassa and the empire’s successor kingdoms. The last chapter, which offers an Anatolian perspective on the historical quotient of the Trojan War, has been revised to include Korfmann’s views on the location of Bronze Age Troy’s harbor (357), and a new paragraph (360) joins the Tudhaliya-Tarwisa silver bowl mentioned earlier with Hawkins’ recent interpretation of the Karabel Pass inscription, connecting the kingdom of Mira, ruled by Tarkasnawa, with Apasa, capital of the former Arzawa, later known as Ephesus. 5

KHNE unquestionably contains more material than KH. But expansion can be problematic. The editorial decision to change the augmented footnotes into endnotes (endorsed by B: xix) necessitates the use of double bookmarks with constant flipping back and forth to elucidate particular statements, for example about Lukka as a land and a people (54): “Singer’s description of the Lukka people as ‘the Habiru of Anatolia’ is very apt.” Though this allusive remark could use some comment, as it has more resonance for students of Near Eastern or Biblical Studies than for those with a background in European history or Classics — compare ‘Phoenicians,”Bagaudae,’ and ‘Goths’ — its accompanying n. 30 has been displaced to the back of the book (404) while the Habiru reappear 110 pages later (168).

Oxford’s decision to equip KHNE with plates is a sound idea. In principle, visual evidence is a great help, especially to non-specialists grappling with a narrative rich in unfamiliar polysyllables. The images of the Lion Gate at Hattusha (84) and Sharruma protecting Tudhaliya IV at Yazilikaya (326) are quite good, while those of Büyükkale (45) and Suppiluliuma II (330) at Hattusha and the southeastern tower of Troy VI (366) are muddy and lacking in definition. Reproducing black-and-white images on plain paper is often a gamble. What is worrying, though, is that Figures 3, 4, and 7 are inadequately identified. The first (155) is captioned “Double-headed eagle, symbol of imperial power.” No location, no date. It is in fact from Alaca Höyük and dates from the 14th century BCE. The other two figures, one entitled “Hittite charioteers at Kadesh” (B’s own photograph, doing double duty as the cover image), the other “Sherden warriors amongst the Sea Peoples,” are clearly Egyptian. Again, no locations, no dates. This missing information is something non-specialists might want to know. 6

OUP’s claim that KHNE takes account of all advances, textual and archaeological, since the mid-1990s does not hold true in all respects. B’s reference to “recent” excavations at Hattusha (45-46, cf. 325) is in fact a holdover from KH and effectively signifies only Peter Neve’s work at the site through 1991, particularly in discovering numerous temples. 7 The final chapter on the Trojan War suffers from a comparable unfamiliarity with more recent work in Greek archaeology and philology. 8 As well, a few typographical errors and other lapses have persisted despite the efforts that went into recasting KHNE. 9

The frustrating aspect of KHNE is its uneven treatment of different classes of evidence. At the very beginning of the book, B alludes to interesting and valuable new archaeological discoveries at Hattusha (xvii-xviii) yet leaves them out of his revised narrative. The chasm between texts and their material context is rarely bridged. B’s old-style focus on writing and fighting — royal edicts, correspondence, apologies, annals, and treaties — excludes virtually any other disciplinary or methodological consideration. One looks in vain for a sense of Anatolia’s varied landscapes or telling historical parallels from elsewhere in antiquity or relevant anthropological or political comparative material of more recent date. 10 For example, the discussion of the final centuries of the Hittite empire and the probable causes of its downfall, particularly the theory that drought and consequent crop failure may have led to destabilizing famine (322, 340-41) or that the empire was doomed by “systems collapse” (342-44), would be considerably enriched by considering what is already known about the place of water and the storage of agricultural products in the Hittite world.

First, to take water. At Hattusha, basins/reservoirs have been found in and near the palatial area of Büyükkale on the city’s east side, where a cultic function has been imputed to them. More recently (2000-2001) however, excavations in the southwestern area of the city have uncovered the so-called South Ponds ( Südteiche), which are too numerous (five) and large (the four oblong ones are c. 38-70 m long, 14-18 m wide, and c. 6-8 m deep the circular one is c. 16 m across and 5.6 m deep) to be mistaken for Kultteiche (religious ponds). In the estimation of the excavators, the elevated siting (only 20 m below Hattusha’s highest point) of the spring-fed South Ponds and their remarkable depth, intended to minimize evaporation loss, indicate their function as a reservoir complex that could supply the entire city with water. 11 Outside the capital, bodies of water with religious functions are known at several Hittite sites, including the Huwasi sanctuary with its Suppitassu spring in the hills south of the city of Sarissa (mod. Kusakli), near Sivas, 12 and the massive masonry “basin” constructed in the reign of Tudhaliya IV at Yalburt (Ilgin), northwest of Konya. The latter is mentioned simply as “a hieroglyphic inscription” that tells of “military operations conducted by Tudhaliya against the Lukka Lands and Wiyanawanda” (304 and 475 n 47). But more ought to be said. The “rectangular stone basin” of Yalburt is a hydraulic installation. It has distinct structural affinities to Eflatun Pinar near Lake Egridir, a spring sanctuary of extraordinary scale and sculptural embellishment, that suggest the latter may also be attributed to Tudhaliya IV. 13 In the reign of Tudhaliya IV, the region in which Eflatun Pinar is situated was part of the kingdom of Tarhuntassa. Kurunta, a cousin and sometime rival of Tudhaliya, was ruler of Tarhuntassa, and on the strength of some seal impressions from Hattusha and an inscribed relief at Hatip, B hypothesizes (319-21) that Kurunta usurped Tudhaliya’s throne as Great King in 1228-1227, although Tudhaliya then regained and kept the kingship until his death in 1209. Thus, given that the Yalburt basin was patently constructed for Tudhaliya IV, one of two conclusions may be drawn: either Tudhaliya IV had Eflatun Pinar built as well, to symbolize his dominance over Tarhuntassa and its water resources (before or after his difficulties with Kurunta), or Kurunta himself commissioned it as a sign of his kingly power, surpassing Tudhaliya’s commemorative basin in its magnificence and splendor. Either way, these projects demonstrate the importance of water not only for its own sake, in connection with thirst, drought, and crop failure, but also as an instrument by which Hittite rulers expressed their power in the final decades before the collapse of their imperial state.

Likewise, turning to the subject of food supply and the fall of the Hittite empire, it is disappointing that Jurgen Seeher’s work on grain storage, alluded to in KHNE’s preface and included in the bibliography, was not successfully incorporated. 14 While the biochemical factors bearing on the subterranean storage of cereals need not occupy the political historian, Seeher communicates the relevant practical fact that at Hattusha there were at least 11 silos on Büyükkaya alone, some of them used down into the 13th century, plus the complex of 16 massive chambers built next to the Poternenmauer in the 15th/14th century, the storage pithoi of Temple 1, and several other potential granary sites this count does not include the silo between Ponds 3 and 5 on the southwestern heights of Hattusha that was decommissioned sometime before the reservoirs were constructed, probably not later than the 15th century. Any city as large as Hattusha would have needed more grain than its immediate neighborhood could produce, but Seeher’s study shows that Hattusha had the facilities to store quantities of cereals large enough to feed thousands of people for multi-year periods. 15 It is quite possible that some or all of these facilities were allowed to fall into disrepair or were emptied and not replenished as a result of crop failure or mismanagement, but their construction history and probable use should in any case figure in the debate about the factors that contributed to the collapse of Hittite power, for the alimentation of the empire and its capital (cf. 331-32) was an inescapable concern of every king. 16

A lament for indexing. In the English-speaking world, we hope that basic books will possess fairly helpful indices. Since KHNE’s numerous chapter subheadings do not appear in the table of contents, which lists only the main chapter titles, the “Final Comment,” and the appendices, it is dispiriting to turn to the Index (537-54) and find that although some index entries are subdivided (e.g. “Anitta,” “Hattusa,” and “Hattusili I”) many lengthier ones — e.g. “Ahhiyawa” (21 page references), “Assyria” (28), “Egypt” (47), “Kaska (lands and peoples)” (39) — lack any subheadings. 17

All in all, despite reservations arising from the treatment of non-textual evidence, this reviewer must second Beckman’s positive assessment, which exalts the book’s central virtue: “… the real strength of … (sc. the book) is that Bryce looks at the world of the Hittites with the eye of a true historian.” To construct a narrative history of the Hittite empire demands acute discernment, powers of synthesis, and appreciable fortitude, drawing as it does on collections of often fragmentary texts that range from legal and administrative documents and diplomatic communications to self-serving autobiography and intercessory prayers. Thanks to B’s decision to let his sources speak for themselves, KHNE shows that the words of the Hittites turn out to be their empire’s most lasting monument.

1. Cf. Beckman’s footnotes 11, 14, and 15 in BMCR 1999.04.18.

2. E.g., Assur now appears as Ashur, Kanes as Kanesh, Nuhasse as Nuhashshi.

3. What this phrase implies is uncertain, since Kurunta was no less Hittite than his cousin Tudhaliya.

4. B cites Seeher 2001b, the publication of a paper delivered at the October 1999 Würzburg Hittitological congress.

5. Also, the KH typographical error “Alexander Paris” has been corrected to “Alexandros (Paris)” (359).

6. Guesses can be made. The running text adjacent to the first caption (234-235) says five temples record Ramesses II’s version of the Battle of Kadesh — could the charioteers be from the Ramesseum? — while the second, judging from the text in which it is embedded (335-336), ought to be part of Merneptah’s document relief at Karnak.

7. The bibliography (523) lists all of Neve’s AA (Archäologischer Anzeiger) reports of excavations at Bogazköy-Hattusha 1983-1991, but only one ( AA 2001: 333-362) of Seeher’s. Not in KHNE: J. Seeher, AA 1995, 600-625 1996, 335-362 1997, 317-341 1998, 215-241 1999, 317-344 2000, 355-376 2002/1, 59-78 2003/1, 1-24 2004/1, 59-76. See also

8. E.g. at 361-362, in connection with a Luwian seal found in Troy VIIIb1. A basic resource missing from the bibliography: I. Morris and B. Powell, eds. A New Companion to Homer (Leiden-New York-Cologne 1997), specifically J. Bennet, “Homer and the Bronze Age,” 511-534 I. Morris, “Homer and the Iron Age,�-559 S. Morris, “Homer and the Near East,” 599-623.

9. Nemesis is inexplicably still italicized as it was in KH (101). Hattusili’s Apology appears twice as Apol ogy, a relic of KH (246-247). For the section heading “Vale Masturi” (303), ‘Vale’ should be italicized. B’s revised discussion substitutes Tarkasnawa for Atpa as the Milawata letter’s addressee (306), but leaves an otiose “ruler” after “ruler of western Anatolia.” The Teresh contingent of Sea People, identified with the Tyrsenoi, are said to be “perhaps the ancestors of the Etruscan people of southern Italy” (336) “north-central Italy” would be more accurate.

10. E.g., historical/political parallels would be useful at 68-69, where Hattusili I establishes his capital at Hattusha, and at 106-107, where B puzzles about the pros and cons of Telepinu’s clemency towards his would-be assassins. At 88-89 and 90-94, scholarly debates about the modalities of royal succession and the significance of Tawananna as name and/or title are reviewed would benefit from anthropological comparanda. B’s own view of what happened when Urhi-Teshub assumed control of the kingdom only to be deposed by his uncle Hattusili (254-62) is less than clear.

11. J. Seeher, AA 2002/1, 61-70 online.

13. Martin Bachmann and Sirri Özenir, “Das Quellheiligtum Eflatun Pinar,” AA 2004/1, 85-122, with full bibliography. This publication, which completely re-examines the site, appeared too late to be included in KHNE, but Eflatun Pinar has been known to scholars since the mid-19th century.

14. J. Seeher, “Getreidelagerung in unterirdischen Grossspeichern: Zur Methode und ihrer Anwendung im 2. Jahrtausend v.Chr. am Beispiel der Befunde in Hattusa,” SMEA 42.2 (2000): 261-301.

15. Cf. Joseph’s advice for the seven lean years presaged in Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis 41.

16. In the Çorum Museum, five bronze sickles from Ortaköy on display are inscribed with the word LU.GAL, i.e. property of the King. The discussion of Rhys Carpenter’s drought theory (341 and nn 65-69) contains no significant archaeological evidence from Hattusha or other Hittite sites supporting or discounting disruptions to agricultural production or food supplies, or water supply, unless one counts Drews (1993) on juniper log rings at Gordion, indicating Anatolian drought c. 1200, Zaccagnini (1995) on famine texts from Emar on the Euphrates, and Klengel (1992) on Syria.

17. Other examples: “Aleppo (Halab, Halap, Halpa)” and “Arzawa (gen)” (30 references each), “Muwattalli II (34), and “Ugarit” (25). The plethora of proper names is paralleled by a lack of general concepts there are entries such as “collapse of Hittite kingdom,” “drought,” and “grain shipments,” but not “officials,” “water supply,” or “agriculture.”

Hattusas Tour

This shrine, formed by two natural ravines, is the largest known Hittite rock sanctuary. The purpose of the shrine remains a mystery, although we can speculate that it was used for annual cult celebrations or even as a royal funerary site. There was probably a processional road leading down from the royal residence at Hattusas, and the presence of a nearby spring may have played a part in the selection of the site as a sacred spot.

In the large rock-enclosed court of Chamber A are some of the most incredible treasures of the Hittite architectural legacy. Hewn from one end of the rock enclosure to the other is a representation of a sacred procession of deities, all of which are of Hurrian origin. Hurrian gods were given prominence by the Hittite Queen Putuhepa, wife of Hattusilis III, who was herself of noble Hurrian or Eastern origin. The cylindrical domed headdress is a symbol of divinity of Mesopotamian influence. The deities are oriented to the main scene on the back wall where the Storm God Tesup and the Sun Goddess Hepatu meet. The Storm God Tesup and Sun Goddess Hepatu, also of Hurrian origin, became the two most important deities in the Hittite pantheon, the accepted counterparts of the Hittite Storm God and the Sun Goddess of Arinna. Towering above the main scene and standing over 3.5m (12 ft.) high is a large relief of King Tudhaliya IV, son of Hattusilis III and Puduhepa. The existence of three depictions of Tudhaliya (there are two others in Chamber B) at the exclusion of all other Hittite kings leads scholars to believe that the sanctuary dates to his reign (1250-1220 B.C.), although the sanctuary's construction was probably begun by his father.

To the right passing through a narrow rock crevice is Chamber B, probably a memorial chapel to King Tudhaliya IV, son of Hattusilis III and Putuhepa. The reliefs in this chamber were buried until the end of the 19th century, so they are better preserved than the ones in Chamber A. The largest relief is of King Tudhaliya IV, on the main wall next to a puzzling depiction of a large sword formed by two extended lions with a divine human head for a handle. This possibly represents the God of Swords, or Nergal of the underworld. The relief on the right wall depicts a row of 12 gods bearing sickles similar to the ones in the other chamber. The number 12 as a sacred number is first seen here and repeated many times in subsequent civilizations -- there were 12 gods of Olympus, 12 apostles, 12 imams of Islamic mysticism, 12 months in a year, 12 days of Christmas, and 12 to a dozen. The three niches carved into the far end of the chamber are believed to have contained the cremated remains of Hittite royalty.

Bursa – First Capital of the Ottoman Empire

The city of Bursa, southeast of the Sea of Marmara, lies on the lower slopes of Mount Uludağ (Mt. Olympos of Mysia, 2543m), with the city deriving its name from its founder King Prusias of Bithynia.

It subsequently came under Roman, then Byzantine rule before it became the first capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1326 under the command of Orhan Gazi. Many important Ottoman buildings still remain in Bursa.

Known as “Green Bursa”, the city is filled with gardens and parks and overlooks a verdant plain. It is situated at the centre of an important fruit-growing region. Bursa was, and still is, famous for its peaches, silk, towels and thermal springs. Make a point to try the locally invented İskender Kebab, a dish of bread, tomato sauce, strips of grilled meat, melted butter and yogurt! Candied chestnuts are another regional specialty. The tour of the city begins on the east of the city at the Yeşil Türbe (Green Mausoleum). Set in a garden and distinguished by its exterior panelling of tiles, the mausoleum holds the cenotaph of Sultan Mehmet I. Across the street, the Yeşil Mosque of 1424 reflects the new Ottoman, as opposed to Seljuk, aestheticism. A madrasah nearby completes the complex and is also home to the Ethnography Museum. Before exploring this area, stop for a glass of tea in one of the traditional tea houses. Going uphill to the east, you pass the Emir Sultan Mosque in its delightful setting and, after walking through a district of old houses, you reach the Yıldırım Beyazıt Mosque (1391).

Cumalikizik Village

Bursa, one of the early capitals of the Ottoman Empire, reflects the early period of Ottoman Culture. Cumalıkızık is a village from that period, a place where time seems to have stopped. The village is notable both for its houses, which are excellent examples of the civil architecture of the Ottoman period, also for its friendly inhabitants that revel in the traditional setting. It is a “living Ottoman village” with an unspoiled historical ambiance everyday living, cultural values and natural surroindings where you are sure to step into a time capsule of wooden houses, narrow streets and monumental trees.

Uludag Ski Center

Thirty-six kilometres from Bursa is Uludağ, is one of the largest centres for winter sports in Turkey, offering a variety of activities, accommodation and entertainment. The ski slopes are easily accessible by car or cable car (teleferik). Although December to May is the best time for skiing, Uludağ National Park is well worth a visit at any time of the year for the lovely views and wonderful fresh air.


A seaside resort town 25km from Bursa, Mudanya has fine fish restaurants and nightclubs which are popular with the residents of the city. The Armistice Museum is also worth a visit. Just 12km from Mudanya, Zeytinbağı (Tirilye) exemplifies the architecture and layout of a typical Turkish town.

The Gulf of Gemlik, 29km from Bursa, has wide sandy beaches, of which Kumla is the favourite.

İznik has contributed greatly to the decoration of mosques.

Iznik / Nicaea

Located 87km from Bursa is İznik, formerly known as Nicaea, which lies at the eastern tip of Lake İznik. The city was founded in 316BC by Antigonas, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. İznik was then taken by another general, Lysimachus, who named the city Nicaea after his wife. After playing a role as an important Roman, and then Byzantine city, it fell to the Seljuks in 1078 and later to the Ottomans in 1331. The Roman theatre was built by Trajan (249-251) and on the shores of Lake İznik stands the Roman senate, where the first Council of Nicaea took place in 325. At the centre of town is the Church of St Sophia, used for one of the most important councils held in 787 over iconoclasm. The church served as a mosque under the rule of the Ottomans. İznik co-equals Jerusalem and the Vatican in its importance to the Christian world. Among the important Islamic buildings in town, make sure to visit the turquoise-tiled Yeşil Mosque and the Nilüfer Hatun İmarethanesi. İznik is still a small town whose 114 towers have not exceeded its original 4227m of Roman walls. The four gates which allowed access to the city still stand. In the 16th and 17th centuries, İznik was the centre of exquisite ceramic ware production which made important contributions to the decorations of mosques and palaces throughout Turkey. A museum displays the finds of nearby excavations. After exploring the sights, the lakeside fish restaurants provide delicious food and a relaxing atmosphere. Five kilometres from İznik, in Elbeyli Village, you can come across a 5th century catacomb and an obelisk 15.5m high built by Cassius Philiscus.

Water Cultu in Hittites and Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument

The Hittites, which left their mark on the Bronze Age period in Anatolia, is a society that draws attention with the importance they give to water resources.

Water and water resources were of vital importance for the Hittites, who were an agricultural society. The vital value of water was not only related to agriculture. In the Hittites, which was a society strictly adhering to belief values, water and water cleaning were very important. The water used as a cleansing tool in rituals against Gods and Goddesses should definitely be far of dirt. So much so that the person responsible for cleaning the water could pay for his slightest carelessness with his life. In addition, the frequent occurrence of plague in the territory of the country increased the value given to water even more. For these reasons, the Hittites gave utmost importance to water resources within the borders of the state.

In many cuneiform tablets obtained, water monuments belonging to the Hittites and libations made there, as well as springs and dams are mentioned.

The Hittites considered the water coming out of the mountain or underground as sacred due to the connection between the holes opened in the earth and the underground world. The places where the water flows were used as sacred places where rituals were held. There are many rituals performed with water in the Hittites. These differ, such as purification, death, birth, prayer, magic, and divination rituals.

The Hittites used water in their religious rituals and libations during holidays. In even, washing the mouth was one of the first steps to be taken during bodily purification. Because the mouth was the place where God’s word came out and it should have been clean.

We read the use of water in the tablets where the ceremonies called “itkalzi” of Hurri origin are written.

12-17 “… As soon as they finish (this), the victim owner comes to bathe and is washed. As soon as he finishes the washing process, the Priest holds the cleansing water. And he leads her to the bathing tent. And as soon as the victim owner has finished the washing process… ” 18-23 “… Pours the same [water] into an empty bathtub of copper or bronze, the other (priest) also comes, holding nothing. And he puts (the bath bowl) next to other cult items… ” 24-28 “… Then he pours it (water) on his head. Besides, he does not pour other water on his head. It puts it down. As soon as he threw the shirt into it and sat on a stool, the priest speak / prayed in Hurri… ”

As an agricultural society, the Hittites built water monuments in many water springs, both because of their religious beliefs and because they were aware that all diseases, especially plague, were caused by not being clean.

Hittite King IV. The Eflatunpınar Monument, built in the time of Tudhaliya, is a rare architectural water system that has survived until today without losing its function.

Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument

More water cult structures were built’s during Tuthaliya IV. (1250-1220 BC). Especially in Konya Region, these cult structures are seen more. In addition to the water systems that can be described as small dams established in the capital Hattusa, with the water monuments around the water springs built in various regions of Anatolia, water springs were kept under control and measures were taken against the water problems in the future. One of these monuments is the Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument, which is located within the borders of the Beyşehir District’s Sadıkhacı Town of Konya.

Hittite King IV. The Eflatunpınar Monument, built in the time of Tudhaliya (there is controversy on this issue), is the rare architectural water system that has survived until today without losing its function. B.C. The Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument, dated to the 13th century, is a workmanship’s product of the stone specific of the Hittites. The monument was built on solid one piece rock. It was built by meticulously combining andesite blocks cut in appropriate with each other.

Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument was not built only to control the spring where it was established. The compositions drawn on the stones are also considered as an open-air temple with god and goddess figures. With this feature, Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monuments Are separated from other rock monuments.

The Water Monument consists of a large pool built on a natural water source and god and goddess figures made in relief technique on rocks shaped in rectangular form. Horizontal water channels parallel to the wall of the pool provide important information about the water system and water technology of the period by allowing the water to flow into the pool.

In 2014, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List as the Hittite Sacred Water Temple.

Outstanding Universal Values Justification for Inclusion in the List: The feature of the Eflatunpınar water pool is that it is one of the rare water systems that are used economically when necessary by collecting the flowing water with the central pool system. This monument is one of the rare monuments not only in terms of its appearance, layout and iconography, but also in terms of technology and craftsmanship used during its construction.

Leyla Murat, Hititlerde su kültü. Tarih Araştırmaları Dergisi, 31, 51. 2012

Dr. Öğr. Üyesi İsmail COŞKUN, Nesim KILIÇ, Hitit Kutsal Su Tapınaklarında Eflatunpınar ile İlgili Değerlendirmeler, 3. Uluslararası Sosyal ve Beşeri Bilimler Kongresi, Van, 2019.

57 pictures related to this museum

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Karchemish, Neo-Hittite mythological relief

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Karchemish, Neo-Hittite relief of a soldier(?) riding a dromedary

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Karchemish, Neo-Hittite relief of Kubaba

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Apollo on a coin of Philip II

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Karchemish, Neo-Hittite relief of a mythological creature

Constantine IV the Bearded

Ancyra, Balgat Tomb, wreath

Heraclius and his son Constantine III

Hattusa, Letter from the Hittite queen Puduhepa to the Egyptian queen Nefertari

Hittite relief of the God Sharruma and King Tudhaliya - History



Places – Monuments – People

Southeastern Europe – Eastern Mediterranean
Greece – Asia Minor – Southern Italy

15 th - 20 th century

TEXIER, Charles Félix Marie. Asie Mineure. Description géographique, historique et archéologique des provinces et des villes de la Chersonnèse d’Asie, Paris, Firmin-Didot, MDCCCLXXXII [=1882].

Charles Félix Marie Texier (1802-1871) was a French archaeologist and architect. In 1823 he entered the School of Fine Arts and by 1827 he had already become inspector of public works in Paris. He conducted excavations in Fréjus and Ostia. During 1828 and 1829 he directed archaeological missions on behalf of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. In 1833, after just one journey, Texier published "Asie mineure: description géographique, historique et archéologique des provinces et des villes de la Chersonnèse d’Asie", overshadowing all the preceding rather simplistic related studies. In 1839 he embarked on an archaeological mission to Armenia, Mesopotamia and Persia, the results of which were published between 1843 and 1845. From 1840 he was Professor of Archaeology at the Collège de France, from 1843 inspector of public buildings in Algeria and in 1855 he was elected an academician.

Texier’s work on Asia Minor was first published in three large-format volumes (1839-1849). An abridged Greek translation of it was published also in the nineteenth century. Many of the illustrations were used in later editions on similar subjects. Texier’s encyclopedic spirit extends beyond archaeology to geography, geology and ethnology. He was among the first to study Byzantine architecture and published a well-documented and impressive edition, again in large format, on the subject.

With R. Chandler (1765), W.M. Leake (early 19th century) and Texier, travellers begin gradually to penetrate the vast interior of Asia Minor. The first explorations were made in the area of Bithynia but the easternmost regions, linked more with looting antiquities than with romantic itineraries, held a dual attraction for travellers, because of their rich Graeco-Roman past and the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

Subjects (70)

Reliefs from Yazilikaya sanctuary near Hattousa (Boǧazkale), capital of the Hittites. a) Goddess of love and war, Shaushka. b) King Tudhaliya IV. c) Nergal, god of the underworld. d) God Sharruma shelters King Tudhaliya IV.

Agora of Gods (or scene of holy wedding) from Yazilikaya sanctuary near Hattousa (Boǧazkale), capital of the Hittites. Central scene depicts Storm-god Teshub and sun-goddess Hebat. Teshub stands on two mountain deities and Hebat on a panther. Behind Hebat, their son Sharruma and daughter Alanzu.

Relifs of gods from Yazilikaya sanctuary near Hattousa (Boǧazkale), capital of the Hittites.

Remains in Hattousa (Boǧazkale), capital of the Hittites.

1. Gate in the walls of Hattousa (Boǧazkal), capital of the Hittites. 2. Gate in the walls of Hattousa.

Watch the video: Hittite (November 2021).