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Bull Stone Altar

This large Hittite statue was found on a hill near the village of Savcılı at the banks of the river Kızılırmak, west of the city of Kırşehir. In 1953 it was been moved to a location by Hirfanlı village during the building of Hirfanlı Dam. In 2008 it has been moved to the nearby museum at Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, in Kaman. It is believed to have served as an altar. The rock is carved like a tub and has two drainage holes through to the mouths of each bull. Statue is made of granit and weights about 30 tons. It measures approximately 2.5 by 2 meters on the sides and 1.2 meter in height. The huge two headed animal most possibly represent the sacred pair of bulls of the storm god, named Sherri (day) and Hurri (night). This monument is named among the locals as "Öküztaş" (Öküz=Bull and taş=stone).

Recent findings indicate that the statue was possibly carved at a nearby granite hillside that served as a quary for Hittites (M. Gözen Sevinç, Arkeoloji ve Sanat). The location known as Sivrikale (also called Güneş Çöğü) is a hillside covered with massive granite blocks between the villages of Savcılıebeyit and Savcılıkışla. Couple of unfinished gate lions also found at the same site. Second row of the pictures below show one of them in situ, next to the rock from where it was cut. Both lions are about 2.5 meter in length and 1.7 meter in height and are currently decorating the museum entrance at Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology.


Click on pictures for a larger image.

Öküztaş (at previous location)
T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006 T.  Bilgin - 2006
Unfinished Gate Lions (at previous locations)
In situ gate lion - M. G. SevinçM. G. Sevinç
At current location
T.  Bilgin - 2009 T.  Bilgin - 2009 T.  Bilgin - 2009



Literature:
Sevinç, M. G. "Kırşehir Kızılırmak Yayı İçinde Üç Hitit Anıtı," Arkeoloji ve Sanat 92, 1999: 33-41.
Sevinç, M. G. "Kırşehir Kızılırmak Yayı İçinde Üç Hitit Yontusu," Araştırma Sonuçları Toplantısı 18.2, 1996: 169-80.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, 2006.
Tayfun Bilgin, Bora Bilgin, Ertuğrul Anıl, 2009.
M. Gözen Sevinç, 1999.