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Yazılıkaya Hittite Rock Sanctuary

Yazılıkaya is a Hittite rock sanctuary located about 1.5 km northeast of Hattuša. It consists of two open-air chambers surrounded by natural rock formations. There is no indication that the top of the chambers were ever covered. The rock walls of the larger main chamber (Chamber A) contains relief carvings of a multitude of Hittite deities. The male deities on the left side of the walls and the females on the right are headed by Storm-god Teshup and Sun-goddess Hepat, who meet at the center of the scene. The sanctuary may have served as a place for the celebration of the arrival of the new year each spring. Chamber B is accessible via a narrow passage and it was probably a memorial chapel for Tudhaliya IV, dedicated by his son Šuppiluliuma II at the end of the 13th century BCE.


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Chamber A on the left and the entrance of the chamber B on the right - E. Anıl, 2018 Composite image of Chamber A on the left and the entrance of the Chamber B on the right - C. Süer, 2011

Chamber A (left to right)
12 gods of the underworld and 3 mountain gods (Nos. 1–15) - E. Anıl, 2011 12 gods of the underworld (Nos. 1–12) - C. Süer, 2011 3 mountain gods behind another god (Nos. 13–16) - E. Anıl, 2011 3 mountain gods (the leftmost is in the shadow) behind another god (Nos. 13–16) - T. Bilgin, 2018 2 mountain gods and 7 other gods (Nos. 16a–24) - C. Süer, 2011 T. Bilgin, 2018 Further male deities (Nos. 25–33) - T. Bilgin, 2018 T. Bilgin, 2018 Sun god and Moon god (Nos. 34–35) - C. Süer, 2011 Attendants Ninatta and Kulitta are following deities Sauska and Ea (Nos. 36–39) - C. Süer, 2011 God Kumarbi standing on mountain peaks (No. 40) - T. Bilgin, 2018 Main scene, the meeting of major deities with Tessub and Hepat in the center - T. Bilgin, 2018 Goddess Hepat, her son Sarruma, and behind them a daughter and a granddaughter above a double headed eagle - T. Bilgin, 2006 Female deities (Nos. 49–55) - T. Bilgin, 2018 Female deities (Nos. 54–55 on the left and 56-57 on the right) - T. Bilgin, 2018 Female deities (Nos. 56-57) - T. Bilgin, 2006 Female deities (Nos. 59-61) - T. Bilgin, 2006 Relief of Shaushka/Ishtar on a block found in Yekbas village, perhaps originally from Yazılıkaya - T. Bilgin, 2018 Relief of Tudhaliya IV and his name in hieroglyphs: Great King, Labarna, Tudhaliya - C. Süer, 2011
Chamber B
Entrance to Chamber B - E. Anıl, 2018 Entrance to Chamber B - E. Anıl, 2018 Two demonic guardians on the left and right of the entrance - E. Anıl, 2018 The left wing guardian - E. Anıl, 2018 The left wing guardian - E. Anıl, 2011 The right wing guardian - E. Anıl, 2011 The view of the entrace from inside - E. Anıl, 2011 Emblem of Tudhaliya IV - T. Bilgin, 2018 Chamber B - E. Anıl, 2011 Chamber B - C. Süer, 2011 The Sword God - E. Anıl, 2011 The Sword God - T. Bilgin, 2018 Relief of king Tudhaliya IV with god Sharruma - C. Süer, 2011 King Tudhaliya IV in the embrace of god Sharruma - T. Bilgin, 2018 Hieroglyphic emblem of Tudhaliya IV: Tudhaliya, Labarna, Great King, Hero - T. Bilgin, 2018 12 gods of the underworld - E. Anıl, 2011 12 gods of the underworld - T. Bilgin, 2006 Detail of 12 gods of the underworld - C. Süer, 2011 12 gods of the underworld - C. Süer, 2011



Literature:
Alexander, R. L. The Sculpture and Sculptures of Yazılıkaya, Newark, 1986.
Bittel, K. et al. Das hethitische Felsheiligtum Yazılıkaya, Berlin, 1975.
Güterbock, H. G. Les Hiéroglyphes de Yazılıkaya. A propos d'un Travail récent, Paris, 1982.
Seeher, J. Gods Carved in Stone: The Hittite Rock Sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, Istanbul, 2011.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, 2006, 2018.
Ertuğrul Anıl, 2011, 2018.
Cüneyt Süer, 2011.