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galleries-and-reliefs

Galleries And Reliefs

The rock-cut sanctuary consists of two galleries, referred to as the large and srnall galleries. The reliefs found In the large gallery consist of sixty-four figures, representing sixty-three separate deities of the Hittite pantheon. These were carved in the T3th century B.C. during the reign of Hattushili III. The walls of the natural sanctuary are limestone, open to the sky, and the reliefs are carved on the verticaf sides of two main recesses or chambers. On the west wafl of the large gallery, we find reliefs of gods. Goddesses are repre-Sculptures of the main gallery at Yazihkaya. sented on the east wall. The largest relief in the gallery is devoted to King Tudhaliyas, measuring almost three meters high. He is shown in the protective embrace of the god Sharruma. The king is dressed simply, wearing a round skullcap and carrying the curved pastoral staff. His monogram is carved in hieroglyphs beneath a winged sun disk above his head. The god is wearing a short tunic. His position is shown by the tali conical horned headdress that is decorated with divided ellipses. On the east wall of this chamber, Tudhaliyas is again depicted. Here he is represented armed, again In a skullcap, and holding a kaimush, which was the sign of sovereignty, in his left hand. Two hieroglyphs In the form of an Ionic capital stood for the «Great King». Kinjj Tudhaliyas is standing on two mountain peaks, a deified king. He allowed himself to be pictured during his lifetime as a deity in reliefs, a exception to the general tradition of the deification of’ sovereigns after death. The two mountains upon which the king rests are representative of Ammuna and Arnuwanda,

The central relief at Yazilikaya represents the weather god of Hattusa standing on a mountain; next to this is the weather god of heaven, also resting on two mountain peaks, two deified mountains called Nanni and Hazzi. This god has two sacred bulls, Serri and Hurri. One of these is shown in the relief. The other bull is shown beside the consort Hepat, The two bulls mean day and night in the Human language. This god is the weather god Teshub.

He is the highest god of the Hittite line of deities. His hat is decorated with five god ideograms and horns. The weather god of Hattusas, on the other hand, and the god Sharruma, who are flanking Teshub and Hepat in-the relief, are wearing hats with the ideograms missing. These two have horns only in the front of their caps while Teshub has them in both the front and the rear, Hepatu or Hepat is the leading female deity of the Hittftes; she Is the sun goddess of Arinna. Sharruma is the son of Teshub and Hepatu. In this relief, he stands on the back of a panther, like his mother, and is armed with a long-handled axe. Two goddesses behind him have not been identified.

The great Babylonian goddess Ishtar is represented at the shrine in Yazilikaya and was worshipped in the region under the Hurrian name of Shaushga. Ishtor was considered the sister of Teshup, and she held the position of goddess of war and law. In the relief, Ishtar is pictured with two of her attendants, the goddesses Nfnatta and Kuiitta. She wears a conical headress as a sign of deity and holds an axe.

The small gallery at Yazilikaya Is thought to have been dedicated to the cult of a dead king, perhaps to Tudhaliyas III. The three rectangular niches in the small gallery perhaps contained the burial urns of the Hittite royal family

 

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