July 17, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

Archaeologists are trying to find the source of the catharsis water mentioned in the Hittite cuneiform tablets in the excavations at Şapinuva

Archaeologists are attempting to discover the source of the sacred water used in purification rituals mentioned in the cuneiform tablets left by the Hittites, who established the first centralized state in the Bronze Age Anatolia, through excavations at Şapinuva.

Şapinuva, located in the province of Çorum in Turkey, was not only established as the capital for the Hittites but also held significant religious and military importance.

It is known that in Şapinuva, where the second largest archive of cuneiform tablets after Hattusa is located, King 2nd Tuthaliya and his spouse Taduhepa, ruled along with the royal family.

The archives of Şapinuva contain around five thousand cuneiform tablets and fragments. Alongside those written in Hittite, the archive houses administrative, religious, military, and divinatory texts in Hattic, Hurrian, and Akkadian languages.

Şapinuva excavation work, initiated in 1990 by Prof. Dr. Aygül Süel and Dr. Mustafa Süel, has been led by Dr. Öğr. Üyesi Önder İpek on behalf of Hitit University after the year 2021.

Dr. Murat Aydın said “the deputy head of the excavation, stated, “At one point, Şapinuva served as the capital of the Hittite Empire and has the second largest archive of cuneiform tablets after Hattuşa.”

Aydın said, “When examining the tablets, we observed letters, religious texts, rituals, and information about Hurrian religious rituals. The emergence of these texts shed light on a relatively obscure period during the Middle Hittite period. With the unveiling of these texts, a previously unclear era has become somewhat clearer. During this time, King 2nd Tuthaila and his wife Taduhepa ruled the Hittite Empire from Şapinuva. Şapinuva was a capital of the Hittite Empire for a period. In addition to its religious significance, it held importance as a capital. We gather this information from the cuneiform tablets. Prof. Dr. Aygül Süel has contributed numerous publications in this field. Correspondences exist not only within the Hittite realm but also with states such as Egypt, Northern Syria, and Western Anatolia. These have added new information to history and altered what was previously known. For example, prior to the discovery of Şapinuva, it was sought more towards the Hurrian region, somewhat closer to the south. With its discovery, both geographically and in relation to other cities mentioned alongside it, Şapinuva’s position has been elevated.”

Şapinuva
Şapinuva Photo IHA

Dr. Murat Aydın emphasized that in the Boğazköy tablets, there is information about the distribution of water from the 7 sacred springs in Şapinuva to the Hittite world. He said, “Alongside the excavations in Şapinuva, research continues into the possible locations of the 7 sacred springs mentioned in the tablets. We have identified a few potential points. Apart from being a capital, Şapinuva holds religious significance. Similar to Jerusalem or Mecca, it was a sacred city for the Hittites. The waters from the sacred springs mentioned in the tablets were used in mouth-cleansing rituals and repentance rituals. Therefore, their flow from here and distribution throughout the Hittite world is highly important. We have sacrificial pits. Foreign scholars once stated that finding sacrificial pits here was impossible. However, Prof. Dr. Aygül Süel and Dr. Mustafa Süel refuted this notion by finding archaeological evidence for these sacrificial pits. Many studies have been conducted on these sacrificial pits. Additionally, the information in the texts aligns perfectly with the structure and contents of the sacrificial pits mentioned in the texts.”

Aydın further explained that the religious mission of Şapinuva continued even after its role as a capital, stating, “In later periods, we find references to Şapinuva’s two ‘storm deities’ in treaty texts, for instance. We also encounter these references in the Ortaköy documents alongside the Boğazköy tablets. We are continuing to introduce innovations to the Hittite world.”

Source IHA

Banner
Related Articles

A lion mosaic reflecting the “Dionysus Cult Place” was found in the Ancient City of Prusias ad Hypium

November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023

A mosaic depicting the ‘Dionysus Cult Place’ was found in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium, known as the...

A colonnaded Roman street connected to the sea was unearthed in Antalya

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

A colonnaded Roman street connected to the sea has been discovered in Antalya, Turkey’s city of culture and tourism. 100...

Painted hieroglyphs found in Hattusa Yerkapı tunnel opens a new page in the Hittite world

April 29, 2024

April 29, 2024

Prof. Dr. Andreas Schachner said that the painted hieroglyphs discovered in the Yerkapı tunnel in Hattusa, the capital of the...

The gold belt unearthed during excavations in Ani Ruins and preserved for 22 years has been put on display

July 1, 2024

July 1, 2024

The gold belt unearthed during excavations in Ani Ruins in eastern Türkiye and preserved for 22 years has been put...

Artifacts reflecting Egyptian influence found in the ancient city of Smyrna

May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024

Artifacts reflecting Egyptian influence were found during excavations in the ancient city of Smyrna, which has one of the largest...

Türkiye backs Athens’ demand for the return of the Elgin Marbles from the UK

June 6, 2024

June 6, 2024

Türkiye supports the return of the Elgin marbles to Greece, which were taken to Britain by Thomas Bruce, the Scottish...

A 1700-year-old statue of Pan unearthed during the excavations at Polyeuktos in İstanbul

June 30, 2023

June 30, 2023

The 1700-year-old statue of Pan was unearthed during the excavations conducted by İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Cultural Heritage...

8,000-year-old cave paintings found in Türkiye’s İnkaya Cave

September 10, 2023

September 10, 2023

A number of cave paintings dating back some 8,000 years have been found in İnkaya cave in the Marmara province...

How did the non-seafaring Hittites of the Bronze Age maintain control over Eastern Mediterranean trade?

August 18, 2023

August 18, 2023

During the Bronze Age, Anatolia possessed significant overland trade routes. The trade colonies established by Assyrian merchants formed the main...

The first company in Anatolia was founded 4000 years ago in Kültepe with 15 kilos of gold

May 26, 2024

May 26, 2024

A 4000-year-old tablet found in Kültepe, one of the most important karums of the Assyrian trade colonies, shows that the...

Volcanic glass rock dating back to 5900 BC found in Dündartepe mound is on display at Samsun Museum

April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Obsidian (volcanic glass rock) blades and many tools belonging to the Chalcolithic Age between 5900-3200 BC, found during the excavations...

2,100-year-old steles transported by military helicopter will be exhibited in Perre Ancient City

May 11, 2024

May 11, 2024

The 2100-year-old steles carried by military helicopter from Kımıl Mountain in Adıyaman’s Gerger district will be exhibited in Perre Ancient...

A surface survey in Karaburun has revealed data related to the lives of hunter-gatherer humans from 11,000 years ago

January 23, 2024

January 23, 2024

It was announced that archaeological evidence of nomadic, gatherer-hunter groups that lived in the region 11 thousand years ago was...

Hattusa: A Journey into the Heart of the Hittite Empire 

December 6, 2023

December 6, 2023

Hello history enthusiasts! Today, let’s embark on a time-traveling adventure to Hattusa, the mysterious capital of the Hittite Empire, peacefully...

A painted, wild boar sculpture discovered at Göbeklitepe

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023

Exciting discoveries have been made at Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe, often referred to as the “zero point” of history. In Göbeklitepe,...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *