Friday, June 3, 2016

A Few Thoughts about the Hittite Lion - Essay


"I bought a small statuette of a Hittite lion in a market near the Ancient Hittite archaeological site of Hattusha, not far from the city of Bogazkale in central Turkey...."
A Few Thoughts about the Hittite Lion

I bought a small statuette of a Hittite lion in a market near the Ancient Hittite archaeological site of Hattusha, not far from the city of Bogazkale in central Turkey.  Hattusha’s ruins are of a 
double-wall Bronze Age citadel and temple complex which dates to 1600 BC.  Guarding its fortified entrance gate are enormous carved lions, a symbol of Hittite power.

Inscriptions on cuneiform tablets reveal that the Hittites excelled in metal work and made chariots that were superior to those of their enemies, and were pioneers in international diplomacy.  Clay tablets record the world’s oldest known peace treaty between the Hittite King Hattusili III and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses, whom King Hattusili pounced on.  It must have annoyed Ramesses to have a treaty forced upon him by the Hittites after he lost the Battle of Kadesh in 1259 BC., because when Ramesses’ scribes duplicated the treaty on the walls of his mortuary temple in Thebes, their hieroglyphics depicted Egyptian chariots running over Hittite soldiers’ bodies.



Image - Hattusha Lion Gate by Bernard Gagnon
Arrangement with Hittite Lion and 19th Century Landscape by Virginia Billeaud Anderson