Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 November 2022

Anatolian deitieslocked

Anatolian deitieslocked

  • J. David Hawkins


Deities of prehistoric Anatolia may be inferred from such monuments as the painted shrines of neolithic Çatal Hüyük, or the figurines and ‘standards’ of early bronze age Alaca Hüyük, but only with the advent of writing, c.2000 bce, is a more complete picture available. In the Old Assyrian colony period (c.2000–1800 bce), deities appear as figurines or on seals, sometimes as family groups, sometimes as recognizable figures—the weather-god, the hunting-god, the nude goddess, etc. , with their familiar animals, bull, stag, birds, etc. The Hittite kingdom (c.1650–1200 bce) (see hittites) provides the fullest evidence, where the iconography of seals, reliefs, figurines, etc. , is amplified by the extensive texts of the *Hattuša archives relating to mythology and cult. At Hattuša, overlapping pantheons are attested: the autochthonous Hattian, with that of the Hittites evolved locally, and later the imported Hurro-Mesopotamian, which gradually gained ground over the other two. The proliferation of deities reflects the need to create a national pantheon from a multitude of local cults. Weather-gods and sun-gods head the pantheons, followed by such figures as the grain-god, the stag- (hunting-) god, etc. , ending with natural phenomena such as mountains and rivers, etc. Male deities are provided with female consorts, listed separately and not strongly characterized except for an Ištar figure, who may also appear in the male list.


  • Near East

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription