Hittite Art & Relief Sculptures - Pictures of Hittite Art, Photos & Images { 1963 images } Created 12 Oct 2011

(updated 2021)
Pictures & images of Hittite art, Hittite sculptured relief orthostat panels, Hittite statues, Hittite pottery & ceramics. The webs biggest and most comprehensive on line pictures & images of monumental Hittite art and Hittite artefacts from 1700 to 700 BC. It was only 120 years or so ago that what was though to be the mythical Biblical Hittites were discovered to not only have actually existed but were one of the 3 great powers of the ancient world who competed and fought with Egypt and Assyria for supremacy. The Hittite Empire dates from around 1600 to 1200 BC and thanks to the Hittites highly bureaucratic state that wrote everything down on clay tablets, discovered in the early 1900s in the ruins of their ancient capital Hattusa, scholars have slowly been able to piece together their history. Around 1180 BC, during the Bronze Age collapse, the Hittites splintered into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC before succumbing to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Most of the Hittite art that survives today is from the Neo Hittite period in the form of Bas relief sculpted stone slabs that adorned the walls of Hittite buildings. Hittite monumental art shows that the Hittites had a fertile creative imagination with a vast pantheon of Gods. Hittite art focused primarily on its Gods and in the process created endearing artworks that depicted the Hittite pantheon of gods. The Hittites believed the world was populated by thousands of gods. Every mountain, animal, tree and insect had its own god. Gods were thought to be like humans but bigger. Gods had human emotions and needs and were not seen to be invincible spirits that were faultless. Like humans the Hittite gods were believed to like dancing, music, athletic contests, making love and good food. Hittite sculptors had to solve the problem of clearly depicting a huge pantheon of Gods in Hittite art. Each God had a written set of attributes and a hierarchical standing in the pantheon lists. When the Gods appear together in groups each God has to be portrayed at a scale that reflects its status. At Yazilikaya what appears to us to be a series of processions moving across the rock faces towards the heart of the temple, are in fact a series of static Gods, unrelated to each other, each depicted in its correct place in the pantheon.

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