Statue of a presumed deity discovered at Neo-Hittite capital

A 3000-year-old statue of a female was discovered at the site of Kunulua, also known as Tayinat, in South-East Turkey. The site was the capital of the Iron Age Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina. The statue is believed to be an image of one of the Hittite goddesses.

The discovered statue (by Tayinat Archaeological Project)

The carved head and upper torso of a female figure measure around 1.1 metres in length and 0.7 metres in width. Archaeologists believe that originally the statue would be 4-5 metres high. The identity of the female figure has not yet been determined, but the researchers believe she may be a representation of Kubaba, divine mother of the gods of ancient Anatolia, or maybe a depiction of the wife of King Suppiluliuma, or even a woman named Kupapiyas, who was the wife, or possibly mother, of Taita, the dynastic founder of ancient Tayinat. The object was discovered within a monumental gate complex that would have provided access to the upper citadel of the city. Kunulua, known in later times as Tayinat, was the capital Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 1000-738 BC), located now near the Turkish-Syrian border. Archaeologists believe that the gate complex may have been destroyed following the Assyrian conquest of the site in 738 BC. The area then was  paved over and converted into the central courtyard of an Assyrian sacred precinct, as the city became an Assyrian provincial capital. The lower part of the statue is missing. It was unearthed face down in a thick bed of basalt stone chips that included shard-like fragments of her eyes, nose and face, but also fragments of sculptures previously found elsewhere within the gate area. Archaeologists previously have found there also the head of the Neo-Hittite King Suppiluliuma, who ruled in the early ninth century BC. According to the researchers, with use of some of these chips it will be possible to restore much of the face and upper body of the statue.

(after PhysOrg & Tayinat Archaeological Project)

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