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Hattusha Lion Gate

Hattusha, Capital City of the Hittite Empire

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Hattusha Lion Gate. The Lion Gate is one of several gates of the Hittite city of Hattusha.

Hattusha Lion Gate. The Lion Gate is one of several gates of the Hittite city of Hattusha.

Nazli Evrim Serifoglu
The south western entrance of the Upper City of Hattusha is the Lion Gate, named for the two matched lions carved from two arched stones. When the gate was in use, during the Hittite Empire period between 1343-1200 BC, the stones arched in a parabola, with towers on either side, a magnificent and daunting image.

Lions were apparently of symbolic importance to the Hittite civilization, and images of them can be found at many Hittite sites (and indeed throughout the near east), including the Hittite sites of Aleppo, Carchemish and Tell Atchana. The image most often associated with Hittites is the sphinx, combining a lion's body with an eagle's wings and a human head and chest.

Source:
Peter Neve. 2000. "The Great Temple in Boghazkoy-Hattusa." Pp. 77-97 in Across the Anatolian Plateau: Readings in the Archaeology of Ancient Turkey. Edited by David C. Hopkins. American School of Oriental Research, Boston.
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