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The Hittite Rock Sanctuary of Yazılıkaya: A Time-Keeping Device from c. 1230 B.C.
ConferencePaper (Artikel, die in Tagungsbänden erschienen sind)
ID 4639914
Author(s) Zangger, Eberhard; Gautschy, Rita
Author(s) at UniBasel Gautschy, Rita
Year 2021
Title The Hittite Rock Sanctuary of Yazılıkaya: A Time-Keeping Device from c. 1230 B.C.
Editor(s) Draxler, Sonja; Lippitsch, Max; Wolfschmidt, Gudrun
Book title (Conference Proceedings) Harmony and Symmetry: Celestial regularities shaping human culture. Proceedings of the SEAC2018 Conference in Graz
Place of Conference Graz
Year of Conference 2018
Publisher tredition
Place of Publication Hamburg
Pages 98-106
ISSN/ISBN 978-3347146327
Keywords Bronze Age Anatolia, Hittite religion, Yazılıkaya, lunisolar calendar, ancient calendars, archaeoastronomy

The Hittite rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya in central Anatolia contains over ninety rock-cut reliefs of deities, humans, animals, and mythical figures dating to the second half of the 13th century B.C. The site’s function has thus far remained enigmatic. We suggest that the reliefs in Chamber A are arranged in groups for the purpose of keeping track of lunar months, the days of a lunar month, and years. By marking the days and synodic months, the Hittite priests were able to determine when additional months were required to keep lunar and solar years aligned. Keeping track of time was imperative for the Hittites priests to ensure that the many annual festivals fall into the appropriate seasons.


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