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Abstract


SPHINX DEPICTIONS IN THE ART OF HITTITE EMPIRE ERA

Since ancient times, it has been known that life and death have had a great effect on shaping of beliefs of several communities living in various cultural regions. Some events, powers and beings that are difficult to understand and their emergence in the nature have driven people into spiritual thoughts. Parallel with the fact that the events appearing in the nature have sometimes frightened people and sometimes equipped them with admiration, the concepts of god and hereafter arose in their minds, consequently. During the early periods of the history, it is possible to see that the understanding of polytheistic religious understanding was dominant in various communities such as Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia. In time, the polytheistic religious understanding paved way for emergence of some beings symbolizing supernatural powers in the spiritual worlds of human. It is understood that the beforementioned supernatural powers of beings were described on some descriptive works sometimes as beings like human-animal mixture sometimes animal-animal mixture. As a result of historical and cultural development, human-animal mixture beings depicted in description art as a reflection of polytheist religious understanding in various cultures such as Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypt are known from the findings unearthed in various archaeological excavations. Within the context of this study, sphinx depictions of human-animal mixture depicted on several works in the art of Hittite Empire Era taking place among supernatural powers will be tried to be evaluated. Sphinx descriptions of lion with human head depicted on various depictive works such as seals, seal prints and parts of courses dated Hittite Empire Era will be tried to be evaluated in terms of iconography and mythology. The sphinx depictions depicted on the works in Egypt and Mesopotamia apart from Anatolia will also be tried to be evaluated within the context of the study.



Keywords
Hittite Empire, Anatolia, Art, Sphinx, Depiction.



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