The Lion Gate
For years, skeptics were convinced that several of the enemy nations mentioned in the Old Testament were fictitious. These peoples, skeptics claimed, were an invention by the Israelite who wanted to be able to claim great victories in the past to make up for recent defeats in the time of the writers. Among those supposedly imaginary people were the Hittites. They are repeatedly mentioned throughout the TaNaKh (Old Testament) as the adversaries of the YaShaRAL and their ALaHiYM YaHuWaH. BaRaShiYTh 10 (Genesis) states they were the descendants of Heth, son of Canaan, who was the son of Ham, born of Noah.
The not-so-imaginary Lion Gate was unearthed. In 1833, the French archaeologist Charles Texier (1802–1871) was sent on an exploratory mission to Turkey, where in 1834 he discovered ruins of the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa. Ernest Chantre opened some trial trenches at the village then called Boğazköy, in 1893–94. Since 1906, the German Oriental Society has been excavating at Hattusa (with breaks during the two World Wars and the Depression, 1913–31 and 1940–51). Further excavations found other Hittite monuments, fortified cities and even the ancient capital of the Hittite nation. There were also thousands of documents and cuneiform tablets discovered that recorded Hittite culture, language and histories. Far from being fictitious, studies of the Hittites and their artifacts showed that the Hittites were a adversary’s to the Israelite’s. They controlled an empire that stretched from modern-day Syria all the way to Turkey.
Short video on Hattusa ruins in Turkey
THE SPHINX GATE
The other gate receiving much attention is the Sphinx standing at the highest point of Hattusa. The Hittites had a close relationship with the Egyptians possibly explaining the symbolic reference, but historians have deduced that whereas in Egypt, sphinxes relate to the male form, in Hattusa, the statues depicted female form. Possibly used for ceremonial purposes only, the sphinxes standing there today are replicas, and the originals are in the nearby Bogazkale museum.
THE KINGS GATE
The well-preserved King's Gate with its missing arch resembles the Lion Gate apart from the relief on the left-hand side that has baffled historians for years. They originally thought it was a king, hence the name but then a theory suggested the relief had female features and they wondered if it was Amazon she-warrior. They finally agreed that it is a depiction of a ALaHiYM said to protect those as they entered and left the city.
YAZILIKAYA ROCK SANCTUARY
Many other structures sit within the main boundary walls of Hattusa, but it is also worth taking a short drive to visit Yazilikaya also known as the home of the 12 ALaHiYM’s of the underworld. Various depictions of Hittite ALaHiYM’s and goddesses feature on the faces of the rock sanctuary, but the one that has everyone talking is in an enclave. It is of 12 males in a line wearing conical hats on top of distinctive curly hair.