Iznik pottery, £10.99
Basalt stela showing the goddess Kubaba
Neo-Hittite, 9th century BC
From Birecik, north of Carchemish, south-east Anatolia (modern Turkey)
Holding a mirror and a pomegranate, symbols of magic and fertility
This freestanding basalt monument depicts the Neo-Hittite goddess Kubaba. She was a later version of the Hurrian goddess Hepat who, as consort of the storm god Teshub, had figured prominently in the Hittite pantheon during the thirteenth century BC. At Carchemish she was considered to be one of the most important deities.
Kubaba holds a mirror and a pomegranate, symbols of magic and fertility. Over her is a winged disc. The winged disc originated in Egypt, from where it passed via the Syrians to the Hittites and to northern Mesopotamia. It first appears in Mesopotamia in the glyptic art of the Mittanian Kingdom in the fifteenth century BC.
After the collapse of the Hittite Empire around 1200 BC, Hittite culture survived in parts of Syria such as Carchemish which had once been under their power. These Neo-Hittites wrote Luwian, a language related to Hittite, using a hieroglyphic script first seen in the second millennium BC.
G Leick, A dictionary of Ancient Near E (London, Routledge, 1991)
M. Vieyra, Hittite art, 2300-750 BC (London, A.Tiranti, 1955)