In the article “The sculptures of Alacahoyuk: A key to religious symbolism in Hittite representational art”, a Professor of Hittitology, Piotr Taracha, proposes that Alacahoyuk was one of The Hittites holy cities. According to Piotr Taracha, Alacahoyuk is located in Northern Anatolia just above the capital, Hattusa. The significance of the site Alacahoyuk is analyzed for its architectural composition that is associated with Hittite religion. The sculpture, The Sphinx Gate is structures as an entry way into the remains of an important Hittite center, Alacahoyuk.
The towers depict images of two figures of a royal status said to be the sun-goddess and the tutelary God (page111). Along the brick walls are scenes of cult and hunting the role the pair play in religion and sustenance. (Page 110). His interpretations concluded from the Sphinx Gate show depictions of hunting scenes that is compared to other Hittite art. In these scenes we see the Sun goddess and the Tutelary god being offered animals by the High priestess and also these animals being slaughtered.
This would indicate that this event was a religion ceremony that the People of Alacahoyuk celebrated. Page 110). Over this past semester, we have learned about the Hittite Empire in terms of the civilizations trade routes, manufacturing of Iron and bronze, and ware fare are what allowed the civilization to expand. The debate of the Sphinx Gate is not only analyzed as a religion symbol but it is a physical staple of this empires dominance. In class, we learned that Alacahoyuk had a secret weapon that other civilizations were unable to acquire. However, this secret weapon of manufactured iron advanced their civilizations economy and gave them a trade alliance with Egypt.
For instance, the “Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty” dating back to 1259 B. C, gave both civilizations access to the production of goods being cultivated in each region. In addition, this peace treaty allowed King Tut get his iron and gold dagger. This connection between the cultures goes back to how the Sphinx Gate is a symbol of the Hittite empire because of the trade routes, and the society’s technological advances. In the article, the period of time is still up for debate. Professor Piotr Taracha believes the Sculpture dates back to the 13th century because the carvings was not fully completed. Pages 109).
One thing that should be highlighted is that the 13th century is relatively close to the Iron Age which starts from 1000 BC. In addition, Professor Piotr concludes that Hittite Art continuously argues that Alacahoyuk was a city constructed around religion. He said, “Hittite Art masterfully used by the artists to communicate the idea of the primary trio in the Hittite state pantheon—the sun-goddess, the storm-god, and the tutelary god-and combine it with an illustration of real events connected with a local festival attended by the royal couple.
The cult scenes in monumental sculpture at the main gate of the upper city demonstrate convincingly that Alacahoyuk was one of the Hittite holy cities. ” Prof Piotr Taracha. (Page 113). This review from professor Piotr is acceptable because his conclusion are gathered from the images on the walls of the Sphinx Gate. Whenever we learn about offerings and sacrifices in any culture, this is most associated with religious ceremonies. For me, this sculpture at Alacahoyuk would conclude that it was built when the empires was at its greatest in all aspects.
Review 2 Camuffo, Dario. “Controlling the Aeolian Erosion of the Great Sphinx”. Studies in Conservation 38. 3 (1993): 198–205. Web… Summary In the article “Controlling the Aeolian Erosion of the Great Sphinx” by author Dario Camuffo, he proposes his ideas of how to control the erosion on the Great Sphinx. One of his ideas was to cover the sphinx with a plastic folding top. (Page 198). The great sphinx is a limestone statue that features the head of Pharaoh Khafre with the body of a lion.
It was built in the Giza dessert approximately around 2500 B. C. (Page 198) Dario Camuffo concludes that the Sphinx had been severely damaged mostly by wind erosion over the past 4600 years. This explains the reasoning behind the plan to conserve the Sphinx because it loose about 3mm of its body a year. (Page 198). He also concludes that the face of the sphinx still have traces of color in which had not severely suffered from erosion so there would not be a need for much protection on the face. In class we discussed the sphinx in short detail.
One thing that is significant to this article that I learned in class is that it had previously been restored by Tutmosis I. Another significant fact is Khafre built this sphinx just next to valley temple and his Pyramid, The Great pyramid of Giza. More specifically this Sphinx affects the natural environment because a lot of erosion has taken place which could lead to an undefined statue if it not well preserved. Based on my own conclusions, this structure symbolizes the Egyptian civilization Technological advantages.
In order to construct such a grand original statue it took a lot of time and dedication. However, I feel like the author didn’t focus enough on the production that went into making the Sphinx. He more so explained the reasons why the Sphinx erode rather than giving more facts about the history. I would have liked to read a chronological history such as the when it was built, leading into the 1st restoration by Tutmosis I, and finally how we came to the decision of restoration today.
Also, I don’t feel like he talked about the symbolism of the Sphinx. I gave my own conclusions of the Sphinx symbolism but. Overall this review was ok but it was not acceptable to me. Synthesis In the articles, “Controlling the Aeolian Erosion of the Great Sphinx” and “The sculptures of Alacahoyuk: A key to religious symbolism in Hittite representational art” Both Dario Camuffo and Piotr Taracha give their interpretations of Architecture in the Hittite empire and Egyptian civilization.
After reading and summarizing both articles, I am capable of giving a detailed synthesis on the similarities and differences between the two articles. In the first review, the idea of religion played a major role in the Sphinx Gate while in the Second Review, The idea of protecting the great Sphinx with plastic is explored. Both of these articles are similar to each other in terms of the kind of architecture being discussed. In the first review, The Sphinx Gate looks like the Egyptians style of architecture had an influence on the way the gods/goddess are presented.
The towers show each royal figure with a headdress that looks exactly like the one depicted on King Tut. Since the Egytians and the Hitties formulated the “Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty” dating back to 1259 B. C, this leaves the question of whether the civilizations had influenced each other. Also, religion is significant to both the Sphinx Gate and the Great Sphinx based on the fact that the human population where expected to worship these gods and goddesses along with divinity that came before them.
As there are similarities, there are many differences as well. In the first article, we see the Sphinx Gate with pictures telling the story of a holy city while the Great Sphinx is just the face of Pharaoh Khafre with a lion body. This is significant because the Sphinx Gate is a way of showing their way of principle of society. For instance, the gate show what looks like an event with animal sacrifice and offerings being given to the divine gods/ goddesses. However, the Great Sphinx is not a realistic story or event that may have happened.
It may have been constructed by Khafre just to show off his royal status and it may be a way of depicting him as a supernatural divine God that is expected to be worshipped by citizens. Also, both figures depict animals but they are shown in seem to be held to different standards. In the Sphinx gate they are being slaughtered as sacrifices and in the Sphinx, the lion is represented as being fearless and fierce since it is attached to Khafre. Some other differences is the style of writing by each author.
In the first review we reading a very detailed analysis of the Sphinx Gate which tells us a lot about this civilizations beliefs and systems. In the second review, we are reading about erosion on the Great Sphinx but he doesn’t discuss the significance of the Sphinx and why he want to preserve it. In closing both authors Piotr Taracha and Dario Camuffo have interesting observations of the architecture in Alacahoyuk and Egypt that demonstrates both civilizations where advanced in technology and established in there way of life.