The Hattusa Lions Gate

The Hattusa Lions Gate
The Hattusa Lions Gate

The culture of the Hittites is one of the most brilliant of ancient times in the Near East. A town that is one of the greatest exponents that the cradle of civilization occurred around the second millennium BC in this area of ​​the world, between Mesopotamia and Anatolia . And it is because of many traces that have survived to this day. And among them, the remains of the city of Hattusa, in Boghazkoy, territory of today's Turkey stand out for their monumentality..


Hattusa Lions Gate

There were found the remains of this monumental entrance, made up of two large megalithic blocks about 225 centimeters high, whose limestone surface was carved into the shapes of two lions. A work that archaeologists date to around 1,400 and 1,200 BC.

This city of Hattusa was the capital of the Hittites, which is why this work is also known as Puerta Real, alluding to the fact that it would be one of the main entrances to the city, which was completely walled. It is known that those walls were imposing with two volumes, of different heights. And even within the city there were also walled compartments, to make conquests even more difficult, in case the enemies managed to enter.

To access there would be several doors, and the best preserved is that of theLions. This animal has always been a symbol of strength and power. Even more so in threatening poses when they are shown with their jaws open.

In these monoliths the most outstanding parts are the lion's head and also its front part, which on the other hand is the most identifying part due to the emblematic mane of these animals. The presence of these figures is clearly linked to defense work. But not in terms of men, since the reliefs could do little against the enemy. However, power against evil spirits would be attributed to them.

Other examples of this type of door have been found in Hattusa itself, such as its King's Gate, where the figure would correspond to some Hittite divinity. And they have even been found in other walled enclosures of this culture, such as in Alaca Hóyük, where the Puerta de las Esfinges, a mythological animal of the Antiquity par excellence.

Although it must be said that if we refer to the sculptural quality of the work, the truth is that it would be somewhat inferior to that of other contemporary peoples, as evidenced by works of Egyptof the pharaohs or certain areas of Mesopotamia. However, there is one element that makes it a very advanced work for its time, and that is that everything seems to indicate that those monoliths of the doors in Hattusa were the seat of some parabolic arches, something truly extraordinary at that time in history. Although those works of archaic architecture have not survived to this day.

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