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Chamber 2, The Hieroglyph Chamber

Near the Southern Citadel in the eastern part of the Upper City two monumental domed chambers could be partially restored from large limestone blocks.

 

Chamber 1 was not decorated, but Chamber 2 was adorned with reliefs that have survived in excellent condition thanks to the blanket of earth under which they lay protected over the millennia. On the back wall stands a sun-god in a long cloak and slippers curling up at the toe. Identified by the double winged sun positioned over his head, he holds a curved rod in his left hand, and in his right-as befits a giver of life-a somewhat modified version of the Egyptian ankh-the emblem of life.

Chamber 2 in the eastern Upper City

The Sun God in relief on the back wall of Chamber 2

The relief to the left represents Shupiluliuma II, the last of the famous Great Kings of Hattusha and the ruler responsible for the construction of the chamber. He is portrayed in the short skirt of the warrior, a sword in his belt and a lance in his right hand; a bow is slung over his shoulder. On his feet you can make out slippers curling up at the toes, and on his head he wears the pointed hat typical of divinities; this one has three horns at the front. Before him are his title and name, inscribed in Luvian hieroglyphics. The Great King apparently had himself portrayed as a god even though he was still alive and active at the time, as is confirmed on the wall opposite.

We have a six-line inscription in Luvian hieroglyphics chiseled into the wall opposite. (Luvian hieroglyphics are a picture-script developed in Anatolia; neither linguistically nor pictorially do they have anything to do with Egyptian hieroglyphics). Although the inscription has yet to be completely deciphered, the main gist of it is clear: the Great King Shupiluliuma reports that with the blessings of the gods he has conquered several lands, including that of Tarhuntassa, and that he has founded new cities and made sacrifices to the gods at various locations. The last sentence mentions "a divine earth-road." D. Hawkins, a specialist on Luvian hieroglyphs, accepts this as the dedicatory building inscription stating the purpose of the structure, here indicated as a passage leading into the earth, into the underground. Thus the chamber might have been a symbolic entrance to the Underworld.

Luvian hieroglyphic inscription on the right-hand wall of Chamber 2