Hattusha - The Wall Paintings of Tell el-Dab'a

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At Bogazköy/Hattusha, the ancient capital of the Hittite empire, a small amount of painted wall plaster fragments were discovered in 1956 during the excavations of the palatial complex on Büyükkale (1). Extensive investigations in the area of the Upper City at Bogazköy during the 1980’s revealed further fragmentary evidence of polychrome wall plastering. Very small fragments were recovered from the infilling of several basement rooms of ‘Temple 9‘ and the wall filling of a later annex building in front of ‘Temple 5’ (2). In 1992 excavations at the Southeast-Bastion on Büyükkale yielded a single fragment within a modern deposition of excavation debris (3).
According to the recently revised chronology of the Upper City the first temple buildings, including possibly ‘Temple 5‘, could be established as early as the late 16th century B.C. (4). The erection of ‘Temple 9‘ was dated somehow later into the 14th century B.C. before the reign of Muwatalli (5). Therefore, the preliminary date of the wall paintings can be assigned to the 15th respectively 14th century B.C.
Due to the small amount and relative small size of the fragments, information about the iconographic repertoire is rather limited. Besides ornamental and geometric motifs like spirals, rosettes and coloured bands parts of animal scenes based on representations of hairs or feathers were reported (6).
(1) Cf. Naumann 1957, 17.
(2) Cf. Neve 1999, 50; Neve 2001, 29.
(3) Cf. Neve 1993, 639.
(4) Cf. Schachner 2011, 85–94. esp. 89f.
(5) Cf. Müller-Karpe 2003, 393f.
(6) Cf. Müller-Karpe 2003, 393f.; Brysbaert 2008, 102.

Fragment of Rosette

In Cooperation with:
The German Archaeological Institute
Istanbul Department

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