For almost two hundred years, archaeologists have been looking for a plausible explanation for the ancient rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya in Central Turkey. Over 3,200 years ago, stonemasons artfully cut more than 90 reliefs of deities, animals, and chimaeras into the limestone bedrock. An international team of researchers now presents an interpretation that for the first time suggests a coherent context for all of the figures. Accordingly, the stone-carved reliefs in two rock chambers symbolize the cosmos: the underworld, the earth, and the sky, as well as the recurring cycles of the seasons, the phases of the moon, and day and night.
This short introductory video helps visualizing how buildings, chambers and gates in Hattusa, the capital of the Late Bronze Age Hittite kingdom in today’s central Turkey, were astronomically aligned. Short time-lapse sequences emphasize the light-and-shadow effects, for instance at the time of the solstices. An artist’s reconstruction shows what the rock sanctuary Yazılıkaya might have looked like when it was in use.
In this lecture video, geoarchaeologist Eberhard Zangger provides an overview of celestial concerns in the Hittite society as they have been recognized in recent years. He then proceeds to present an astronomic explanation for the Hittite rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya near the former capital Hattusa. As is shown, the 66 carved in stone reliefs of the sanctuary’s Chamber A could be used to keep a lunisolar calendar – one that would even still work today.
The lecture was held on 14 March 2019 in Zurich in the framework of a regular meeting of the board of trustees of Luwian Studies.
At the initiative of Nobel laureate Prof. Manfred Eigen, for more than 50 years outstanding scientists from around the world get together to exchange ideas during a winter seminar in the Swiss mountain village of Klosters. Over the years about 40 Nobel laureates have lectured at the Winterseminar.
This video shows the keynote by the President of Luwian Studies, Dr. Eberhard Zangger, at the 50th Winterseminar on 18 January 2015.
Around 1200 BC, the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean went into major cultural decline: The Late Bronze Age came to a sudden end. Kingdoms that had wielded immense power completely disappeared. For several centuries after this, agriculture was people’s only means of subsistence. These were pivotal changes in history. Explaining them remains one of the big challenges in Mediterranean archaeology.
In this video, the foundation Luwian Studies presents a comprehensive and plausible scenario of what might have happened.
The Historia destructionis Troiae (The Story of Troy’s Demise) written by Guido de Columnis in 1287, presented by Dr. Eberhard Zangger, President of the Board of Luwian Studies.