Ancient Cults in Ḫattuša (I) The Cult of Parga and an Excursion to the ašuša-Gate

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Amir Gilan



The present essay explores the question of continuity and change between Kaneš and Ḫattuša in the cultic sphere, reviewing the cult of Parga, probably a fertility goddess of local Anatolian origin, in the Hittite sources. It reveals that Parga appears in several different cultic contexts but within a relatively invariable sequence of offerings, often appearing with the same, often “exotic” deities, such as Zūluma, Šišumma/i, and Šurra. The probable location for performance of many of these cultic sequences in the lower town of Ḫattuša, one of the most ancient parts of the city, shows a great deal of continuity between the Old Assyrian and the Old Hittite periods, and may further highlight the antiquity of these cults. Since some of the cultic action considered in this essay took place in close proximity to the ašuša-gate, the evidence concerning the location of that gate, probably at the western or northwestern section of the fortification wall and near some of the institutions located in its vicinity, will be examined.

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