Hittite Local Cults
Start Texts Textparts Taglist Tags SNA  

Database Hittite Local Cults

The database Hittite Local Cults was created within the framework of the research projects Critical edition, digital publication, and systematic analysis of the Hittite cult-inventories (CTH 501-530) and Studies on the local cult practices and panthea of the Hittites, carried out at the University of Würzburg by Michele Cammarosano and funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (2016–2020, DFG project number 298302760).

The database was developed by Christoph Forster (datalino.de) in collaboration with Michele Cammarosano. Funding was provided by the Chair of Ancient Near Eastern Studies of Würzburg University.

Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license (CC BY-SA 4.0). Quote as "M. Cammarosano and C. Forster, Database 'Hittite Local Cults', #in preparation, CC BY-SA 4.0," and specify if modifications are made.

User's guide

Purpose

What the database aims to collect

The database aims to collect selected information contained in the cult inventories corpus in a structured form, in order to allow specific, flexible queries and optimize data retrieval.

Corpus

Which tablets the database takes into account

The database includes all tablet (fragments) edited in the frame of the project Hittite Local Cults (cf. #in preparation). For each text, all relevant publication numbers as well as one of the related Leitnummer are noted. The Leitnummer is hyperlinked to Silvin Košak's Konkordanz der hethitischen Keilschrifttafeln, so that it is always possible to compare the text reconstruction as reflected in the database with the newest state of research. Furthermore, the hyperlinks to the Konkordanz provide the option to access the digital editions of the texts.

In the TEXT and TEXTPARTS sections, the field "Filter by text publication" allows to select any text that is included in the database. By typing a string, e.g. "kub..." or "26.1...," the relevant fragments are automatically displayed in a dropdown-menu.

Texts and textparts

How the tablets are analysed

A text corresponds here to a cult inventory considered as a unique, abstract entity including all parallel versions (if extant) of a specific inventory. Only in a few cases a text consists of two parallel versions of the inventory. In these instances, the publication numbers of the parallel versions are given within the "Notes" field of the principal version.

The fundamental principle for the analysis of the information contained in the texts consists of the distinction between texts, defined as above, and textparts. Whenever it was deemed possible and appropriate, a text has been subdivided into textparts, which are to be considered as meaningful sections of it. Most typically, the various textparts of a text correspond to its sections corresponding to the inventory of different towns. When the inventory is particularly detailed, however, it has been possible to operate a more subtle partitioning, e.g. by considering sections which treat different festivals and/or different deities within a certain town as separate textparts. Conversely, data extracted from highly fragmentary context have been sometimes grouped in one textpart, although there is no certainty that they refer to one and the same town.

In sum, textparts represent meaningful, internally coherent sections of a cult inventory. A textpart may consist of one or more paragraphs. The paragraph numbers given in the database correspond to the numbering in the related text editions.

The distinction between texts and textparts has implications for the usage of the database, insofar as the material can be analysed either "per texts," i.e. grouping together the data contained in a single text, and "per textparts," i.e. considering each textpart as a separate entity.

Analysis

Which data are recorded and how they are marked

Type of content

For each textpart, the following data have been recorded in separate categories in form of tags:

The last category refers to miscellaneous data: particularly relevant are tags marking the presence of a "festival description," "cult image description," "mention of His Majesty," "direct speech," and "colophon," since these data are of special importance for establishing groups of texts based on content, or for retrieval of specific information (e.g., for listing all texts or textparts containing a cult image description, or all tablets with preserved colophon, etc.). All geographical and divine names that do not belong in the categories "deities" and "towns" – since they do not correspond to the inventoried settlements and to the worshipped deities respectively – are recorded in this field, too. Moreover, data like personal names, the presence of an "archival remark," etc. are recorded in this field.

Tags

Relevant data are recorded in the database in the form of tags and following a standardized orthography in order to maximize retrieval. E.g., the spring festival is always tagged as "ḫamešḫandaš" independently of whether it is written phonetically or logographically, and the tag "kattaḫḫa" is used for all instances where this deity is attested independently on the used spellings (Ḫattaḫḫa, Kattaḫa, etc.).

A complete list of the used tags, with filter options, is available in the section TAGLIST. For correspondences between variant forms of proper names, see the database Laman at https://cuneiform.neocities.org/laman/finder.html.

Importantly, the tags make no distinction between fully preserved and restored attestations. However, partially and fully restored attestations are recorded as such in the "Notes" field within the section TEXTPARTS. This provides users the possibility to check whether attestations are restored or not without having to inspect the text edition.

In view of the standardized orthography used in the database and of the degree of arbitrary interpretation which necessarily informs the analysis, users should check the digital transliterations whenever appropriate.

Semantic markers

The following markers can be used for filtering data:

Deities and Deity-Types

Divine names have been recorded on two levels. In the first place, deities have been recorded under their various manifestations as attested in the texts (albeit using a standardized orthography, see above). Additionally, divine names that can be considered as distinct manifestations of an overarching deity or as distinct writings of one single deity have been tagged as "Deity-Types" on a separate level. For example, all manifestations of Storm gods have been tagged as "Deity-Type: Storm god;" likewise, "DLIŠ," "Šawuška" and "GAŠAN URUŠamuḫa" have been tagged as "Deity-Type: Šawuška," and so on. Instances of deities that are taken collectively in the texts (DINGIRMEŠ) have been tagged as a Deity-Type too for the sake of retrievability.

Since it is important to distinguish between specific manifestations of a deity and "deity-types," the correspondence between the former and the latter ones has been tagged on a secondary level, and can be taken into account by selecting the relevant tags in the search field "Deity-Types" within the TEXTS and TEXTPARTS sections. A list of correspondences between divine names and Deity-Types can be obtained by sorting the tags of the category "Deity" according to "Deity-Types" in the TAGLIST section.

Determinatives and Akkadograms

In order to improve machine-readability, special conventions are used for marking determinatives and Akkadograms: the former are enclosed by degree symbols (°), the latter are preceded by an underscore (_).

Structure and use

How the database is organized and how it can be used

The database is structured into five main sections: TEXTS, TEXTPARTS, TAGLIST, TAGS, and SNA (Social Network Analysis).

Sections TEXTS and TEXTPARTS

The sections TEXTS and TEXTPARTS display the data grouped by texts and textparts respectively (the "Notes" field is available in the TEXTPARTS section only, see above). For each tag, the number of instances within the relevant text (or textpart) is given in brackets if other than one.

Users can select any number of tags for any category. For selecting a tag, any string can be typed in the relevant fields (diacritics-insensitive); the relevant tags are automatically displayed. Additionally,texts andtextparts can be filtered by selecting the d-, dm-, ds-, and dr- markers within the "Deities" field (e.g., by selecting the "dm-" marker the results are restricted to those texts – or textparts – in which divine mountains are worshipped).

By clicking on a tag box, a pop-up window opens, showing the frequency of attestation, the relevant texts and textparts, and the "accompanying tags," i.e. those tags which co-occur with that specific tag within a single textpart (conjunction: textpart) or within a single text (conjunction: text). The tag conjunction is set by textparts by default, and can be changed by clicking on the relevant links within the pop-up window.

Multiple pop-up windows can be opened at the same time.

Section TAGLIST

In this section, the tags can be listed, sorted, searched, and filtered. Tags can be sorted alphabetically (header "Sort") and alphanumerically ("Tag") as well as by category, Deity-Types, and frequency. Users can choose whether to display all tags or only those of a specific category.

Tags can also be retrieved by typing any string in the "Search" field (diacritics-insensitive). In this way, it is possible to retrieve all tags containing a certain expression (e.g. "nerik," "ARAD," "É.GAL" etc), or certain categories of data (e.g. all geographical or personal names attested in the corpus, by searching for tags containing "uru-" and "mr-"/"ms-" respectively).

Section TAGS

In this section, the data are organized by tags. These can be sorted either alphanumerically (Tag ASC/DESC) or by their rate of occurrence within the corpus (Frequency Textparts/Texts), and users can select whether to display all tags or only those belonging to a specific category.

The "Search" field (diacritics-insensitive) allows free text search within the tags of the selected category, along the same lines as for the TAGLIST section. The query applies to the tag names.

For each tag, the "accompanying tags" are listed, with the rate of occurrence given in brackets within each tag box. This number corresponds to the frequency by which tags are attested together with the reference tag within one single textpart: in this section, the criterion for the tag conjunction is by textparts.

In the "Textparts" and "Texts" columns, boxes provide information on the textparts and texts where the reference tag is attested, together with its rate of attestation given in brackets. By clicking on them, the relevant pop-up windows open, which also provide hyperlinks to the Konkordanz der hethitischen Keilschrifttafeln.

Examples of basic queries

Section SNA

The aim of this section is to provide an opportunity for the social network analysis of the gods treated in the corpus as object of worship, by putting at disposal the relevant datasets and a gephi project that can be processed independently.