Hittite Cult Inventories

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Citatio: M. Cammarosano (ed.), hethiter.net/: CTH 526.17 (INTR 2020-12-16)

Cult inventory

(CTH 526.17)

Textual tradition



KUB 12.2


(+) KUB 59.14


(+) KUB 38.16

Basis of the edition

The present edition is based on the photographs available at the Mainzer Photoarchiv of the Hethitologie Portal Mainz, as well as the available hand-copies and relevant secondary literature up to 2019. When the original manuscripts have been collated, this is noted in the commentary.


Previous editions: Carter 1962: 74-89 (KUB 12.2), Rost 1961: 205-208 (KUB 38.16).

Literature: Collins 2006, Taggar-Cohen 2006: 355-58.

Collated (KUB 59.14, KUB 38.16; March 2020). Fragments of a two-columned tablet, fine-grained clay, clear, non-cursive script, text subdivided in short paragraphs. KUB 12.2, the main fragment, represents the lower half of a large two-columned tablet; the left columns are remarkably larger than the right ones. Ms. A2 is positioned by S. Košak, hethiter.net/: hetkonk (v. 1.992), in the lower half of col. iii, and both the shape and the content of the fragment support this (see below). The indirect join with KUB 38.16 (ms. A3) was recently identified by C. Corti. The collation of mss. A2 and A3 in March 2020 confirmed that the two fragments have identical clay. Sign forms, handwriting and content of both fragments support the assumption of the indirect join with KUB 12.2 as well. Based on its shape, ms. A3 belongs to the upper part of col. i (Rost 1961, 206: “Obere Hälfte der Tafel, Vorderseite, linke Kolumne”). The join with KUB 12.2(+) implies that the PNs of ms. A3 are the local priests, not the manufacturers of the cult images as supposed by L. Rost (1961: 206-207). The fragments KBo 26.161, KBo 26.162, and KBo 56.59 (q.v.) show a very similar handwriting and – as far as the preserved texts allow to establish it – analogous content, but at least KBo 26.161 must belong to another tablet. Two more fragments, namely KUB 51.3 and KUB 51.88 (q.v.), show strong similarities with this tablet and may even constitute indirect joins of it. Both display identical handwriting and sign variants, have clay and shape of the rulings that are compatible with the hypothesis of a join, are organized in short paragraphs, and display a very analogous content. For the sake of caution, however, they have been treated separately.

The text is mostly subdivided in short paragraphs, each one treating a different god; paragraphs are in turn grouped into sections, each one treating a different town. This structure is evident from the formulae present in ms. A1 obv. ii 4′ and iii 24-25 as well as from the double paragraph line which follows in both cases (misrepresented in the copy as a single line). KUB 59.14 (A2) most likely belongs to the third column of this tablet, since context and structure are entirely analogous to those of the section A1 ii 5′ - iii 25. In principle it might belong to the first part of col. ii as well, but the shape of the fragment speaks rather for the former hypothesis. When col. iv resumes, the content structure has changed, suggesting that the inventory of a new town had begun within the intervening gap (differently Collins 2006: 39-40 with fn. 4, 47 fn. 33; note that based on the tablet profile ca. half of the columns of ms. A1 is missing). An analogous difference in the structure of the content can be observed in the case of the towns inventoried in ms. A1 col. i 1′-27′ (possibly continuing up to col. ii 4′) and col. ii 5′-iii 25 respectively.

Summing up, we can identify at least four different towns inventoried in the text:

⑄Town 0 (possibly identical with town 1): A3

⑄Town 1: A1 i 1′ - 27′ (possibly up to col. ii 4′, in this case town […]-aenta)

⑄Town 2: A1 ii 5′ - iii 25 (town Ḫašu-[…])

⑄Town 3: A1 iii 26-29, probably continuing with A2 1′-19′

⑄Town 4: A1 iv 1-25

As has been said, the content structure tends to be homogeneous within the inventory of a single town. In the inventory of Town 1, the text specifies the names of priests and priestesses and the number of bread loaves to be offered. In the case of Towns 2 and 3, the names of priests and priestesses are not specified and the bread offerings are mostly said to be provided by the “town,” i.e. by the local community, with the quantity of bread or flour left unspecified. In all cases where the quantity of bread offerings is specified, there is no remark on the “town” as supplier, showing that the pattern is meaningful (kindly pointed out by J. Lorenz): we can assume that in these cases the bread is provided by the local priest along with sheep and beer. That the priest was by default responsible for the supply of sheep and beer is corroborated by the numerous cases where the bread offering is marked with the topicalizing particle =ma: “one sheep, one vessel of beer, but they supply the thick bread from the town” (see the formulation of the offering lists in ms. A3 and in the paragraphs pertaining to Town 4). In one case, the town must contribute beer as well (ms. A1 iii 17). The structure of the inventory of Town 4 is different and contaminates, so to say, the patterns of Town 1 and Towns 2-3: the names of priests and priestesses are regularly made explicite, but the bread is mostly provided by the local community (and hence its quantity is left unspecified).

Each paragraph begins with the name of the deity (or deities) treated therein, followed by the information on cult image, personnel, offerings, festivals, and suppliers. The paragraphs in ms. A1 i 1′-7′ and iv 1-7 as well as in ms. A2 1′-4′ contain also succinct festival descriptions. The first one of these concerns a festival performed at harvest time (BURU14), which involves ḫazkara-women, lion-men, and the men of the ABUBITI-palace. The second case (ms. A1 iv 1-7) concerns the ippiya- festival, staged in spring (“when it thunders, they break open the pithos…”). The concluding remark “1 pot of kangati-soup, for the spring festival” may be interpreted in the sense that this particular ippiya-festival served as spring festival in this town, or that an interference between a local cult (ippiya) and its interpretation by the royal envoys took place. The rite features the manipulation of a sickle and of a stab. The third case (ms. A2 1′-4′) is too fragmentary to draw any conclusion regarding its nature. All other paragraphs do not contain festival descriptions but simply state that the offerings are meant for the festival(s) so-and-so. This is in all cases the spring festival except for two cases where an autumn festival is foreseen (ms. A1 obv. ii 6′, ii 9′, iv 2); in ms. A1 ii 10′ it is additionally stated that the spring festival conforms with the autumn festival (see commentary). With the exceptions of ms. A1 i 2′ and ii 5′, all cult images treated here are cult stelae.

The text provides a rich repertoire of personal names of priests and priestesses, some of which are responsible for more than one god: Wanni, Tat[tiya?], Palla in Town 0; Tattiya, Armapiya, Marašanda, fBaza, Duddu(wa)lli, Ḫullu, Muttanani, Ḫarwaziti, Wanni, fPiḫawiya in Town 1; Pallanna, Tarḫuntapiya, Ḫutrala, Dudduwalli, and Pallatati in Town 4.

A very interesting aspect of the inventory is the relationship between gods and offerings of piglets, a comparatively inexpensive and quite rare offering within Hittite cults. A study by B. Collins (2006) demonstrated that piglets tend to be offered to deities with a chtonic character, although the minor “costs” as compared to sheep seems to have also played a role at least in some cases (Collins 2006: 44). In the text a number of gods are attested, including local deities as well as supraregional deities and deities with a marked “foreign” origin like the Storm god of Aššur (ms. A1 i 10′, iv 18), Milku (ms. A1 i 20′), and Pentaruḫši (ms. A1 i 12′, ii 15′, iv 12). Such a mixture reminds that of KUB 38.6+ // KBo 70.109+; Pentaruḫši, a deity which seems to belong to the Hurrian milieu and is only attested in cult inventories, appears together with Milku, Yarri, and the Storm god piḫaimi both in KUB 38.6+ // KBo 70.109+ and in KUB 12.2. Indeed the geographical setting of the inventory appears to be the same area to which also KUB 38.6+ // KBo 70.109+ pertains, namely the middle course of the Kızılırmak (Schwemer 2008: 150-52).

Palaeography and orthography: Both older and newer LI, AL without Winkelhaken, UDU with elongated horizontals, ḪA with one Winkelhaken.

A3 i 2′: The restoration of the PN is uncertain, cf. the PN Wanni in ms. A1 obv. i 24′. Wanni seems to be here the supplier of the piglet, not necessarily the priest.

A3 i 4′, 6′: The PN may be Tattiya (who occurs in ms. A1 obv. i 2′); cf. the DN Tatta which occurs in ms. A3 i 14′.

A3 i 11′-12′: Cf. ms. A1 obv. i 2′.

A1 i 4′: On the restoration cf. KBo 26.158 i 4′, 7′ with commentary (differently Carter 1962: 74); HEG W-Z, 275 restores walw[alešš=a], which is possible as well.

A1 i 4′-7′: The restorations proposed by Carter (1962: 74, 89) are very uncertain, since the passages referred to are by no means true parallels.

A1 i 8′: Carter (1962: 74, followed by Collins 2006: 45) restores SANGA at the end of the line, although the Winkelhaken which follows the sign LÚ would imply an aberrant variant of the sign. Taggar-Cohen 2006: 355 fn. 907 states that “the only word appearing is LÚ,” but both copy and photo clearly show the Winkelhaken.

A1 i 20′: On the reading of the DN Milku here and elsewhere see Carter 1980.

A1 ii 4′: The formula marks the end of the section devoted to town [ … ]-enta. The only GNs ending this way are Šarpaenta, the Storm god of which is treated in KBo 2.1 iii 20, and Šienda, mentioned as the town from which beer and wine are shipped to Šananauwa in the district of Wšḫaniya in KBo 12.53+ obv. 8′ (kindly pointed out by Adam Kryszeń). Nothing, however, suggests that this GN is to be identified with either one.

A1 ii 10′: A corresponding remark is found in KUB 17.35 iii 20: “the spring festival conforms with the autumn festival.”

A1 iii 24: The name of the inventoried town begins with Ḫašu… (on the copy the second sign looks more like MA, but the photo clearly shows ŠU, see also Collins 2006: 47 fn. 32 with references); the following sign begins with two stacked horizontals and a Winkelhaken, it may be PÍ or DU (but other signs as well). None of the GNs known to me beginning with Ḫaš(š)u- is compatible with the traces. The total of 17 stelae has been variously discussed (Carter 1962: 89, Collins 2006: 47 fn. 31); the total of sheep cannot be conclusively settled, since one or more sheep might have been listed within the gap of A1 ii 6′. The total of 4 piglets is incorrect, since at least 5 piglets are listed within this section.

A2 iii 2′: Cf. A1 i 5′.

A1 iv 1: Collins (2006: 40 fn. 4, 47) assumes that the numeral “one” is to be read at the beginning of the line, but a DN is expected there.

A1 iv 2: The form iš-ḫu-u-⸢wa-ar-u-wa-aš is a scribal mistake for išḫuwawaš, cf. ii 6′.

A1 iv 5: The reading PÁT is uncertain, Carter and others read NU.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Michele Cammarosano | Produced as part of the research project Critical edition, digital publication, and systematic analysis of the Hittite cult-inventories (CTH 501-530), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – project number 298302760, 2016–2020.

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Editio ultima: 2020-12-16

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