Statue of Hittite king to be used for Turkey’s 2013 promotional videos and ads
The statue of Hittite King Suppiluliuma II will be used in Turkey’s 2013 promotional videos and advertisements.
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay stated that the statue of Suppiluliuma II, unearthed recently in the southern province of Hatay by an excavation team headed by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Timothy P. Harrison, will be used in Turkey’s 2013 promotional videos and advertisements.
A team of experts discovered the statue in Tell Ta’yinat, a low-lying ancient tumulus, on the eastern bank at a bend in the ancient Orontes River. The site is near the town of Reyhanlı in Hatay, about 25 kilometers southeast of Antakya (ancient Antioch).
The primary source of funding for the excavation comes from the University of Toronto and the National Research Council of Canada, with additional funding coming from Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other foundations.
Günay added that the statue of Suppiluliuma II will be an important aspect of the Hatay Archeological Museum. “The statue will also be the symbol of the Hatay Archeological Museum. We will put the statue at the highest place in the museum. The statue is a big gain for Turkey,” continued the minister.
Günay said the statues of the other civilizations found in Turkey are also part of the richness of Turkey, but the statue of Suppiluliuma II is a statue that truly belongs to Anatolia because of its Hittite origin. So “the statue will be Turkey’s tourism envoy in 2013 by means of its presence in the promotional advertisements and videos,” said Günay.
The head of the statue is a colossal one-and-a-half meters in height, weighing one-and-a-half tons, with a beard and a stylized cap of curly hair. While the find is well-preserved, it constitutes only the top half of the artifact; the remainder has yet to be located. Its arms are decorated with wristbands and the statue holds a lance in one hand and a shaft of wheat in the other.
The statue has a very well-preserved Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription on the back.
According to Dr. Harrison, the features of the statue are well preserved. Although other, larger statues from the Hittite period have been found, “the context in which they were found was not recorded and they were not as finely crafted,” noted Harrison.
Suppiluliuma II was reportedly the last king of the Hittite Empire. He conducted the first recorded naval battle against Cypriots in history. The king is believed to have ruled between 1178 and 1027 B.C.
The statue of the Hittite king has drawn the attention of children, as well. Children, including Minister Günay’s daughter, have nicknamed the statue “Şuppi.”
Resource: Today’s Zaman