A Hittite Tufa Eagle

Originally Published in 1930

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Stone eagle with wide base
Plate X — A Hittite Stone Eagle

INCLUDED in an extensive collection of classical and Babylonian antiquities lent to the Museum through the courtesy of Miss Elise B. Robinson is the interesting example of Hittite sculpture formerly in the collections of the late H. V. Hilprecht [Plate X]. This eagle, carved from what is apparently a species of tufa, is simply executed, yet shows considerable skill and mastery of material. The handling of the curved surfaces, the bold and rugged treatment of the head with hooked beak and staring eyes are particularly pleasing.

The eagle was apparently locally worshipped in various parts of the Empire. According to Garstang such a cult was general within the circuit of the Halys, as is suggested by the great monument which now lies prone in a wild spot overlooking the river near Tamoola and by various smaller objects, as well as by a newly deciphered cuneiform fragment (from Boghaz-Keui) on which mention is made in ideographic writing of the house or temple of the eagle. It is perhaps with such a cult that we can connect the present piece of sculpture.

Cite This Article

"A Hittite Tufa Eagle." Museum Bulletin I, no. 4 (April, 1930): 26-27. Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/461/

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