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J. D. Hawkins

[Turk.: ‘inscribed rock face’]

Great open-air sanctuary (c. 1500–1200 bc) of the Hittite capital city Hattusa ( see Boğazköy ), c. 1.5 km north-east of the ruins of the city in central Turkey. Yazılıkaya is a rocky outcrop forming two chambers (A and B) open to the sky. These were closed off by a gradually developing series of buildings that evolved from a simple wall to more elaborate structures designed to provide the natural sanctuary with the gatehouse and entrance courtyard of the typical Hittite temple. Excavation has revealed more than one remodelling.

The main chamber A was entered through the gatehouse and courtyard with a left turn, which would have disclosed the natural gallery, its rock walls sculptured with two files of figures (on the left male figures advancing right, on the right female figures advancing left). The processions converge in a central scene at the back of the gallery, where two sets of main figures, three on the left and four on the right, confront each other. The figures of both files have been numbered consecutively from the left: the left file has 42 figures, the right 21....