Sonia Halliday Photographs/Photo by F.H.C. Birch

The Hittite god Sharruma cradles King Tudhaliya IV (1250–1220 B.C.) in this 10-foot-high rock relief from the Hittite shrine at Yazilikaya. The most impressive Hittite religious structure still in existence, the 3,300-year-old shrine is located just two miles outside the modern Turkish city of Bogÿazköy (the site of the Hittite capital of Hattusha). The walls of its two natural rock chambers are carved with an elaborate parade of Hittite and Hurrian deities and kings. These stone murals depict the sacred marriage of heaven and earth and the more earthbound, if divinely inspired, couplings of the Hittite royal clan. The exact purpose of the shrine is still unknown, but many scholars believe it was the site of an annual spring festival of renewal.