Hirmer Fotoarchiv Muenchen

A Neo-Hittite king, his thumb placed on his nose as a sign of supplication, adores the Hittite-Luwian god Tarbu. This is an excellent example of Neo-Hittite art: the subject is Hittite but the execution is Assyrian.

The gestures of both the god and king on this rock relief are typical of Hittite reliefs, as are the squat bulky bodies, the exaggerated muscles, the horns in the god’s cap, the upturned shoes, and short tunic with stylized border. The execution of these Hittite subjects, however, is Assyrian “the stylized curve of the horns on the god’s headgear, the ornamentation on the upturned shoes, the hair styles, the Semitic features, and the long beards worn only by Assyrian personages of importance. Even the suppliant king is dressed as an Assyrian. Note that the god is holding a bunch of grapes similar to that in the Neo-Hittite basalt tomb stele from Marash. The relief in the illustration comes from Ivriz in south central Anatolia.