Sites & cities that bear the name of Šamuḫa


Today in : Turkey
First trace of activity : ca. 15th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 13th century B.C.E
Recorded names : Kayalıpınar?

Description : Šamuḫa (possibly sited at Kasanlı Pıran) was a city of the Hittites, a religious centre and for a few years military capital for the empire. Samuha's faith was syncretistic. Rene Lebrun in 1976 called Samuha the "religious foyer of the Hittite Empire". In the treaty between the Hittite king Mursili II and Duppi-Tessub of Amurru (c. 1315 BC), the Hittites swear by the god Abara whose sanctuary was in Samuha. The treaty further mentions a Storm God in classic Anatolian style. It is unknown if Abara and this Storm God were equivalent. CTH 480 is a ritual ascribed to Samuha, which Melchert has dated on linguistic grounds to the Late Hittite period (1350-1200 BC). It shows Hurrian influence. Middle Hittite Revisited The treaty between Suppiluliuma I and Shattiwaza of Mitanni further names the Storm God of Samuha as the Hurrian Teshub, but this could be for the sake of diplomacy. In addition, the Hattusa tablets CTH 710-2 preserve festival rites to a goddess whom the scribes equated to Akkadian Ishtar. Mursili appointed his youngest son Hattusili III priest of the goddess of Hurrian name Sausga / Shaushka in Samuha, and when Hattusili was governing on behalf of the throne then sited at Tarhuntassa he adopted "the Ishtar of Samuha" as protector. It is thought that the Ishtar and Sausga are equivalent.[1] Mursili II also wrote KUB 32.133. According to Ada Taggar-Cohen, KUB 32.133 tells of this time: King Tudhaliya III "ordered a new cult for the [Kizzuwatnan] Deity of the Night to be established in Samuha. However, a short while after “the wooden-tablet-scribes and the temple-men (=priests) came, and they falsified the ceremonies and the cultic obligations (ishhiules), which he had mandated for the temple of the Deity of the Night. Mursili, the great king, [after hearing about the incident] rewrote the cultic obligations on the spot.”) Tudhaliya III introduced a new deity to the cult of Samuha. He did it by entrusting the priesthood with written tablets (in cuneiform), which are tablets of i�hi¹l. By these tablets the priests are obliged to fulfill the worship of that deity. But the priests did not like the change in their cultic procedure and they rewrote the tablets. Mur�ili II, who learned of their conduct, rewrote the tablets anew and imposed the laws and regulations of the new cult, which was transferred from Kizzuwatna to Samuha. We learn three things from the Hittite text: 1) the introduction of a new cult is formalized through tablets of ishhiul upon which the regulations and laws of the cult are written; 2) the introduction of a new cult is initiated by the king and carried out by cult professionals, in our case the priests; 3) the priests tend to reject changes to their familiar cult practice and adhere to their old ways, unless forced by the leadership to change them.

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