Alacahöyük is an important archaeological site, located near the village of Alacahüyük in the Alaca District of Çorum Province in Turkey. It documents the existence of a major Neolithic and Hittite settlement. The uppermost layers also show elements of Phrygian, Roman, and Ottoman times.
The site was excavated by numerous archaeological teams. The most important artefacts, including magnificent gold and bronze objects found in the Royal Tombs discovered there, are now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
- King, queen, and bull relief
- Unfinished bull relief
- Lion hunt with dogs relief
- Four deer relief
- Guitar player relief
- Bringing sacrificial animals relief
- Six walkers relief
- Three figures with sceptres relief
- Shooting at a boar relief
- Veiled persons with sceptre relief
- Four worshippers and god relief
- Jugglers and acrobats relief
- High rank person wearing a robe relief
- Sitting divinity relief
- Decorated cornerstone lion
- Bull relief
- Jewellery collection
- Collection of artefacts with a bull figurine
- Sphinx Gate from Alacahöyük
- Bronze standards collection
- Gold-iron dagger
King, queen, and bull relief
The relief on the left shows the king and the queen in front of the altar. The king carries the kingdom scepter - lituus - in his right hand, and extends his left hand forward for worship. The queen wears a fancy dress hanging down to the floor; both figures wear earrings with a large ring.
The relief on the right shows a bull. It is the sacred animal of the Storm God. It is over a pedestal which is split from top to bottom. The bull is stocky and short-legged, with huge horns and schematic muscles.
Both reliefs were carved in andesite in the 14th century BCE.
Unfinished bull relief
A bull in a silhouette form. This relief from Alacahöyük is believed to be unfinished. Andesite, the 14th century BCE.
Lion hunt with dogs relief
A human figure with a spear in his hands is attacking a lion with two dogs helping him. The lion is on the defensive. One of the dogs has climbed on its back and is now biting the lion, while the second dog is attacking its belly. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Four deer relief
Four deer figures in different positions and a flower in the down left corner. Faded figures of a human and an animal are visible in the upper section. Andesite, the 14th century BCE.
Guitar player relief
The figure playing a musical instrument similar to a guitar is followed by another figure carrying an animal. The left side of the orthostat remained unfinished. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Bringing sacrificial animals relief
The relief shows a figure bringing sacrificial animals. The person, wearing a long-tailed cloak, holds the horn of a goat coming from behind. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Six walkers relief
The relief shows six figures walking in the same direction. They all wear similar short dresses. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Three figures with sceptres relief
The relief shows three figures moving towards the altar behind the sacrifices. The figures, wearing long-tailed cloaks, hold objects resembling sceptres in their left hands. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Shooting at a boar relief
A boar and a kneeling person opposite the animal, shooting arrows in its direction. Below, a grazing deer and another hunter. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Veiled persons with sceptre relief
Two persons wearing long-tailed robes and long veils over their heads. They both have huge earrings and carry sceptres. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Four worshippers and god relief
Four figures are standing in front of a god. The first of these figures is thought to be a king. He carries the sceptre, the symbol of his kingdom - lituus - in his hand. He pours the liquid onto the ground from a beak-spouted jug with his right hand. Behind the king, there is the queen wearing a long dress. Behind the royal pair, there are two worshippers. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Jugglers and acrobats relief
The relief shows jugglers and acrobats. The juggler facing towards the left, with long hair and a short dress, swallows a dagger; the smaller acrobat goes up the stairs without holding on. All the figures have horned headdresses and earrings with a huge ring on their ears. It is thought that the acrobats are of different nationality, which is the reason why they are depicted smaller. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
High rank person wearing a robe relief
The rightmost figure wears a long coat and a robe with a long tail. In his hands, he holds a sceptre with a ring in the middle. This item is believed to be a cult object in Assyria. The pointed and curled tips of his boots indicate his high rank. Andesite relief from Alacahöyük, the 14th century BCE.
Sitting divinity relief
This relief in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara (from andesite, the 14th century BCE) from Alacahöyük depicts a figure with a sharp and horned headdress (probably a deity) sitting on a stool with a short backrest, with a figure (probably a king) worshipping him. Both figures wear large ring-shaped earrings. The hieroglyph between the figures symbolizes the divinity.
Decorated cornerstone lion
Cornerstone from Alacahöyük in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. The cornerstone was made around 1350 BCE from andesite. It is decorated by a bull, a lion, and a winged sun disc. It was discovered on the right side of the Sphinx Gate in Alacahöyük. The lion puts his front legs on a small bull. There is a winged sun disc on the abdomen of the lion. The location of the disc suggests that this statue was once placed at the higher location.
Relief of a bull from Alacahöyük. The carving was made in the 14th century BCE in andesite. The bull is shown on the orthostat that which is understood to be associated with the door by the recess in the bottom left corner. The bull stretches its head in the attack position.
Collection of artefacts with a bull figurine
A collection of artefacts from Alacahöyük (from the 17th to the 12th century BCE), including a water flask, a vase, a bull figurine, weights, a lion-shaped vessel, a boar-shaped vessel, a lid fragment, and a sheath fragment.
Sphinx Gate from Alacahöyük
The Sphinx Gate dates to the Hittite period (the 14th century BCE).
Bronze standards collection
The Alacahöyük bronze standards are a series of bronze objects found among the grave goods in the royal tombs of Alacahöyük. They are generally understood as cult instruments, probably to be attached to carts. The standards are cast in the form of flat circles, half-circles or squares that are filled with an openwork network of crossbars, central crosses, and swastikas as well as bulls and stags.
A dagger with iron blade and golden hilt from Alacahöyük is the early evidence for the use of iron in Anatolia, ca. 2500-2400 BCE.
A gold-handled dagger was found at Alacahöyük, and it is now in the collection of the Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. It was excavated from grave K and may be dated as early as 2500 BCE. Japanese scholars have issued a preliminary report about the composition of the dagger in 2008, and they concluded that the dagger was probably made from meteoritic iron.