Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 403-423

ANASTASIA YASENOVSKAYA, VLADIMIR SHELESTIN, ALEXANDRE NEMIROVSKY
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ABSTRACT

An impression of an Old Assyrian seal from Kültepe from collection of Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
in Moscow carries an image that was not recognized but by present authors and is of great interest as it depicts a
scene of a hero’s battle with a serpent-like demonic character (most likely, this is a double or two-headed monster).
Rarity of serpent-fighting scenes in the Ancient Near Eastern art makes it important to study the composition and
plot of the impression in its traceable iconographical and mythological contexts, in order to establish its cultural
connotations (Anatolian, Syrian, Mesopotamian), considering that Kültepe was the center of interaction and synthesis
of several cultural traditions. It turns out that the closest iconographical and mythological parallels to the image in
study can be found in Eastern Anatolia and its main routs can be assigned to local (Hattian-Hittite-Hurrian) cultural
symbiosis.

 

KEYWORDS

two-headed serpent, hydra, Kültepe, Malatia, Illuyanka, Hedammu.

 

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