Nerik (Hittite: Nerik(ka)[1]) was a Bronze Age settlement to the north of the Hittite capitals Hattusa and Sapinuwa, probably in the Pontic region.[2] The Hittites held it as sacred to a Storm-god who was the son of Wurušemu, Sun-goddess of Arinna. The weather god is associated or identified with Mount Zaliyanu near Nerik, responsible for bestowing rain on the city.

Nerik was founded by Hattic language speakers as Narak;[1] in the Hattusa archive, tablet CTH 737 records a Hattic incantation for a festival there. Under Hattusili I, the Nesite-speaking Hittites took over Nerik. They maintained a spring festival called "Puruli" in honor of the Storm-god of Nerik. In it, the celebrants recited the myth of the slaying of Illuyanka.

Under Hantili, Nerik was ruined and the Hittites had to relocate the Puruli festival to Hattusa. As of the reign of Tudhaliya I, Nerik's site was occupied by the barbarian Kaskas, whom the Hittites blamed for its initial destruction.[3]

During Muwatalli II's reign, his brother and appointed governor Hattusili III recaptured Nerik and rebuilt it as its High Priest. Hattusili named his firstborn son "Nerikkaili" in commemoration (although he later passed him over for the succession). Seven years after Muwatalli's son Mursili III became king, Mursili reassigned Nerik to another governor. Hattusili rebelled and became king himself.

Nerik disappeared from the historical record when the Hittite kingdom fell, ca. 1200 BC. Since 2005–2009, the site of Nerik has been identified as Oymaağaç Höyük,[4] on the eastern side of the Kızılırmak River, 7 km (4.3 mi) northwest of Vezirköprü.

Nerik is located in Turkey
Location of Nerik in Turkey
Alternative nameNarak
LocationOymaağaç, Vezirköprü, Samsun Province, Turkey
RegionBlack Sea Region
Coordinates41°12′25″N 35°25′12″E / 41.207°N 35.420°ECoordinates: 41°12′25″N 35°25′12″E / 41.207°N 35.420°E
Abandoned1200 BC
Site notes
Excavation dates2005–
ArchaeologistsRainer Maria Czichon


In 2005, Rainer Maria Czichon and Jörg Klinger of the Free University of Berlin began excavating Oymaağaç Höyük. Thus far, this is the northernmost place of Anatolia with remains from the Hittite Empire, including "three fragments of tablets and a bulla with stamps of the scribe Sarini. In addition, mention of the mountains, in which Nerik was located, have been found at the site, as well as features suggestive of monumental Hittite architecture."[5] The team has published a number of articles related to their excavations.[6]

According to Czichon, who is currently in the archaeology faculty at Uşak University, many stone and loom artifacts were unearthed during the excavations. Mining tools were found for copper deposits situated at nearby Tavşan Mountain field. The most valuable artifacts are tablets with cuneiform script, which point out the site as Nerik. An inventory list showing tools, including silver trays and golden bullae contained in an unknown shrine, is also among the findings.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Nerik(ka)." Reallexikon der Assyriologie.
  2. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2005). Kingdom of the Hittites: New Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 113. ISBN 0199281327.
  3. ^ Singer, Itamar (2007). "Who were the Kaška?". Phasis. Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. 10 (II): 167. Archived from the original on 30 August 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  4. ^ Piotr Taracha (2015). "Looking for Ziplanda. The Hittite Names of Kuşsaray and Kaletepe". In Anacleto D’Agostino; Valentina Orsi; Giulia Torri (eds.). Sacred Landscapes of Hittites and Luwians. Proceedings of the International Conference in Honour of Franca Pecchioli Daddi, Florence, February 6th-8th 2014. Firenze University Press. p. 57.
  5. ^ "Oymaagac-Nerik Project". Freie Universität Berlin. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ "Bibliographie". Oymaagac-Nerik-Forschungsprojekt. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  7. ^ "Religious center of Hittites comes to light". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2016-08-13.

External links


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.

Enrico Mizzi

Enrico "Nerik" Mizzi (20 September 1885 – 20 December 1950) was a Maltese politician, leader of the Maltese Nationalist Party and briefly Prime Minister of Malta.

Hattic language

Hattic (Hattian) was a non-Indo-European agglutinative language spoken by the Hattians in Asia Minor between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC. Scholars call the language "Hattic" to distinguish it from Hittite, the Indo-European language of the Hittite Empire.The form "Hittite" in English originally comes from Biblical Heth, quite possibly connected to common Assyrian and Egyptian designations of "Land of the Hatti" (Khatti) west of the Euphrates. It is unknown what the native speakers of "hattili" called their own language.

The heartland of the oldest attested language of Anatolia, before the arrival of Hittite-speakers, ranged from Hattusa, then called "Hattus", northward to Nerik. Other cities mentioned in Hattic include Tuhumiyara and Tissaruliya. Hittite-speakers conquered Hattus from Kanesh to its south in the 18th century BC. They eventually absorbed or replaced the Hattic-speakers (Hattians) but retained the name Hatti for the region.

Hittite mythology and religion

Hittite mythology and Hittite religion were the religious beliefs and practices of the Hittites, who created an empire centered in what is now Turkey from c. 1600 BCE to 1180 BCE.

Most of the narratives embodying Hittite mythology are lost, and the elements that would give a balanced view of Hittite religion are lacking among the tablets recovered at the Hittite capital Hattusa and other Hittite sites. Thus, "there are no canonical scriptures, no theological disquisitions or discourses, no aids to private devotion". Some religious documents formed part of the corpus with which young scribes were trained, and have survived, most of them dating from the last several decades before the final burning of the sites. The scribes in the royal administration, some of whose archives survive, were a bureaucracy, organizing and maintaining royal responsibilities in areas that would be considered part of religion today: temple organization, cultic administration, reports of diviners, make up the main body of surviving texts.The understanding of Hittite mythology depends on readings of surviving stone carvings, deciphering of the iconology represented in seal stones, interpreting ground plans of temples: additionally, there are a few images of deities, for the Hittites often worshipped their gods through Huwasi stones, which represented deities and were treated as sacred objects. Gods were often depicted standing on the backs of their respective beasts, or may have been identifiable in their animal form.


The Kaska (also Kaška, later Tabalian Kasku and Gasga,) were a loosely affiliated Bronze Age non-Indo-European tribal people, who spoke the unclassified Kaskian language and lived in mountainous East Pontic Anatolia, known from Hittite sources. They lived in the mountainous region between the core Hittite region in eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea, and are cited as the reason that the later Hittite Empire never extended northward to that area.

List of agricultural gods

This is a list of agriculture gods and goddesses, gods whose tutelary specialty was agriculture, either of agriculture in general or of one or more specialties within the field. Each god's culture or religion of origin is listed; a god revered in multiple contexts are listed with the one in which he originated. Roman gods appear on a separate list.

Mursili III

Mursili III, also known as Urhi-Teshub, was a king of the Hittites who assumed the throne of the Hittite empire (New Kingdom) at Tarhuntassa upon his father's death around 1272 BC. He was a cousin of Tudhaliya IV and Queen Maathorneferure.


Narekavank (Armenian: Նարեկավանք, "Monastery of Narek", Western Armenian: Nareg) was a tenth-century Armenian monastery in the historic province of Vaspurakan, near the southern shores of Lake Van, in present-day eastern Turkey. The monastery was one of the most prominent in medieval Armenia and had a major school. The poet Gregory of Narek (Grigor Narekatsi) notably flourished at the monastery. It was abandoned in 1915 during the Armenian Genocide, and reportedly demolished around 1951. A mosque now stands on its location.

Nerio Bernardi

Nerio Bernardi (23 July 1899 – 12 January 1971) was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 192 films between 1918 and 1970. He was born in Bologna, Italy and died in Rome, Italy.

Oymaağaç, Vezirköprü

Oymaağaç is a village in the Vezirköprü, Samsun Province, Turkey.


Puruli (EZEN Puruliyas) was a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king.

The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish. Also compared are the Canaanite Poem of Baal and Psalms 93 and 29.

Biblical Hannah has been suggested as a Hebrew version of Hannahanna.


Sapinuwa (sometimes Shapinuwa; Hittite: Šapinuwa) was a Bronze Age Hittite city at the location of modern Ortaköy in the province Çorum in Turkey. It was one of the major Hittite religious and administrative centres, a military base and an occasional residence of several Hittite kings. The palace at Sapinuwa is discussed in several texts from Hattusa.

Sun goddess of the Earth

The Sun goddess of the Earth (Hittite: taknaš dUTU, Luwian: tiyamaššiš Tiwaz) was the Hittite goddess of the underworld. Her Hurrian equivalent was Allani and her Sumerian/Akkadian equivalent was Ereshkigal, both of which had a marked influence on the Hittite goddess from an early date. In the Neo-Hittite period, the Hattian underworld god, Lelwani was also syncretised with her.In Hittite texts she is referred to as the "Queen of the Underworld" and possesses a palace with a vizier and servants. In the Hittite New Kingdom she is attested as the mother of two weather gods. The Weather god of Nerik was her son with the Hattian god Šulinkatte, while the Weather god of Zippalanda was her son by the Weather god of the Heavens. The Sun goddess of the Earth, as a personification of the chthonic aspects of the Sun, had the task of opening the doors to the Underworld. She was also the source of all evil, impurity, and sickness on Earth.In the Hurrian-Hittite "Song of the Ransom," the Sun goddess of the Earth / Allani invites the king of the gods, Tarḫunna/Teššub and his brother Šuwaliyat/Tašmišu to a feast in the Underworld and dances before them. Otherwise she is mostly attested in curses, oaths, and purification rituals.

The Sun goddess of the Earth was worshipped in various places in the Hittite Empire, such as Katapa, A(n)galiya near Karaḫna, Ankuwa, Nerik, and Zippalanda. Her worship is also attested in the land of Kizzuwatna.

Weather god

A weather god, also frequently known as a storm god, is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain, wind, storms, tornados, and hurricanes. Should they only be in charge of one feature of a storm, they will be called a (insert weather attribute here) god/goddess, such as a rain god or a lightning/thunder god. This singular attribute might then be emphasized more than the generic, all-encompassing term "storm god", though with thunder/lightning gods, the two terms seem interchangeable. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions.

In the Indo-European, and Near Eastern (Mesopotamian and Canaanite) traditions, the god of thunder and storms is frequently made into the head of the pantheon after eclipsing the sky god, the original king of the gods, in popularity. This is particularly detectable in Indo-European since the sky/chief god has a name that means "Sky Father", Dyeus Phter. If the chief god has a name unrelated to the "Dyeus" etymon, like Perkwunos, he's an example of the thunder god replacing the sky god as the head of the pantheon. The sky god, meanwhile, has either likely faded from the memory of the tribe and has functionally ceased to exist or became relegated to minor deity status. In an interesting twist, the Sky Father and thunder god appear to have been merged into a single deity in some pantheons such as the Greek and Roman, thus while Jupiter and Zeus continue *Dyeus, they wield the thunder/lightning bolt and are associated with oak trees, eagles, and bulls.

Storm gods are most often conceived of as wielding thunder and/or lightning (some lightning gods' names actually mean "thunder", but since you cannot have thunder without lightning, they presumably wielded both). The ancients didn't seem to differentiate between the two, which is presumably why both the words "lightning bolt" and "thunderbolt" exist despite being synonyms. Storm gods are typically male (especially the lightning/thunder ones), powerful and irascible (the irascibility is probably a trait because of the command over thunder/lightning, thus the god's power over this aspect of the natural world influences his personality). Rain and wind deities tend to not be portrayed as wrathful as thunder/lightning deities.

Weather god of Nerik

The Weather god of Nerik is a Hittite weather god, who was mainly worshipped in the Hittite city of Nerik, whose cult was relocated to Kaštama und Takupša for two hundred years after the Hittites lost Nerik to the Kaskians. He was also referred to as Nerak or Nerikkil.In ancient Anatolia, weather gods were the rulers of the sky and the mountains. They cast down thunder, lightning, clouds, rain and storms. The weather god of Nerik was also worshipped as a sender of rain, and as a fertility deity.In the official Hittite state pantheon, the Weather god of Nerik was considered the son of the Weather god of Ḫatti and the Sun goddess of Arinna. However, at his cult centre in Nerik he was instead considered to be the son of the Hattian god Šulinkatte and the Sun goddess of the Earth.The partner of the Weather god of Nerik was the goddess Tešimi, the Lady of the Palace. During droughts, the winter and after the harvest, it was said that the Weather god of Nerik was asleep in Tešimi's lap. In Nerik, Tešimi was also considered to be the partner of the god Telipinu.After the return of the Weather god of Nerik from the exile in Kaštama, his statue was worshipped in his temple in Nerik, along with the image of the goddess Zašḫapuna, the city goddess of Kaštama. This does not necessarily mean that they were considered to be a couple since the Weather god of Nerik was already partnered with the goddess Tešimi and Zašḫapuna also had a partner already, the mountain god Zaliyanu


Zalpuwa, also Zalpa, was an as-yet undiscovered Bronze Age Anatolian city of ca. the 17th century BC. Its history is largely known from the Proclamation of Anitta, CTH 1.

Zalpuwa was by a "Sea of Zalpa". It was the setting for an ancient legend about the Queen of Kanesh, which was either composed in or translated into the Hurrian language:

[The Queen] of Kanesh once bore thirty sons in a single year. She said: "What a horde is this which I have born[e]!" She caulked(?) baskets with dung, put her sons in them, and launched them in the river. The river carried them down to the sea at the land of Zalpuwa. Then the gods took them up out of the sea and reared them. When some years had passed, the queen again gave birth, this time to thirty daughters. This time she herself reared them. [1]

The river at Kanesh (Sarımsaklı Çayı) drains into the Black Sea, not (for example) Lake Tuz. "Zalpuwa" is further mentioned alongside Nerik in Arnuwanda I's prayer. Nerik was a Hattic language speaking city which had fallen to the Kaskians by Arnuwanda's time. This portion of the prayer also mentioned Kammama, which was Kaskian as of the reign of Arnuwanda II. The best conclusion is that Zalpuwa was in a region of Hattian cities of northern central Anatolia: as were Nerik, Hattusa, and probably Sapinuwa. Zalpuwa was most likely, like its neighbours, founded by Hattians.

Ca. the 17th century BC, Uhna the king of Zalpuwa invaded Neša, after which the Zalpuwans carried off the city's "Sius" idol. Under Huzziya's reign, the king of Neša, Anitta, invaded Zalpuwa. Anitta took Huzziya captive, and recovered the Sius idol for Neša. Soon after that, Zalpuwa seems to have become culturally and linguistically Hittite.

Arnuwanda's prayer implies that Zalpuwa was laid waste by Kaskians, at the same time that Nerik fell to them, in the early 14th century BC.

İkiztepe on the Kızılırmak Delta near the Black Sea coast is suggested as a possible location for Zalpuwa.


Zippalanda was a Hattic administrative and religious center of the Hittite Old Kingdom. Although its name was known from inscriptions, it was not until the latter 20th century that scholars placed it in Sorgan District of Yozgat Province, Turkey, near Kerkenes Dağ (Kerkenes Mountain often identified with Mount Daha (Mount Taha)), about one day's journey north of Ankuwa (present-day Alışar Höyük). The plausible sites are the settlement mounds known as Çadır Mound (Çadır Höyük) and Uşaklı Mound (Uşaklı Höyük).Zippalanda was one of the ancient Hattic religious centers that retained privileges in the Old Kingdom. These included Arinna and Nerik, and toward the end of the Hittite Empire Hattusa and Tarhuntassa. The Hittite king participated in official religious ceremonies such as the purulli-festival, spring and autumn Imperial festivals, the festival of the month, and possibly the hunting festival (the Ki-Lam). Much of the information about Zippalanda comes from tablets found at Hattusa, which record the existence of the temple of the Storm God and a palace or royal residence (halentu) and refer indirectly to daily religious life and festivals. The light defenses of the city wall suggest that it was a religious perimeter like that of Alaca Höyük. A number of cultic sites are found within the city and ranging outside it toward Mount Daha.In addition to religious functions, people at Zippalanda are recorded as engaging in military affairs, crafts, hunting and stock breeding.

Ḫattušili III

Hattusili III (Hittite: "from Hattusa") was king of the Hittite empire (New Kingdom) c. 1267–1237 BC (short chronology timeline).


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