Thursday, October 29, 2020

Witch's Hat or Priest's Hat?


Alice C. Linsley

Halloween may bring a few witches and wizards to your door and provide an opportunity to explain that the pointy hat originated among Hittite priests and kings. The children won't be that interested, but their parents might be!

The oldest known pointy hats were worn by ancient Hittite rulers and priests (1600-1180 BC). Today pointed black hats are associated with witches and wizards, but that is due mainly to popular movies. 

Below is a 3400-year gold pendant with a pointed hat found at Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite empire in ancient Anatolia (in modern Turkey).

This stone relief from Hattusa shows the Hittite King Suppiluliuma II who reigned from 1207-1178 BC). He wears a pointed crown.

This is a Hittite ruler-priest. The artifact dates to about 1600 BC. Note the ram horns on the hat, a symbol of divine appointment.

This stone relief was found at Yazilikaya, a Hittite shrine in modern Turkey in Chamber B. It shows King Tudhaliya IV wearing a pointed crown. It dates to between 1250 and 1220 BC.

This is a reproduction of reliefs that appear at Yazilikaya. The queen wears the solar crown (similar to that worn by Hathor, shown below).

Here again the king is seen wearing a pointed hat with horns. The ram's horns were sacred to the Hittites (People of Heth). Today the ram's horn, called shofar, is still blown as a horn at special ceremonies in Israel. God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of his son. Abraham learned an important lesson there on Mount Moriah.

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