The iconographic program of the sculptured friezes flanking the Sphinx Gate of Alacahöyük is analyzed based on numerous representations in Hittite art that may contribute to the understanding of the context and meaning of these carvings. It is argued that the cult and hunting scenes reflect the concept of the main triad of the Hittite state pantheon—Sun-goddess, Storm-god and Tutelary God, combining it with the new ideology of kingship of the later phase of the Empire period, which stresses the special ties between the king and the Tutelary God of the Countryside. Simultaneously, the lower frieze on the West Tower depicts the royal couple officiating at a cult ceremony presumably during a real local festival. Concerning the identification of Alacahöyük with one of Hittite holy towns, Arinna appears the best candidate. In fact, texts relating to the cult from Arinna enable us to interpret the Alacahöyük sculptures. These sculptures might represent the celebrations during the Great Festival in Arinna, which—as we know from the texts—was attended by the royal couple. There are historical and cultural arguments for dating the Sphinx Gate complex with its sculptures to the second half of the 13th century BC.
A conspicuous hiatus in literature on Hittite ritual exists on the transfer and substitution techniques or motifs. This is the first full description and analysis of this ritual, and as such provides the readers with an important contribution to our understanding of Hittite religious practice.
The Hittite substitution ritual is here presented making use of much new textual material. It presents the manuscripts with translations and transcriptions of all duplicate texts, an ample glossary of words, full thematic indices, and commentaries.
The latter shed light on the linguistic and cultural aspects, the role of chthonic deities, the cult of ancestors of North Syrian origin, etc., thus also defining a history of various purification motifs in Hittite substitution rituals.