The Moon Goddess Nikkal and Hurrian Attributes in Hittite Documents

Goddess Nikkal in Hittite’s gods community is of Mesopotamia origin. It is understood that the aforementioned goddess is an important Hurri goddess from the Hittite cult texts. This goddess, the wife of Moon God and the mother of Sun God, got her name from Sumerian NIN.GAL’s “older sister”. One of the most important cult centers of Goddess Nikkal is the city of Ugarit. It is possible that Queen Nikkalmati and her sons have held a ritual for Goddess Nikkal. The name of Nikkal was encountered at cuneiform scripts of Middle Hittite Era for the first time. The name of Goddess Nikkal is mentioned in the great prayer script of II.Muṷatalli, which is a document of Hittite empire era, KUB 6.45 (VAT 7512)+KBo 57.18 (1111/z+ 844/v)+KUB 30.14 (Bo 3282) (CTH 381) (New Hittite) after the Tešup of Manuz(z)i Mountain. She is mentioned among goddesses witnessing the treaty in Hittite state treaties. She witnesses the treaty as “Oath Queen” in witness list of treaty made between the Great Hittite King, IV.Tutḫaliḭa and the King of Tarḫuntašša Kurunta and referred to as Bronze Tablet in the literature. The fact that the queens of that period have had teofor names containing Nikkal might be an evidence of the Goddess’ popularity. Goddess Nikkal have seven attributes which were identified by the Hittite cuneiform documents until now. These are learnt from KUB 45.47 (Bo 2512+Bo 4186) (CTH 494) (Middle Hittite) which is arranged for aforementioned Goddess and is a ritual. The attributes of the Goddess are Agaššari, Alṷil, ḫaṷarra, Irṷena meaning “dog”, Kade meaning “grain”, Kuzinkarra meaning “piglet?” and Širinna. It is learned from the text in question that Agaššari, Kade and Širinna were sanctified by a thin bread, and a libation was applied to Irṷena and Kuzinkarra by LÚAZU “a diviner”.


Hittites, Hurrians, Religion, Moon Goddess Nikkal/NIN.GAL, Agaššari (Agassari), Alṷil (Alvil/Alwil),

Author : Nursel ASLANTÜRK
Number of pages: 17-42
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Journal of Turkish Studies
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