Thursday, July 13, 2006

The House on the Slope

The tablets discovered in the Hittite capital Hattusa were found in several areas of the city; unfortunately many of the early notes about the find-sites for specific texts were lost during the first World War. Records were found at various temple sites, dealing with cultic and administrative matters, as well as the temple's land interests outside city limits. State treaties were stored in the Temple of the Storm God, seeing that such contracts were considered to be under the supervision of that god. In 1986 a bronze tablet was found buried under the pavement in the vicinity of the Sphinx Gate, perhaps deliberately hidden, according to Bryce, 2002, page 65. He also mentions in passing a building called The House on the Slope, which was located on the hill of the acropolis, above the main temple; it housed works of a scholarly literary nature, like vocabularies, epics, and historical writings. Bryce suggests that a scribal school may have operated there. In any case, it must be one of the oldest learning centers on record, and Güterbock suggests that perhaps it deserves the name library.


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