Eflatun Pinar is 22 km away from the town of Beyşehir and lies about 100 km west of Konya. It was in the borders of ancient Pisidia. As well as Lake Beyşehir the region is popular with the Hittite spring sanctuary. The monument and sacred pool were built rectangular in shape and is fed by a water source nearby.
The pool is 34 meters by 31 meters large. The pool is made of cut stone blocks and there are reliefs of gods and goddesses on them. It reaches up to the height of over 6 meters and was original part of a closed fountain house made of huge ashlar masonry. It was discovered by W. J. Hamilton in 1837. He measured it 4.20 m. In 1999, the pool was emptied to find out original depth and remains from its time. The original depth was 6 meters.
The east and west sides of the north wall of the basin are surrounded by a canal and it flows into the pool. Although there is no inscription It is estimated that the spring sanctuary dated to second half of 13th century.
The basin in its new discovered dimensions must be considered as one of the most important, preserved examples of Hittite architecture. More than thousand tons of stone material had to be transported from an andesite quarry about five kilometers away from the construction site that is an impressive logistical achievement.
The monument was built next to the spring and its facade covered with reliefs representing hierarchical image of the Hittite Pantheon. The walls of the pool erected from large ashlars of andesite stone.
Depictions on Spring Sanctuary
Bottom row: Five mountain gods with the characteristic skirts lining at the bottom row. While two of external figures were carved out of the stone block, the three middle mountain gods had been placed as prefabricated units into prepared openings. Through the skirts of the middle figures have several drill holes to water flown into the pool. Today only through one of the figure’s water able to flow.
Middle row: At the center of the monument a divine couple is depicted. On left hand side the male figure is seated on a throne while the female is seated on the right hand side. Although no clear attributes are visible on the relief, the male figure represents a Storm god the seated goddess wears a typical Hittite polos depicts the Sun goddess of the earth that is mostly known female partner of the Storm god in the Hittite Imperial official pantheon.
The divine couple is flanked by two mythological figures: Bull men on the lower row and lion men above them. The lion men are holding winged sun-disks, as well as supporting the Sun Goddess above. On each side of the main scene, two separate reliefs represent female spring goddesses each is wearing polos.
On the southern wall of the pool a relief of a seated female goddess was found. There was a block at her feet which was used as an altar. It is probable that a second relief depicting a storm god was also standing beside her. In front of the altar, a broken statue was uncovered, supposedly representing a human torso.
On the eastern wall of the basin, there are two figures in relief that are probably to be identified with the same divine couple. They are represented as if walking toward the north.
Once stepped into the spring sanctuary area one can spot a statues block with three bull’s promotes. This block’s weight is over 22 tones and it served as a gargoyle.
Sculptures of animals were found in the filler of the pool, it might probably be related to the execution of lions, deer and bulls.
Why Eflatun Pınar spring sanctuary so important?
- Eflatun Pınar forms an important cult monument with a comprehensive theological iconography that was built in the late period of the Hittite Empire.
- It is a rare example when the function of all technical means and knowledge at that time is thought as well as cost and effort which is used for the construction.
- The monument is unique not only in its form, layout and iconography but also the technology and craftsmanship used in its construction.
- The way how it came together is remarkable that the relief wall decorated like a rock wall and integrated natural element of water gave a creative role in the designs.
- The way of display and manipulation of water as an explanation of divine presence is a cultural difference.
- The technical expertise and format of ashlar masonry is remarkable
- The degree of perfection is hardly known from the Hittite capital Hattusa; this can mostly be observed in the large temple complexes.
- The meaning of the monument is indicated by the variety of technical innovations.
- Metal tools for the first time, to cut and shape the stone blocks, on a big scale were used here.
- The bronze chisel was favored over the stone hammer as preferred stone dressing instrument.
- Technologies used for shifting and erect heavy loads were carried out in an ingenious way.
- Much preserved are the ancones or bosses as an aid for lifting and placing of the stones.
- With rich iconographical details it shows a hierarchical order; divine cosmos extending over all parts with various representations and crowning in the large relief wall with the winged sun disk.
- It is a unique example of embodiment of water in the architectural and religious concept.
- The subjects are considered to be an awesome sight for contemporary visitors.
- The way of discharged of water from the mountain gods shows the artistic depictions of divine activity with life.
- In terms of cultural history and architectural design of late Bronze Age architecture. It is an outstanding example.
- It is a turning point in monumental architecture in Anatolia.
- The spring sanctuary of Eflatun Pınar has a great importance within the water cult having a significant role in the Hittite religion.
- Integration of water in the architectural and religious concept is a unique feature of the site.
- In terms of civil engineering it was built when older Hittite means of stone dressing and masonry were replaced by new techniques.
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