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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ancient Amulets and Seals Uncovered in Turkey

From Sci-News:

Scientists from the University of Münster have unearthed 600 amulets, stamp and cylinder seals dating from the 7th through the 4th centuries BC at the archaeological site of the ancient city of Doliche (modern Dülük) in southeastern Turkey. ...

The artifacts were found at the sacred site of the storm and weather god Jupiter Dolichenus.

Read more:
German Archaeologists Find 600 Ancient Seals, Amulets in Turkey

From Wikipedia:

Jupiter Dolichenus was a Roman god created from the syncretization of Jupiter, the Roman 'King of the gods', and a Baal cult of Commagene in Asia Minor. The Baal gods were themselves king gods and the combination was intended to form a powerful mixture of eastern and western regal traditions combined in the one deity. The cult was one of the Mystery Religions that gained popularity in the Roman Empire as an alternative to the open 'public' religion of mainstream Roman society. Its temples were closed to outsiders and followers had to undergo rites of initiation before they could be accepted as devotees. As a result very little is known about the actual worship of the god apart from the few clues that can be obtained from the sparse iconographic, archaeological or epigraphic evidence. The cult gained popularity in the 2nd century AD and reached a peak under the Severan dynasty in the early 3rd century AD. At least seventeen temples are known to have been built in Rome and the provinces which, while substantial, is far below the popularity enjoyed by Mithras, Isis or Cybele. Unlike these Mystery Cults, the worship of Jupiter Dolichenus was very fixed on its oriental origins and the cult soon died out following the fall of the city of Doliche to the Sassanids in the mid-3rd century AD. ...

The Baal of Doliche appears to have had his origins as a Hittite storm god known as Tesub-Hadad, whose cult was centered on the hill of Dülük-Baba Tepesi near the town of Duluk (now modern Gaziantep in Turkey). Evidence for his worship can be traced back to the 6th century BCE, but the Roman expansion of the cult began with their conquest of the area in 64 BCE and its inclusion in the province of Syria. The new Roman deity took his name from Doliche, the Roman name for the town.

Read more:
Jupiter Dolichenus

SuccubaSuprema writes:

The age of some of the finds clearly indicate that they are not all from the time of Roman occupation, and could help to distinguish some differences between the original view of the deity and the later syncretic view.

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