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Anatolia /

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Anatolian religions

Religions of peoples and civilizations of Anatolia, the lands corresponding to modern Turkey.
The term, which is not firmly established with one meaning, usually deals with ancient times. However, Anatolia has many unique religious traditions into our times; even one of the world's largest religions: Alevism.
The main ancient countries of this region are those of the Hittites, Hattians, Luwians, Hurrians, Assyrian colonists, Urartians and Phrygians.
From the 2nd millennium BCE we have a fairly extensive body of material, largely from the Hittite archives at Hattusha. These documents cover Hittite religion and religious ideas adopted and included by the Hittites. Apart from that, the main source of information comes from archaeological evidence.
A central and long-lasting dimension to Anatolian religion is the concept of the divine mother. The oldest examples of Anatolian religion dates back 8,000 to 9,000 years, showing goddesses giving birth to forceful animals. She had a son and a husband. Among the rituals of which we have some knowledge are burials, the dead being placed outside the village to be devoured by voultures, then the bones were buried the cellar of the home.
Another tradition was in the northern Anatolia, where tombs were richly equipped, largely by bronze plates with figures of animals, flowers and geometric patterns.
The cult of Cybele, the Great Mother of Gods, is indigenous to Anatolia. Her main cultic centre was in Pessinus in Phrygia.

By Tore Kjeilen