Hittite Bronze, Silver and Electrum Mountain God Figurine, c. Mid-2nd Millennium BC
The technique used for the creation of this statuette is that of solid casting using the lost wax technique; the arms were cast separately and attached with the aid of a tenon and a rivet at the level of the shoulder blades. The eyes were inlaid. After the casting and the initial finishing by cold work, the surface of the bronze was covered with many sheets of silver (for the entire body and the skirt) and electrum (for the face, the beard and perhaps the crown) which were simply placed on the metal and hammered into rectilinear channels – which were already present from the casting – engraved in different places: under the arms, on the neck, on the head, etc. The silver plaques (torso, left leg, skirt) and the electrum ones are for the most part well preserved. Afterwards, perfect polishing allowed the artisan to almost completely hide the joins between the plaques. Cast with the feet, two cubic tenons pierced with a hole were used to fix the figure to its base.
The god wears a tall head covering that seems to imitate the white crown of Upper Egypt of the Pharaohs; the hole at the top of the hat may have been used to attach a vegetal decoration. The presence of the hat, which in Egypt had a precise political significance, is difficult to explain in a setting as far away as central Anatolia and worn by a divine figure at that.
The identity of this personage is hypothetical, especially because of the absence of any attributes, but the position and the general iconography suggest images of Teshub, the god of storms, who was one of the most important gods in Hittite pantheon (he corresponds to the Syrian Baal and the Mesopotamian Hadad): the particular structure of the skirt may be an allusion to the god of the mountain, who, in Hittite iconography, carries Teshub on his back.