Pala (Anatolia)

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Location of Pala

Pala was a small country in northern Anatolia during the Bronze Age . It never played an important political role, but is of interest for research because of the traditional Palaic language , which, as the sister language of Hittite, was one of the three known Bronze Age languages ​​of Anatolian . The people are called Palaer .


The land of Pala was northwest of the lower Kızılırmak and was a peripheral region of the Hittite Empire . It is often called Tummana along with the Hittite region. This suggests an identification of the two countries with the ancient regions of Blaëne (Βλαηνή) and Domanitis (Δομανῖτις) in Paphlagonia . Accordingly, Pala was on the upper and Tummana on the lower Gökırmak (᾿Αμνίας), a left tributary of the Kızılırmak, but Pala may have extended beyond this area in the Bronze Age.


Pala is first mentioned in the Hittite laws (17th century BC). In § 5 the penance is regulated for the murder of a trader in the countries Ḫatti , Pala and Luwiya , which is interpreted as an indication that these three countries were independent, but had agreements with each other in this regard. Later, Pala always seems to have been an integral part of the Hittite Empire, but suffered from incursions by the Kaškäer .

Šuppiluliuma I. put his nephew Ḫutupiyanza as administrator in Pala, and after Muršili II had expelled the Kaškäer from Tummana, he was also appointed administrator there. Ḫutupiyanza finally managed to recapture the neighboring region of Kalašma from the Kaškaers.

When Muwatalli II moved the Hittite capital to Tarḫuntašša , he subordinated Pala and Tummana together with other neighboring countries and cities to his brother Ḫattušili .


Palaic ( palaumnili ) is an Indo-European language that has a strong Hathic influence. It is only passed down in a few ritual texts from the Hittite archives.


The main god of the Palaer was the weather god Zaparwa , who was worshiped together with the goddess Kataḫziwuri and the sun god Tiyaz . In addition, there were some minor deities. One of the few Palestinian people named by name was the priestess Anna (pal. "Mother").

The Palaic ritual texts that have been preserved contain lists of gods with ten deities, which are led by the weather god Zaparwa. The name, which comes from the Hattic language, can possibly be pronounced as Zparfa . The originally Hattic goddess Kataḫziwuri appears as a conjurer in purification rituals and resembles the Hittite-Luwian Kamrušepa . The sun god Tiyaz, on the other hand, is Indo-European heritage and, like the Luwian sun god Tiwaz, can be derived from Proto-Anatolian * díwots 'sun, day' (in Indo-European * dei- 'shine'). The Hofgöttin Ḫilanzipa has its counterpart in the Hittite God Ḫilašši (Hitt. Ila , courtyard ', SEPA , Genius' ). The divine blacksmith Ḫašamili and the Kamana, referred to as the sorceress in the Palestinian texts, are again of Hats origin, probably also Šaušḫalla, but nothing is known of the latter deity. In addition to these deities, there are three groups of gods that have all parallels in other Anatolian religions. The goddesses of fate Gulzannikeš correspond to the Hittite Gulšeš and the Luwian goddess of fate Gulza. The Ilaliyantikeš correspond to the Hittite Ilaliyanteš (Heth. Ilaliya- 'wish') and are already mentioned in ancient Assyrian texts from Kültepe . The Uliliyantikeš were fertility deities, corresponding to the Luwian Uliliyašši , who are invoked in the ritual of the Luwian conjurer Paškuwatti against male impotence.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Emil Forrer : Balâ. In: Erich Ebeling , Bruno Meissner (Ed.): Reallexikon der Assyriologie . Volume 1, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Leipzig 1932, p. 392.
  2. Harold Craig Melchert: Anatolian Historical Phonology , p. 206 fu a.
  3. Harold Craig Melchert: Anatolian Historical Phonology , p. 194 and a.