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The so-called cult inventory texts report on the state of religious festivals, rites, cult objects, and cult supplies in a number of provincial towns and villages under Hittite control, thereby documenting the interaction between the central administration and local settlements. As such, they do not concern the official “state cults,” but rather a variety of rites and customs, which in part preserve local traditions. Because of its nature and size, this corpus is unique in the ancient Near East, and is relevant to the comparative history of religions and centre-periphery studies. Within Anatolian studies, the corpus is especially relevant to the study of historical geography, regional and local Hittite panthea, religious iconography, the production and logistics of cult supplies, and the participation of village communities in rites and festivals.
Expanding upon a comprehensive edition of 450 cuneiform tablets and the pertinent database “Hittite local cults,” the volume provides an in-depth overview of the text genre; a study of the material, palaeographic, orthographic, and linguistic aspects of the manuscripts; a thorough investigation into the geography of the local cults as well as into the local panthea and cult calendar; and finally critical editions of a representative selection of original texts.