The ancient city of Kastabala is situated approximately 12 kilometers north-northwest of Osmaniye province, along the road from Cevdetiye Town to Karatepe Museum, in the middle of Kesmeburun, Bahçe and Kazmaca villages.
Kastabala, located in the southern region of Türkiye, is an ancient city steeped in history and mythology. Situated in the province of Osmaniye, this archaeological site showcases remnants of a rich past dating back to the Hittite and Assyrian periods. The city was a significant center during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, boasting temples, city walls, and various structures that reflect its cultural and religious significance.
During the excavations started at the end of the historical colonnaded street, ruins of the temple built by the Luwians, who are considered the oldest indigenous people of Anatolia, for their goddess Kubaba were discovered.
Head of the excavation, Osmaniye Korkut Ata University (OKU) Archaeology Department Faculty Member Associate Professor Faris Demir told Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent that the ancient city is the oldest sacred city in the plain Cilicia region.
Explaining that the ancient city was located in the center of the cultural region of the Luwians, Demir said:
“During the colonnaded street excavations, a building ruin, a temple, that we date to the Archaic period, that is, 540 BC, was unearthed. In Aramaic inscriptions located in the hinterland of Kastabala, the lands of Kastabala and Kubaba are mentioned. This building ruin we unearthed must be a temple belonging to the goddess Kubaba.”
“The priests of this Archaic temple walked on hot coals with bare feet, without feeling any pain. These ruins, which provide extraordinary information to Anatolian archeology, made us very excited.”
Demir stated that the excavations in the ancient city of Kastabala will continue to provide extraordinary information to Anatolian archaeology.
The ruins of a temple dedicated to Kubaba were found for the first time
Demir also gave information about Goddess Kubaba and said:
“Goddess Kubaba is a local Anatolian goddess. The fact that we came across a temple of this goddess made us very excited. It is the first time that such a temple ruins belonging to Kubaba have been found in Anatolian archeology.”
Kubaba usually was represented as a dignified figure draped in a long robe, either standing or seated and holding a mirror. Her character is poorly known. She is first documented in texts from Kanesh and Alalakh, though her main cult center was Carchemish.
Cover Photo: AA