Istanbul Anthropological Review
Varicolored Wool in Ancient Treatment RitualsYeşim Dilek, Pınar Gözlük Kırmızıoğlu
The first use of wool occurred in ancient Mesopotamia as a result of the domestication and selective breeding of sheep. As civilization developed in southern Mesopotamia in the late 5th and 4th millennia BC, evidence from that time implies that pig and cattle farming began to give way to nomadic goat and sheep-herding. This development can be seen by looking at the economy of the region, where sheep became a status symbol. The trade network clearly demonstrates the status symbol and the significance of wool for that region. It was among the most significant goods exported to nearby civilizations. The literature of the Mesopotamians reveals the significance of wool in terms of the divine character. It was given to temple inhabitants for use in a variety of ways. For example, it was used as payment for goods and services and it was initially used to produce blankets, pillows, cushions, carpets, ropes, chariots, equestrian equipment, and textiles. This thing also had value as a ceremonial object for ancient Mesopotamians and, indirectly, Hittites in Anatolia. The use of multicolored wool, particularly in these ancient societies' healing rituals, is quite astounding. One of the most prevalent items in ancient Mesopotamian medicinal ritual practices was wool of various colors, which was mentioned in therapeutic ritual literature. Many of these customs were passed on to the Hittites through the substantial commercial network with Anatolia during the Assyrian trade colony period. Hittite religious rites utilized wool of various hues. Hittite society relied on wool to absorb and purify dangers and evils in religious life. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role that wool had in ancient Mesopotamian and Hittite healing rites.