In February, A.D. Riddle wrote here about the Turkish government’s demands that Germany give them the Sphinx of Hattusa. Turkey threatened to revoke the German license to excavate Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites. The Germans have been excavating this site before the modern country of Turkey was even founded.
Alexander Schick has informed us of an article in the German press that reports that Germany has surrendered to Turkish demands and will be sending the Sphinx to Istanbul (rough English translation here). Schick has also sent along photographs of the artifact. (Our previous post included only photos of the replica.)
The Sphinx of Hattusa (circled in red) will be given to Turkey. The replica is on the right. Also on the right is a stela of Esarhaddon from Sam’al/Zincirli, from 671 BC.
The Germans brought the Sphinx to Berlin in 1915 to restore it. At the time Germany and the Ottoman Empire were allies as the First World War was beginning.
If I was a German archaeologist working in Turkey, I’d plan to wrap my work up very soon. Those who succeed in blackmail are not likely to change their ways.
All photos courtesy of Alexander Schick.