Cappadocia, Enchanted Land of Khepat, Ancient Anatolia’s Mother Goddess

Enchanted landscape of Fairy Chimneys forms of sandstone in the canyon near Cavusin village, Cappadocia (Andrew Mayovskyy / Adobe Stock)

Cappadocia, Enchanted Land of Khepat, Ancient Anatolia’s Mother Goddess

Cappadocia in central Anatolia/Turkey presents an ancient scenery mesmerizing the mind and captivating the imagination, where Khepat, the Mother Goddess, carved a fairy tale landscape against the backdrop of Mount Erciyes, called ‘Harkasos’ during the Hittite era, meaning Gods of Mountains. The etymological root of the name Cappadocia derives from ‘Khepatukh’, (Khepat meaning Mother Goddess and Ukh meaning land) which translates into ‘The Land of Khepat the Mother Goddess’. Millions of years ago Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Gōllǘdaǧ spewed volcanic lava and ash, which hardened with the rainwater to form layers of porous tuff in hues of red and yellow. Enlisting the four elements earth, wind, water and fire, Khepat began sculpting the landscape. The volcanic fire vomited the tuff creating earth, the water hardened it and the rain and wind eroded it creating the fairy chimneys, cones, caves and valleys of her bewitching Cappadocia.

A mother goddess statuette from Canhasan, an archaeological site in Turkey. This figurine, along with other mother goddess figurines found in Canhasan, is thought to be evidence of a continual matriarchal society in central Anatolia during the Chalcolithic Age. (Noumenon / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Human Settlements and Wars

Then the humans came to settle in the land Khepat had created. The caves had been inhabited since the Holocene epoch, as is evident by the excavations of Civilek cave and a skull found in Aşikli Hōyǘk even bears traces of primitive brain surgery. Kōşk Hōyǘk was a Neolithic settlement practising matriarchal order, perhaps still honouring Khepat, the Mother Goddess.

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