Hebat, also transcribed Kheba or Khepat, was the mother goddess
Mother goddess
Mother goddess is a term used to refer to a goddess who represents motherhood, fertility, creation or embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.Many different goddesses have...

 of the Hurrians
The Hurrians were a people of the Ancient Near East who lived in Northern Mesopotamia and adjacent regions during the Bronze Age.The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of Mitanni. The population of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia to a large part consisted of Hurrians, and...

, known as "the mother of all living".


Hebat is the consort of Teshub
Teshub was the Hurrian god of sky and storm. He was derived from the Hattian Taru. His Hittite and Luwian name was Tarhun , although this name is from the Hittite root *tarh- to defeat, conquer.- Depiction and myths :He is depicted holding a triple...

 and the mother of Sarruma
Šarruma or Sharruma is an originally Hurrian god who was adopted into the Hittite pantheon. There was a prince named after him - Ašmi-Šarruma, son of Arnuwanda I.- Mythology :...

. Originally, as Kheba or "Kubau
Kubaba is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period of Sumerian history...

" it is thought she may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the divinised founder of the Third Dynasty of Kish
Kish (Sumer)
Kish is modern Tell al-Uhaymir , and was an ancient city of Sumer. Kish is located some 12 km east of Babylon, and 80 km south of Baghdad ....

. The name can be transliterated in different versions; Khebat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version. As it is written cuneiform script
Cuneiform script
Cuneiform script )) is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Emerging in Sumer around the 30th century BC, with predecessors reaching into the late 4th millennium , cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs...

 allows the name to be pronounced with either /b/ or /p/, though in the Hurrian language
Hurrian language
Hurrian is a conventional name for the language of the Hurrians , a people who entered northern Mesopotamia around 2300 BC and had mostly vanished by 1000 BC. Hurrian was the language of the Mitanni kingdom in northern Mesopotamia, and was likely spoken at least initially in Hurrian settlements in...

 Hepa is the most likely pronunciation. The sound /h/ in cuneiform is in the modern literature sometimes transliterated as kh.

Later assimilated with Hebat was the Hittite
Hittite mythology
Most of the narratives embodying Hittite mythology are lost, and the elements that would give a balanced view of Hittite religion are lacking among the tablets recovered at the Hittite capital Hattusa and other Hittite sites: "there are no canonical scriptures, no theological disquisitions or...

 sun goddess Arinna
Arinna was the major cult center of the Hittite sun goddess, known as dUTU URUArinna "sun goddess of Arinna". Arinna was located near Hattusa, the Hittite capital.The name was also used as a substitute word for Arinniti...

. A prayer of queen Puduhepa
Puduhepa was a Hittite tawanannas was married to King Hattusili III. She has been referred to as "one of the most influential women known from the Ancient Near East."...

 makes this explicit: "To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of heaven and earth. Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat."


Hebat was venerated all over the ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...

. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters
Amarna letters
The Amarna letters are an archive of correspondence on clay tablets, mostly diplomatic, between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru during the New Kingdom...

 was named Abdi-Kheba or Abd-Hebat, possibly meaning "Servant of Hebat".

The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

n goddess Cybele
Cybele , was a Phrygian form of the Earth Mother or Great Mother. As with Greek Gaia , her Minoan equivalent Rhea and some aspects of Demeter, Cybele embodies the fertile Earth...

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