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Armenia 2014 306

Modern statue of Haldi in front of the Erebuni Museum


Ḫaldi (or Khaldi) was one of the three chief deities of the kingdom of Urartu, situated in eastern Anatolia from the 800's to 500's BC. His shrine was at the city Ardini. Many cunieform inscriptions from Urartu are dedicated to Haldi. A relief near Lake Van in modern Turkey known as The Door of Haldi reveals that the Urartian religion had seventy recognized deities, of which Haldi was supreme. The other two chief deities in Urartu were Theispas, a god of Lightening, and Shivini, a solar god.

His wife was the goddess Arubani, goddess of fertility and art. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, with feathered wings, standing in profile on a lion.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as 'the house of weapons'. One such temple was unearthed at Erebuni, near modern Yerevan, Armenia.

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