ISSN: 1309-8780
e-ISSN: 2822-3985

J. David HAWKINS1, Kazım TOSUN2, Rukiye AKDOĞAN3

18 A Ridgmount Garden London WC IE 7AR, London/UNITED KINGDOM
2Adana Museum, Seyhan, Adana/TURKEY
3Cukurova University, Adana/TURKEY


Location: Stele, Adana Museum, Museum no: 18157

Description: Small apsidal stele, bearing on the front the figure of the Storm-God, on the curved reverse a 4-line inscription, beginning after right side, running sinistroverse, then boustrophedon down the stele, ending line 4 right side. Either side of the stele reverse, particularly the right, is badly worn, losing the beginnings/ends of the lines, though the central part is well preserved.

Dimensions: height 122 cm.; width (obverse) 70 cm., inscribed reverse 123 cm., line height 14 cm.

Condition: as noted, reverse sides worn, centre clear.

Script, line-dividers: incised.

Signs forms: monumental though incised, resemble most the relief signs of Kamani inscriptions in Karkamiš (a, na, ma, MALLEUS; somewhat different, pa, sa).

Word dividers: several.

Peculiarities: no initial-a-final.

Discovery: Brought to Adana Museum by Hakan Ağca, 28.05.2012, provenance Karkamiš.

Publication, Edition: Here for the first time.

Content: Dedication to the MAS(A)HUNALI Storm-God (figure on obverse) by Atika, son of Kamani of Karkamiš, with protective curse.

Sculpture: The relief figure of the Storm-God, Tarhunza, faces right, holding a vinestock in his right hand and in his left a barley sheaf (stems preserved, ears largely lost). He wears a long garment with fringed hem falling to the ankles and short sleeves, belted at the waist. His preserved right foot wears a sandal with pointed toe (left foot lost). The head and feet of the god are rendered as is usual in profile, the torso front view. The god is bearded, with a long pigtail falling on his shoulders. He wears a conical helmet with horn (symbol of divinity) and a long pendulous earring.

Details of the god’s figure resemble those of the Storm-God on the CEKKE stele of Kamani (see Hawkins 2000: Plate 42), and his vine-stock and barley stems are the same as seen on the İVRİZ Storm-God (see Darga 1992: 305 f.).

Date: Generation after Kamani of Karkamiš, reign of Astiru II (?); late 8th century B.C.

Text: Traced from the stone in Museum by R. Akdoğan.

Photographs: By R. Akdoğan.


1. § 1a. EGO [… ]k[a-ma]-ní-sa REGIO.DOMINUS |(FILIUS) ni-za-sa (b) EGO-mi á-ti-ka-sa á-sa-ti-ru HEROS kar?-[ka?-mi?-s]à


§2. |wa/i-mu |za-ti (“DEUS”) ma-sa-hu-na-li (DEUS)TONITRUS-hu-ti-i PRAE? a+ra/i(-)wa/i-ta

3. § 3. … … CENTUM OVIS || (DEUS)TONITRUS[ … ||

§ 4. … …] “CRUS”-nu-ha

§ 5. |za-ti-pa-wa/i | DEUS- |REL-i-sa MALUS-TA4-hi-tà-ti VERSUS (“PES2”) wa/i-si-ti

4. § 6. [ni-pa]-wa/i? || á-ma-[za] á-la-ma-za | ARHA “MALLEUS”-i

§ 7. |pa-ti-pa-wa/i (“DEUS”) ma-sa-hu-na-li (DEUS)TONITRUS-hu-za-sa […


§ 1a. [ I am(?) … ] Kamani the Country-Lord’s son, (b) I am Atika, the dear servant of Astiru the Hero, the Country-Lord(?) of the city Karkamis(?).

§ 2. Me before this MAS(A)HUNALI Tarhunza, they(?) ARAWA-ed.

§ 3. … one hundred sheep (for?) Tarhunza …

§ 4. … I made stand.

§ 5. He who approaches this god with malice,

§ 6. [or] erases my name,

§ 7. against him [may] this MAS(A)HUNALI Tarhunza [ …


The most notable feature about this small stele is its unusual beginning and the implications which this may have for the later line of Karkamiš rulers of the 8th century B.C. In the light of this evidence, a review of the relevant inscriptions and fragments is called for. This follows an earlier treatment of the subject (Hawkins 1986), and the further discussion of the individual pieces in CHLI I/1 (2000).

§ 1. Readings.

a. […] k[a-ma]-ní-sa REGIO.DOMINUS |(FILIUS) ni-za-sa, “[…] the Country Lord Kamani’s son”: There would appear to be space for at least a word before this: whether it could be EGO-wa/i-mi additional to the following EGO-mi remains to be established.

b. á-sa-ti-ru HEROS: no genitival marker on the first element.

kar?-[ka?-mi?-s]à [URBS?] || [REGIO?].DOMINUS?, “Country-Lord of the city Karkamiš” is certainly a title which might be expected.

BONUS-mi-sá SERVUS-TA4, “dear servant”: cf. ALEPPO 2, § 1, also ŞIRZI, § 1 (servant of a god); also KARKAMIŠ 76 (new Suhi I stele), § 7 (dear *462 of a (great) king). The endingless SERVUS-TA4 form is paralleled only on CEKKE, § 6, interestingly as Sastura’s title, “Kamani’s first servant”. For TA4 re-read la/i, see below, § 5, commentary.

§ 1 a-b. Interpretation. In spite of uncertainty exactly how to restore and understand the missing beginning it seems certain that it must refer to the same Atika introduced in the second part, since the inscription presents only one “speaker” (§ 2, -mu, “me”; § 5, “my name “). We must suppose that Atika chose this unusual form of double selfpresentation for a particular purpose, perhaps to emphasize the importance of being the son of one Country-Lord as well as the servant of another.

We could understand § 1 either as “[I am (Atika)] the Country-Lord Kamani’s son, I am Atika …” or “[…] the Country-Lord Kamani’s son am I, Atika …”.

The relationship between Kamani, Astiru and Atika in the context of the late Karkamiš rulers is examined in detail below.

§ 2. Structure of the clause is uncertain because of the uncertainty of the verb.

zati mas(a)hunali Tarhunti, dat.sing., indirect object; -mu presumably accusative, direct object.

PRAE?: identification uncertain, since the sign normally has a long curved neck, here absent, and an upward pointing tongue (here down-turned ?).

a-ra/i(-)wa/i-ta: also uncertain, since wa/i-ta could be introducing a new clause. But what could the subject be? It must be third person (no first person ending is available), and since no 3 sing. subject is present, it must be an indefinite 3 plur. It looks most probable to find the verb in a+ra/i(-)wa/i-ta, 3 plur.pret. of unknown arawa-, with or without PRAE?. We would thus come up with “They ARAWA-ed me before(?)/to this MAS(A)HUNALI Tarhunza”.

mas(a)hunali: divine epithet based on unknown mas(a)huna-.

§ 3. Visible traces suggest offerings of a hunderd(?) sheep to Tarhunza.

§ 4. (“PES2”) wa/i-si-ti: further attestation of verb of motion wasi-, for which see CHLI I/1, p. 234, commentary to TELL AHMAR 5, § 17, listing other examples. Each new attestation increases the probability that we have here a full phonetic writing.

§ 5. [ni-pa-wa/i]: the most probable connectives to introduce the clause.

á-la-ma-za: the Hier.Luw. word for “name” was written with the interchangeable TA4 and TA5, which were recently shown to represent la/li (Rieken and Yakubovich, Fs Hawkins (2010), pp. 199-219). Since then Hawkins noted a writing with la which had escaped observation because broken (KARKAMIS A13a, § 4) and this is now confirmed by the present attestation. Thus Hier. Luw. “name” becomes alamanza.

Kamani, Astiru and Pisiri: the last rulers of Karkamiš.

The evidence, mostly fragmentary, for the last 3-4 generations of Karkamiš rulers must be reconsidered in the light of this new evidence. At the lower end we have Pisiri, already on the throne in 738 B.C., when he paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser III, and removed in 717 B.C. by Sargon II, who annexed Karkamiš as an Assyrian province.

At the upper end we may begin with the well attested Kamani. He is represented as the young heir on the Royal Buttress, escorted by his guardian the eunuch Yariri, who calls him the son of Astiruwa (“Kamani my lord’s son” (A6, § 8), “my lord Astiruwa’s children” (A15b, § 17). A fragment reading “…] Country Lord the Hero Astiru’s son” (A27e1) is probably to be attributed to him in spite of the archaizing title “Hero” (see CHLI I/1, p. 165, commentary ad loc.). The beginning of his fully preserved inscription CEKKE is introduced with his titulary: “Kamani the tarwani, Country Lord of Karkamiš (and) Malatya, and Sastura Kamani’s first servant “(i.e. “prime minister”). In his other own inscription (A31, § 7, beginning not preserved) he is only “Kamani the tarwani”. A curious little stele (A17b, § 1) begins: “[A]zatiwara, servant of god-tarwani, Kamani the [Country] Lord’s [… “, or perhaps “…Kamani’s [House] Lord […”. Here “god tarwani” presumably refers to the divinity referred to later in the text as “this beheld Tarhunza”.

A puzzle arises with the damaged relief with archaizing inscription A21b+a, on which the author, name missing, has almost the same titulary as Kamani on CEKKE, namely “…] Hero, Country Lord of Karkamiš (and) Malatya, beloved of Kubaba” (§ 1), and refers to “my father Sastu(ra)” (§ 2), who is presumably the same man as Kamani’s “prime minister” on CEKKE. A fragment (frag. 1) which would fit well before §1 has simply the name Astiru, which could thus be the name of the author of the inscription, Astiru II, although other contexts for the fragment are also possible. But if so, how did Astiru II, the son of prime minister Sastura, bearing a similar title to that of his father’s sovereign, become ruler of Karkamiš? Actually possible scenarios are not hard to envisage, including Kamani’s not having male issue and successor, but this seems to be ruled out by the status claimed by Atika, “son of Kamani the Country Lord … dear servant of Astiru the Hero, the [Country] Lord of [the city] Ka[rkami]š”. How would Atika have been excluded from the succession in favour of the prime minister’s son, whose servant he became?

One further piece of evidence must be considered. The colossal seated ruler figure from the South Gate bore an inscription on its lower part, though both now survive only as fragments, one of which reads: “…] beloved of Kubaba, Asti[ru]’s son”. If correctly restored, this suggests that Astiru II was succeeded by his son, who was the ruler represented in the South Gate. In view of the style of the sculpture we may well suppose that this successor was Pisiri, whose 21-year (minimal) reign would hard to accommodate after another successor to Astiru II. We may also note some palaeographic similarities between the South Gate figure’s inscription and our present stele: particularly the signs a, na, ma and MALLEUS; differences, pa and sa. Also these are the only two inscriptions so far to write alamanza, “name”, with la instead of TA4 or TA5.

Taking all these factors into consideration, we would thus envisage the following 4- generation succession in Karkamiš (rulers in italic):

This leaves unexplained the succession of Astiru II over any rights of Atika, as already noted.

A further problem relates to the style of the sculptures and the palaeography of the associated inscriptions of Kamani, of the author of KARKAMIŠ A21b+a (Astiru II?) and of the South Gate ruler (Pisiri?), which following the present reconstruction would be the work of three successive generations. Orthmann (USK 1981) places both the KARKAMIŠ A21b+a and the South Gate ruler figure stylistically the latest, Karkemiš V, Sph. IIIb. That would mean that the Astiru II (?) sculpture, along with its expertly archaizing script, would be pushed back to before 738 B.C. at the latest, which seems too early. The problem can only be noted here and borne in mind along with all the other uncertainties.


  1. <b>REFERENCES</b>
  2. Darga, A. Muhibbe, Hitit Sanatı, Akbank Kültür Sanat Yayınları, İstanbul 1992.
  3. Hawkins, J.D., “Rulers of Karkamiš: The House of Astiruwas”, IX. Türk Tarih Kongresi (Ankara, 21.-25. Eylül 1981). Kongreye Sunulan Bildiriler [Vorträge zum IX. türkischen Geschichtskongress, 21.-25. September 1981], Ankara (1986), pp. 259-271.
  4. Hawkins, J.D., Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions I/1-3, Berlin-New York 2000.
  5. Orthmann, Winfried, Untersuchungen zur Späthethitischen Kunst, Bonn 1981.
  6. Rieken, Elisabeth – Yakubovich Ilya, “The New Values of Luwian Signs L. 319 and L. 172”, ipamati kistamati pari tumatimis. Luwian and Hittite Studies Presented to J.David Hawkins on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday, I. Singer, Editor (Tel Aviv University, Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Monograph Series 28), Tel Aviv (2010), pp. 199-219.

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