Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter (A) November 30, 2021

The New Inscription from Türkmenkarahöyük and its Historical Context

  • J. David Hawkins and Mark Weeden EMAIL logo


The publication of a hieroglyphic inscription found at Türkmenkarahöyük in the Konya region and the associated survey-work in the area have raised numerous questions about the location of the city of Tarhuntassa, the aftermath of the Hittite Empire and the dating of the Hieroglyphic inscriptions which mention a king called Hartapu. In this paper we review the evidence for the location of Tarhuntassa that we deem relevant for deciding whether it could have been situated at Türkmenkarahöyük, and further reconsider the dating of the Hartapu inscriptions, arriving at the conclusion, already warranted by the evidence before the discovery of the new inscription, that there must have been two kings called Hartapu, who lived in very different epochs.


In 2019 an inscription was discovered on the edge of the site of Türkmenkarahöyük in the Konya region, which contained in line 1 mention of a Kartapu son of Mursili who had defeated the Muska: and in line 2, a Hartapu to whom all the gods had given 13 cities and either placed or taken 10 fortresses in one year. The publication of the inscription (Goedegebuure et al. 2020) is accompanied by two articles which describe the survey of Türkmenkarahöyük on the one hand (Osborne et al. 2020) and the related regional survey on the other (Massa et al. 2020). The authors assert that the inscription is to be dated to the 8th century BC (Goedegebuure et al. 2020: 40), that the Muska of the inscription are the Phrygians of the 8th century (Osborne et al. 2020: 22), and further that the large site of Türkmenkarahöyük is to be equated with the Late Bronze Age city of Tarhuntassa, of which Hartapu’s 8th century kingdom would have to be either a descendant or a claimant to its legacy (Massa et al. 2020: 65–66). The supposition that the Muska are the Phrygians implies for the authors the re-dating all of the inscriptions on the Karadağ and Kızıldağ to the 8th century BC, with which we cannot agree. In this contribution we present a reassessment of the new data for the debate concerning the legacy of Tarhuntassa in the post-Hittite period, Hartapu and the post-Bronze Age kingdoms in the Konya region and Cappadocia and argue for a more nuanced approach to the dating of the inscriptions and the identification of the various actors. Here we base our arguments primarily on epigraphic rather than archaeological or philological criteria. Although very speculatively, we offer an alternative historical reconstruction which we believe accounts better for the stylistic similarities between this new inscription and further ones which we ascribe to the same period.

The Location of Tarhuntassa

Chronologically speaking, the first question that should be broached is whether the authors’ suggestion that the site of Türkmenkarahöyük can be equated with the city of Tarhuntassa can be entertained as plausible. Türkmenkarahöyük is situated in the middle of the Hulaya Riverland, if as likely this is identical with the Çarşamba river-system and Hotamış Gölü, which have been subject to modern desiccation. The Hulaya Riverland is stated by the Bronze Tablet treaty between Kuruntiya and Tudhaliya IV to be the border between the lands of Tarhuntassa and Hattusa. Contrary to the statement of Massa et al. (2020: 64) we have never held that the Hulaya Riverland was a later addition to Tarhuntassa, merely that the Hulaya Riverland constitutes the border(-zone) of Tarhuntassa (Hawkins 1995: 50). We thus thought that it must be separate from Tarhuntassa, and that the latter should find itself to the south of the Çarşamba river-system, perhaps past Karaman in the direction of the Göksü valley.

The most important passage of the Bronze Tablet for this debate has the following text, BT ii 4–20 (Otten 1988: 16, with corrections to the translation informed by Watkins 1997):

“And (that) which (is) the frontier of the land of Tarhuntassa – it (is) the Hulaya Riverland –[1] the goat-herd may not enter. But if one drives (the flocks) from the Hulaya Riverland to the great salt-lick rock, one may not take the salt-lick rights from him, it is granted to the King of the land of Tarhuntassa and he may always take the salt. The town Sarmana, the towns Pantarwanta and Mahrimma, with field, meadow, irrigated land, sheep-pasture, all the salt-lick, all the lick to Kuruntiya king of the land of Tarhuntassa my father Hattusili granted, and I my majesty Tudhaliya Great King granted. No other man may go after the salt of Sarmana.

In the town Dunna a single kuwapala is granted to the Storm-God of Lightning, and it will remain to the King of the land of Tarhuntassa. And if Kuruntiya afterwards makes a single kuwapala, my father Hattusili, Great King, has legalized it for him, and I my majesty Tudhaliya, Great King, have legalized it for him, let it be legal.”

How we understand the particulars of the border description very much depends on where we put the features mentioned in physical space. We concede that it is theoretically possible that the first parenthetical phrase in the paragraph “And (that) which (is) the frontier of the land of Tarhuntassa, – it (is) the Hulaya Riverland, ....” could mean that the border of Tarhuntassa is coterminous with the border of the Hulaya Riverland, i.e. that they are geographically equivalent designations. This is the only way that this phrase could be understood if the site of Türkmenkarahöyük is to be identified with the city of Tarhuntassa. However, the most natural interpretation of these lines in our view would be that Tarhuntassa is a separate entity from the Hulaya Riverland and that the latter constitutes a frontier zone between Tarhuntassa and Hattusa.[2] The passage then regulates rights of access to this frontier zone. Hittite goat-herds, we understand, are not to cross into the Hulaya Riverland, but the king of Tarhuntassa is to have access to salt, as well as being allowed to collect unidentified items from Dunna, which is agreed to be identical with Zeyve Höyük (Forlanini 2017: 242 fn. 35). Although the locations referred to in this paragraph do not have to be in the same general area, given that it seems to be concerned with certain types of cross-border rights, it is possible that they are in the east of the Hulaya Riverland.

Two mutually exclusive implications can be drawn from this paragraph with respect to the question of the location of Tarhuntassa. Either the access to the salt that is regulated for the king of Tarhuntassa by this paragraph in the Bronze Tablet is outside the Hulaya Riverland, in which case it is possible that Tarhuntassa and the Hulaya Riverland are coterminous, or the salt is to be found within the Hulaya Riverland, in which case the king of Tarhuntassa is being given access rights to enter the Hulaya Riverland and take the salt.

It thus becomes crucial to identify where this salt-lick is. Suggestions have centred around salt-lakes near Karapınar to the west-southwest of the Karacadağ mountain (Erbil/Mouton 2018: 101). However, even if salt can be found here, it is necessary that the salt concentrations are very high, and do not just consist of salt water, but rather salt that is dried into collectable and indeed lick-able form.

More specifically, the Meke Gölü, also known as Meke Tuzlası (“saltworks of Meke”), a volcanic strombolian cone in the middle of a hyper-saline lake (Kuzucuoğlu et al. 2019: 355d) seems to be an adequate location, as suggested to us by Çiğdem Maner (cf. Maner 2021). It too is found in the immediate vicinity of the Karacadağ.[3] It is not completely clear whether this feature would have been saline of a type to be good for a salt-lick for animals during the period at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The lake (maar) in which the Meke cone sits would have to have been sufficiently dry to enable the salt to take a transportable and directly consumable form and there are few to no other candidates for salt being produced in this form in this area. Here one also needs to consider revising the translation “great salt-lick rock”, which suggests the implication of rock-salt, as opposed to the alternative possible translation “to the great salt-lick, at the wani-”, where the word wani- might indicate a rock landmark of some kind rather than the rock being identical with the source of the salt. This too seems a good translation if referring to the striking cone of Meke. The implications of identifying the Meke Gölü with the salt-lick and some of the sites around the Karacadağ and lake Karapınar with Sarmanna, Pantarwanta and Mahrimma are significant when we further consider one of the possible identifications for the Karacadağ and its place on the border of the Hulaya Riverland, as described in the Ulmi-Teššub and Bronze Tablet treaties: Mt Arlanta.

The importance of Mt Arlanta for the definition of the border becomes apparent from the text of the Bronze Tablet frontier description, which makes it clear that the “water” that is up on it belongs to both Hatti and to the Hulaya Riverland.[4] Mt Arlanta therefore belonged to both sides of the border. The Karacadağ was identified with Mt Arlanta already by Garstang and Gurney (Garstang/Gurney 1959: 71), whose proposal has been followed in some but not all of the recent literature – for discussion of objections to the identification see the articles by Maner (2019: 205) and Maner/Weeden/Alparslan (2021), where it is made clear that the springs on the Karacadağ have been an important source of water for the surrounding area at various times during its history, and in particular that the water referred to in the treaty might have been water for herds rather than humans, on the basis of evidence from modern-day water-consumption habits in the area.[5] Was the Karacadağ also an important source of water during the Late Bronze Age and what would be the consequences of this for our understanding of the problem at hand, including the location of the salt at the Meke Gölü?

Firstly the Karacadağ would not only be very likely to be Mt Arlanta and thus to be shared by Hatti to its north and the Hulaya Riverland to its south, if its water was singularly useful for the surrounding area, but the location of the salt referred to in BT § 11 would be immediately adjacent to its south, thus inside the Hulaya Riverland. The only way BT § 11 could be made to make sense in this case would be if access needed to be granted to the salt because the king of Tarhuntassa was coming from outside of the Hulaya Riverland in order to get salt from the Meke Gölü. This is dependent on the Meke Gölü being a historically important and rather singular source of salt in the region during the Late Bronze Age, which it seems to have been in documented history, as well as according to local informants, who report having had to collect salt from the Salt Lake when they were no longer allowed to exploit the sources at Meke.[6] Of course, if other mountains are demonstrated to have been equally important for water distribution in the area throughout history, and the Meke Gölü was not the source of salt that is being referred to, then this chain of reasoning falls down, and it is still possible that the borders of Tarhuntassa and of the Hulaya Riverland are completely coterminous and the lands described by those borders entirely coextensive, the only criterion under which a settlement at the centre of the Hulaya Riverland could also be identical with Tarhuntassa. However, it seems difficult to find another source of salt in the region that fits the description so well.

Taking this evidence together it thus seems difficult to contemplate Türkmenkarahöyük, a site that is in the middle of what we think must have been the Hulaya Riverland, also being identical with the city of Tarhuntassa. But we cannot exclude it, nor can we provide a good candidate for an alternative.[7] Here we must leave a clearer decision on this up to further evaluation of the archaeological evidence, current and future, which is beyond the remit of this article.

Whether or not Türkmenkarahöyük is actually the site of Tarhuntassa, it is clear that it must have been somewhere in this region, or, as we would hold, further to the south. A recent article using both textual and archaeological data has illuminated the power-shift towards the southwest that seems to have taken place towards the end of the Late Bronze Age (Matessi 2016), one that went hand in hand with an apparent temporary reduction in population at the capital city of Hattusa. Thus the developments that are in progress during the period of the thirteenth century BC are held to be precursors for the constellation in the Iron Age, where we appear to have a group of inscriptions associated with the name of a Great King Hartapu (now also a Great King Kartapu) son of Mursili, which in our view have wildly differing dates. Here we are in disagreement with the presentation of Goedegebuure et al. (2020). We have re-examined the question of the dating of the other inscriptions elsewhere (Hawkins/Weeden in press), but summarise our position briefly here before including our view of the new inscription and linking it to what we perceive to be its historical situation.

The Dates of the Hartapu Inscriptions

The terms “archaic” and “archaizing” are used here in relation to the KARADAĞ-KIZILDAĞ inscriptions and require a note. In CHLI I, the inscriptions are divided into (Hittite) Empire (1300–1200 B.C.) and Late (Iron Age, 1000–700 B.C.). The period 1200–1000 B.C. was referred to as intermediate or transitional, but almost no inscriptions seemed to belong here. Now, however, a number of important inscriptions have appeared which may be dated here, justifying the adoption of the term “Transitional” in the forthcoming CHLI III. These inscriptions show characteristics inherited from the Empire and pointing the way to the new developments of the Late period. Such characteristics may provide useful dating criteria where other evidence is lacking or alongside it.

A fine example of Late Luwian archaism is KARKAMIŠ A21b+a and its related fragments. This relief orthostat has two figures which, though badly damaged, show clear characteristics of the latest style of Neo-Hittite sculpture (Orthmann 1971, Karkemis V); and a background inscription with Hieroglyphs elegantly rendered using archaic sign forms and other Empire-related graphic practices producing an almost “art deco” effect. Sign forms include sa, mu, ta₂, ARHA, NEG, LOCUS(?), ma, REL, wa/i; graphic practices: Karkamisa, DOMINUS.NA(?), subscript-a, zi/a(+a), i(a)(+a), (L. 386)ta-ti, omission of noun and verb endings, omission of +ra/i, INFANS without upper “crampon” (i.e., L. 386). The 8th century inscription of TOPADA from the region of Nevşehir, though less elegant, can be shown to share a number of these features.

One obvious rule in the determination of archaic vs archaizing is that inscriptions showing only Empire-Transitional forms and practices are almost certainly archaic, while those showing Empire-Transitional forms mixed with Late are archaizing. It will be shown that KIZILDAĞ 4 and KARADAĞ 1 belong in the former category; KIZILDAĞ 1–3, BURUNKAYA, TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK in the latter. We thus recognize Hartapu I (12th century B.C.) and Hartapu II (8th century). The reasons leading to archaism may be sought. They could lie in a desire to hark back to a more famous or heroic past. One can compare, as Craig Melchert kindly points out to us, the archaizing use of elements of the SÜDBURG inscription of Suppiluliuma II to refer back to Suppiluliuma I, and of Hattusili III’s reference to Hattusili I, man of Kussar (KBo. 6.28 obv. 4).

At the time of the publication of CHLI I in 2000, the dating of the Tabalian inscriptions seemed relatively straightforward. The KIZILDAĞ-KARADAĞ group including BURUNKAYA by the clear connections of KIZILDAĞ 4 to Empire-period inscriptions, especially the recently published YALBURT and SÜDBURG, could be placed in the post-Empire 12th century BC. The KULULU group including SULTANHAN and the Tyana group by association of the rulers Wasusarma and Warpalawa with the contemporaries of Tukultī-apil-Ešarra (Tiglath-Pileser) III (744–728 BC), Wassurme and Urballa, were placed in the later 8th century BC. Some curious problems remained. The figure of the enthroned Hartapu on the Kızıldağ was generally recognised as stylistically 8th century, so how was this to be reconciled with the adjacent Hartapu inscriptions dated to the 12th century (Akçay 2016)? And how was the palaeographically weird inscription TOPADA, the work of Great King Wasusarma, to be explained alongside the Kululu-Tyana inscriptions? As a solution Hawkins suggested that the Hartapu figure and associated inscription was indeed an 8th century addition to the 12th century inscriptions and that the TOPADA writing was 8th century deliberately archaizing (Hawkins 1992: 272). This dating we maintain here, and indeed add KIZILDAĞ 2 and 3 to this 8th century dating (thus all the “Throne” inscriptions, see below).

Since then new proposals have been put forward on the dating and contexts of the KIZILDAĞ-KARADAĞ and TOPADA groups: see e.g. d’Alfonso (2014 and 2019); Sürenhagen (2008); Summers (2017); Oreshko (2016 and 2017); Şenyurt/Akçay (2018). But the new discovery in 2019 of the inscribed block TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK has complicated the picture. It is published in 2020 by Goedegebuure et al., with a transliteration, translation and detailed commentary. In a judicious review of the evidence they conclude that the inscription dates to the 8th century BC, with which we can agree, but in a further consideration of its relations with and implications for the KIZILDAĞ-KARADAĞ group, specifically KIZILDAĞ 4, they feel that it must bring down the date for the latter from the generally agreed 12th century BC to the 8th century, which we contest.

Goedegebuure et al. do not allow sufficient weight to the original reasons for the 12th century dating. We note, however, that the discovery of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 simply adds to the already existing problem of dating KIZILDAĞ 4 to the 12th century and the Hartapu figure with KIZILDAĞ 1 to the 8th century. We point out that TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 1 is a clumsy partial pastiche of KIZILDAĞ 4 showing Late characteristics, thus indeed to be dated to the 8th century BC. But we do not consider that this demands the lowering of the date of KIZILDAĞ 4 from the 12th century. This dating was based on its purely archaic character, showing no late characteristics, and it was, and in our opinion remains, impossible to envisage such an archaic inscription to have been written in the 8th century.

We note however the problem of the Hartapu figure with KIZILDAĞ 1, until recently generally agreed to belong unequivocally in the 8th century, and we consider that TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK links to and extends this. We consider that the latter inscription splits into three distinct parts according to the lines, as may be illustrated by their different appearances: line 1, mainly in relief, an 8th century pastiche of the 12th century KIZILDAĞ 4 made for a purpose to be assessed below (Historical implications); line 2, a separate inscription, also 8th century showing obvious connections with KIZILDAĞ 3, thus also 8th century along with Hartapu and KIZILDAĞ 1, and perhaps more remotely with TOPADA; line 3, scribal signature. The first line, or at least the name, epithets and affiliation, is in relief for purposes that remain to be clarified, while the second line is incised.

The Dating of KIZILDAĞ 4

We begin with KIZILDAĞ 4 because of its clear connection with TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, line 1 and will continue with a review of KIZILDAĞ 1, KIZILDAĞ 2 and 3, KARADAĞ 1 and BURUNKAYA. The grounds for dating KIZILDAĞ 4 to the end of the Hittite Empire or soon after have always been its closeness to Empire-period characteristics, strongly reinforced by the appearance of the YALBURT and SÜDBURG inscriptions, specifically:

1. The aedicula SOL₂ MAGNUS.REX HEROS framing the personal name. The use of HEROS here by Hartapu I is later applied by Hartapu II only to his ancestors Hartapu I and Mursili (BURUNKAYA, TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 1, KIZILDAĞ 3), but does not take it himself on TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 2 and BURUNKAYA. Hartapu II thus only uses the epithet HEROS of his ancestors, not of himself.

2. The affiliation to Mursili similarly titled (whether Mursili II, III or another).

3. FILIUS without the upper “crampon”: cf. YALBURT Block 1 § 1; SIRKELI § 1; ALEPPO 1, § 1; NİŞANTAŞ AI § 1; BOĞAZKÖY 18; HATİP; KÖYLÜTOLUYAYLA; EMİRGAZİ 1; but note also TOPADA § 1 (probably).

4. Both the form and position of the sign CAELUM = “sky” are distinct between Empire and late usages: (DEUS) TONITRUS.CAELUM (a crescent), §§ 2a, 3: cf. EMİRGAZİ 1, §§ 26, 29; also (DEUS) SOL CAELUM, YAZILIKAYA no. 34; and CAELUM, YAZILIKAYA no. 28; Late, almost always CAELUM (tipasasis) (DEUS) TONITRUS (flat-topped bowl); but cf. archaisms in TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, line 2; ARSUZ (1+2 §§ 25, 26).

5. OMNIS₂ (DEUS/REGIO/taskwira); §§ 2a, c, 3; (Cun. Luw. punati) cf. EMİRGAZİ 1, § 15; SÜDBURG §§ 1, 3, 5, 6; NİŞANTAŞ A II § 6 (REGIO, DEUS); KARADAĞ 1, §§ 1, 2); Late always tanimi, but cf. TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, line 2; syllabic pu KIZILDAĞ 3, TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, line 2.

6a. BONUS₂ logogram only Empire.

6b. wasati: cf. YALBURT blocks 16, § 2; 10 § 3 // EMİRGAZİ 3.

7. (L. 273) mu(wa)- “defeat” cf. (L. 273) FORTIS, KARADAĞ 1, § 2b; (L. 273)mu-wa/i-, YALBURT block 16, § 2; (L. 273)mu-wa/i- KÖYLÜTOLU YAYLA, § 4; Late, only mu-wa/i- // FORTIS-wa/i-; but cf. (L. 273)mu(wa)? – TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 line 2 (archaism).

8. REL, Empire form as throughout EMİRGAZİ 1 (cf. also KARAKUYU, line 2); these all show a rounded blob or circle at the base, though other Empire examples may have a somewhat more elongated, pointed top: EMİRGAZİ 2, §§ 5, 13; YALBURT blocks 3, § 2; 4, § 2; 6, § 1; 7, § 3; 10, § 3; 11, § 4; 15, § 1; 17, § 2; SÜDBURG § 1; KÖYLÜTOLU YAYLA §§ 1, 3a, 6.

Note that KARADAĞ 1, though incised, shows the same characteristics, top and bottom, as KIZILDAĞ 4.

9. mu-sa-ka-na(REGIO). “The Land Muska”. The Empire forms of mu (L. 107, BOS, the simple ox-head, as against BOS₂, the whole animal) are curiously varied from the monumental-pictographic through to the linear-cursive. The latter are best seen on EMIRGAZI 1 and 2, and YALBURT, where they lack even the +MI which transforms u to mu. Other Empire occurrences are neither frequent nor often clear: HATİP (mu(wa)-tax-li); İMAMKULU, HANYERİ, SIPYLOS (Kuwalana-mu(wa)-); the most useful Empire comparandum comes from KÖYLÜTOLUYAYLA line 2 (L. 273)mu-wa/i-ti.

Hawkins traced KIZILDAĞ 4 on acetate in 1989, (as reproduced in CHLI I/3, pl. 239.5), where he saw and drew the sign as ma following Meriggi’s original reading as ma as against his revision as mu (Hawkins 1995: 106). Clearly the 8th century scribe of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 1 saw mu on KIZILDAĞ 4, as also read by Goedegebuure et al., which persuaded us to re-examine the best photographs available. This has convinced us that this is a form of mu, the +MI being actually visible and we now see the sign-form as

Fig. 1 
          Drawing by J.D. Hawkins of mu in KIZILDAĞ 4, § 2c.
Fig. 1

Drawing by J.D. Hawkins of mu in KIZILDAĞ 4, § 2c.

Two points arise: (1) the sign-form itself; (2) its use beside the two monumental-pictographic examples of mu in (L.273)mu(wa)-ta.

(1) Nearest mu-comparanda are Empire KÖYLÜTOLU YAYLA § 4 (noted above); Late (archaizing) TOPADA, KARKAMIŠ A21b+a. If we seek an archaic mu, to which the two Late archaizing forms hark back, the mu of KIZILDAĞ 4 looks to be a plausible model. Such a recognition would be a second example linking archaic KIZILDAĞ 4 with archaizing TOPADA besides the usage (TERRA)ta-sa-RELx+ra/i, for which see Hawkins/Weeden (in press).

(2) mu of mu-sa-ka-na (REGIO) compared to (L.273)mu(wa)-ta₂ in the same inscription: difference of the mu-forms discussed by Goedegebuure et al. (pp. 32–35). While the difference remains peculiar, for the present it should suffice to note that the values of both are independently established.

ka: Poetto’s (1998: 470) re-reading as AQUILA/ ara/i convincingly rebutted by Goedegebuure et al., but this can hardly be used as a dating criterion (see below).

10. (TERRA)ta-sa-RELx+ra/i. The form RELx has emerged unexpectedly from photographs and autopsy by Weeden at the site. It thus appears that the sign-form is actually archaic and adopted by archaizing TOPADA in the word taskwera- as well as occasionally for REL. See Hawkins/Weeden (in press).

11 a. VIR Empire sign form (L. 312, as against L. 313).

b. ali-wa/i-ni-, “?”; cf. YALBURT blocks 2, § 2; 7, § 2; 11, § 2; 12, § 3; 13, §§ 1, 4; SÜDBURG, §§ 1, 4, 5; 8, 9, 12, 14; NİŞANTAŞ A III, §e(?). This word appears only in Empire-period inscriptions.

12. CERVUS₄.IACULUM (L. 109.3 + L. 285 (2), “hunter”: cf. EMİRGAZİ 1, § 32; YALBURT block 10 § 2 // EMİRGAZİ 3; BOĞAZKÖY frag. 23.1; KOCAOĞUZ §§ 1, 3.

From the above it will be clear that every phrase of KIZILDAĞ 4 is paralleled on Empire-period inscriptions, and almost exclusively so, the only exceptions being exactly those inscriptions which are up for consideration here: KIZILDAĞ 1–3, KARADAĞ 1, BURUNKAYA; TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK; and the TOPADA group, which while they may show definitively Late features may also show archaic ones which have to be characterized as archaizing.

One very odd feature of KIZILDAĞ 4 is the writing mu(wa)-ta-a in line 2 § 2c. This is not a case of initial a-final. Xander Vertegaal (2017, 2018) has written about the distribution of plene-writings in Iron Age Hieroglyphic, with the conclusion that where they are not being used as space-fillers they should be indicating vowel length, but such conclusions cannot be drawn for the Empire period, nor is there any reason why the vowel here should be long, unless it is perhaps stressed due to being in a relative clause (an ad hoc explanation). There is one comparable writing with a plene-a at KÖYLUTOLU YAYLA a-ma-ala-a (§ 3b). Despite an unsuccessful attempt by Meriggi (1975: 265) to account for this as a writing of the word for “name” alamanza, the writing remains unexplained. Appearing as it does between the titles “Great King” and “Hero” this is also likely to be a title or an adjective qualifying the Great King, although it is difficult to explain how it could correspond to any of the relevant candidates for a title, such as Tabarna. At any rate, here we have another example of a plene-writing of final -a from the Empire period, which means that mu(wa)-ta-a on KIZILDAĞ 4 is not completely isolated. It is also notable that two cases of unexplained and unparalleled plene-a occur on TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, line 2: INFRA-ta-a PES-a, not however on TOPADA § 20, as has been supposed: see Hawkins/Weeden (in press) for new reading of this.

Goedegebuure et al. seek in KIZILDAĞ 4 four features which might suggest a Late date for it: the sign forms sa, FILIUS, ka and REL (p. 41). In fact, all their criteria can be shown to be incorrect, thus negating rather than supporting their argument.

(1) sa: Empire relief simple arch with interior line, best seen on EMIRGAZI 1 and 2, and KÖYLÜTOLU TAYLA, KIZILDAĞ 4, more pronounced on YALBURT. KARADAĞ 1 has a simple arch without interior line, but unlike the others it is incised. The form with infolded ends comes in with Transitional ALEPPO 6, 7 and GÜRÜN, DARENDE. The simple arch as archaism reappears in CEKKE and KARKAMIŠ A21b+a.

(2) FILIUS: Goedegebuure et al. state that the Empire lower crampon is “always attached to the hand”. The great majority of examples come from inscriptions of Tudhaliya IV and Suppiluliuma II or their contemporaries, KÖYLÜTOLU YAYLA and HATİP, where the crampon is both joined to the hand and takes the Empire shape IL (i.e. straight vertical followed by a rightangle). SİRKELİ and HEMİTE are poor and unclear. The early ALEPPO 1 however already shows a form with crampon that is separate from the hand and IC in shape (rather than IL), similar to Late examples.

(3) ka: The form in mu-sa-ka- on KIZILDAĞ 4 is unusual, having a sort of “eye” in the middle, which led to Poetto’s identification as an eagle’s head, now abandoned. It really has no comparandum, Empire or Late, except the bizarre form in ka+ra/i-ta-pu-sa TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, 1, regarded as the Late pastiche of part of KIZILDAĞ 4. It can hardly be regarded as a dating criterion, archaic or archaizing.

(4) REL: Goedegebuure et al. make play with the rounded top in comparison with the more pointed forms seen on EMİRGAZİ 1, KÖYLÜTOLU YAYLA and especially the YALBURT example – but disregarding KARAKUYU. They also observe: “... the circle at the bottom is mainly second millennium”. This is incorrect: for “mainly” read “solely and exclusively” except on the expertly archaizing KARKAMIŠ A21b+a, and fragment.

The Other Hartapu Inscriptions

The three inscriptions on the “throne”, namely the figure with KIZILDAĞ 1, KIZILDAĞ 2 and KIZILDAĞ 3 we now think were all erected at the same time, namely during the 8th century BC. We argue that they are referring to an earlier period.

  1. The Hartapu figure with KIZILDAĞ 1: we maintain the well-argued dating to the later 8th century BC in spite of recent attempts to up-date (Oreshko 2016, 2017). The idea that the epigraph could be earlier than the figure has never seemed remotely likely or possible.[8] The relation of the figure and inscriptions to TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 will be discussed there.

  2. KIZILDAĞ 3. Lines 1–2: will also be discussed in relation to TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1. Notable are the archaic/archaising sign forms pu₂, sa (simple arch) and ta₂ (sharply kinked lower wrist line: latter two very apparent on the indisputably archaizing KARKAMIŠ A21.Line 3. FILIUS without upper “crampon” is clearly Empire/archaic or here probably archaizing, cf. TOPADA § 1.URBS+MI zi/a AEDIFICARE, “built this city”, lack of noun/verb endings archaic; zi/a for za- “this”, archaic; AEDIFICARE, Empire sign form (see ALEPPO 1; SÜDBURG, §§ 6, 7, 16), but curiously garbled, archaizing? Late AEDIFICARE has “building block” above PONERE. KIZILDAĞ 3 thus appears to be a late inscription of Hartapu II recording the foundation of the city by Hartapu I son of Mursili.

  1. KARADAĞ 1, § 1: zi/a-ti LOCUS-i(a); zi/a- for za-, LOCUS (Empire form with lower part), -i(a) Empire form — archaic/archaizing.(DEUS)TONITRUS.CAELUM ... DEUS-ni₂-OMNIS₂: archaic (archaizing?).L. 468: ??.REGIO.OMNIS₂: Empire archaic (archaizing?).REL-sa, “who”: unequivocally nom. sg. c. of relative, should serve to confirm the same interpretation of uncomplemented REL on KIZILDAĞ 4, § 2b (or § 2c), so also on its Late reflex found in TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 1. Note the Empire-period characteristics of REL, top and bottom, though incised instead of relief.(L. 273) FORTIS: Empire archaic.

  1. BURUNKAYA: zi/a-ti LOCUS-i(a): archaic/archaizing as KARADAG 1.HAR instead of ha₂+ra/i; see Oreshko (2016), not definitely wrong, but sign-form not certainly identified.(DEUS)TONITRUS x-zi/a: as noted in CHLI I/2, p. 442, AMPLECTI expected; x not to be emended to EUNUCHUS₂ pace Oreshko.[t]u-pi-ra/i: broken [t]u (Empire) or [t]u₂ (Late)? -pi-ra/i: if rhotacism, decisively Late; or is an Empire/archaic explanation possible?MAGNUS REX HEROS [....]. Dating as we now do BURUNKAYA to Hartapu II and 8th century B.C. events, a restoration [FILIUS] here, giving Hartapu II the same affiliation as Hartapu I, would throw doubt on the separation of Hartapu II from Hartapu I. A restoration [(INFANS)hartu], “descendant”, could obviate this difficulty: Hartapu II would be tracing his lineage back to the founder of his dynasty, a Great King, Hero.

The New Inscription from Türkmenkarahöyük

The new inscription consists of two lines, which we consider to be separate. The aedicula and patronym of the first line are written in a relief that has been achieved (unusually) by the method of pecking. They are rendered in relief for a particular purpose, namely to make them appear more grandiose. The rest of line 1 is incised although using monumental sign-forms. Line 2 presents a different text rendered in incision, which has links not only with KIZILDAĞ 1–3, but also TOPADA.

Line 1: Obvious crude pastiche of KIZILDAĞ 4 §§ 1+2c showing late characteristics (phonetic Mursilisis (genitival adjective used in patronymic), FILIUS with upper “crampon” and other unexplained features (ka+ra/i- for ha₂+ra/i-). If indeed as we believe it is an 8th century pastiche of 12th century KIZILDAĞ 4, how to explain? mu-sa-ka(REGIO) “the land Muska”: We accept the back-revision of Poetto’s reading ma-sa₃(REGIO) AQUILA-na “the land of Masa forever” on KIZILDAĞ 4, as suggested by Goedegebuure et al. However, the Muski in the 12th century BC are probably not the Phrygians (see below).

REL: The comparable phrase REL-sa (L.273)FORTIS-ta₂ (KARADAĞ 1, § 2) suggests that this as on KIZILDAĞ 4 should be taken as “who” not “when”.

Line 2: Assuming that line 1 is a late pastiche of KIZILDAĞ 4, we do not consider that line 2 runs on from line 1, but regard it as an independent unit, all the more so if, as seems probable, nothing is lost in the damage to the left side of the block.

ara/i-ni- ingeniously understood by Goedegebuure et al. as a writing of the Late la/i-ni/na-zi/za-*a (KARKAMISH A23 §§ 4–5) // a-ru-ni-i-zi (SULTANHAN § 9) “enemy” thereby providing a subject for the verb. With this interpretation they must implicitly reject the identification of ali-wa/i-ni- as the Empire forerunner of this word, occurring as it does on KIZILDAĞ 4 § 3, which they date to the 8th century BC. Note that the form of -ni₂ looks archaizing.

INFRA-ta-a PES-a: the presence of -a is difficult to explain: hardly initial-a-final in an 8th century inscription; perhaps simply a word-ender/space-filler, cf. muwa-ta-a KIZILDAĞ 4 (see above). “came down to the land”; cf. TOPADA § 23, “went down to the Parzutean land”.

The aedicula: clearly closely connected with KIZILDAĞ 3, discussion below. Is the absence of -sa significant? After all Hartapu is in the context as understood in the dative.

(DEUS)TONITRUS CAELUM: Empire-period writing, thus certainly archaizing.

DEUS-ni OMNIS₂: syllable ni is very rare in Empire writings except on seals and KÖYLÜTOLUYAYLA; it comes in with Transitional (GÜRÜN, KÖTÜKALE, İSPEKÇÜR, DARENDE; ALEPPO 6, 7; MEHARDE, SHEIZAR; but not KIZILDAĞ, KARADAĞ, KARAHÖYÜK).

DARE.CRUS (pi(ya)-ta₆): remote and obscure parallel from TELL AHMAR 1, § 26) certainly gives good sense in the context as “(they) gave”. Peker (2020) prefers MANUS CRUS “placed ... (into) the hand (of) His Majesty”.

(L. 273)mu(wa)-ha₂: mu(wa)- uncertain, sign-form closest to TOPADA forms but without +mi; “I defeated” would give good sense in context. (L.273)muwa- is Empire writing (see above), so would be archaism here.

MAGNUS.SCALPRUM+ra/i: Goedegebuure et al. suggest “strong walled” – a gallant attempt to extract sense.

CASTRUM.FORTIS: muwatalli- usually applied to gods, men or weapons; “strong fortresses” is (CASTRUM)harnisa (PUGNUS)lumitaya (KARATEPE 1 §XIX, Hawkins 2000: 51).

PONERE or CAPERE: The “putting” or the “taking” hand? Goedegebuure et al. prefer “put (down)”. Peker (2020) prefers “take down”.

Line 3: the scribal signature. Goedegebuure et al. consider this explanation, but reject it based on van den Hout’s reinterpretation of the sign L. 326, heretofore understood as SCRIBA, “scribe”, as SELLA, a high official related to the ruling dynasty. We do not accept this reinterpretation of SCRIBA, finding the links of the argument too fragile.[9] Nor do we think that this interpretation of line 3 makes very convincing contextual sense. We would prefer therefore, while fully aware of the problems, to attempt to extract a scribal signature from the line. The first signs a-wa/i SCRIBA .... are of course not unpromising, though scribal signatures almost always have MANUS+SCALPRUM in some form, except KARABURUN (Hawkins 2000: 481). We would seek the scribe’s name in the signs a-pa?+ra/i ...., and would find support for this in (DEUS) SOL ..., rendering the common epithet tiwadami- (= Phoen. h-brk bʿl, KARATEPE 1, §I 3–4). The phrase is not clearly understood, but we find Goedegebuure’s “pertaining to His Majesty” unconvincing.[10] Peker’s (2020) suggestion to read the sun-god sign as part of a personal name (Azari-/Apari-Tiwada) falters on the fact that the DEUS-sign should not occur in a personal name.

The a- to the right of pa?-ra/i- might join with it, or might be an unexplained filler like the two in the line above. This leaves the three-pronged sign to its right: A similar sign on KARAKHÖYÜK § 13, numbered L. 520, was identified contextually as probably a cereal (offerings “one sheep, one jug (of wine), one L. 520”), which would indeed be difficult to accommodate here, not that the interpretation of Goedegebuure et al. is much more promising. Perhaps it is a different sign with a different value, and Peker (2020) suggests a form of SCALPRUM (L. 330), which is what we would expect here contextually, even if the sign-form does not look similar.

We thus offer a different translation for TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1:

(1) Great King Kartapu, Hero, son of Mursili, (is the one) who conquered the land Muska.

(2) The enemy came down to the land. The storm-god of heaven (and) all the gods gave 13 kings to Hartapu the Great king. I defeated 13 kings. In one year I/he set/took down 10 strong fortresses ...

(3) And the scribe (is) the sun-blessed ... Apari.

Historical Implications

Our original opinion was that a 12th century ruler Hartapu executed a victory inscription on the Kızıldağ (KIZILDAĞ 4) and a dedicatory inscription on the mountain-top shrine on the adjacent Karadağ (KARADAĞ 1); then an 8th century ruler for whatever reason added the Hartapu figure with inscription KIZILDAĞ 1 (Hawkins 1992: 272). We have since come to the view that the adjoining KIZILDAĞ 3 and 2 were set up at the same time.

Otherwise we still hold to our original opinion, although modified in light of the discovery of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1. Of this inscription we consider that line 1 is an 8th century pastiche, made for whatever reason, of part of KIZILDAĞ 4. We consider that line 2 is a separate inscription set up by an 8th century Hartapu II recording his own contemporary victory. This line also has obvious connections with the inscriptions on the Kızıldağ, notably by its aedicula almost identical with that of KIZILDAĞ 3, and other archaisms. The site of Türkmenkarahöyük faces the Kızıldağ at a distance of some 14 km across the north end of the Hotamış Gölü, a former lake now dry, possibly the terminus of the inland river system, the Çarşamba Çayı.

If this theory is correct, we see that the TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK inscriptions (lines 1 and 2) are part of the same problem as KIZILDAĞ 1–4 to which they are so closely linked, but amplify it: Namely why should an 8th century Hartapu echo the inscription of a 12th century namesake (possibly his actual ancestor)? Could the memory in this area have extended back more than 400 years?

To address this question, we venture onto even more speculative ground: the links between TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 and TOPADA (+SUVASA, GÖSTESIN).[11] TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 line 2, authored by a Hartapu (II) based in the large Iron Age site of Türkmenkarahöyük in the south Konya plain, speaks of an enemy, a defeat of thirteen kings and capture of ten fortresses. TOPADA authored by Wasusarma based in Kululu(?) north-east of Kayseri describes a war against the city Parzuta and its ruler “the Parzutean” (although we concede the fragility of the value zu for the sign L. 432, we continue to use it for the present).[12] Wasusarma reckons on eight kings on the Parzutean side and three on his own, of whom two are possibly to be identified as Warpalawa (of Tuwana) and Kiyakiya (of Šinuhtu – Aksarary?). The war was apparently conducted by cavalry encounters and spread over several years. The casus belli is given as a disputed frontier which may be understood to be in the neighbourhood of Topada: Wasusarma established his frontier area which was then contested by the Parzutean, who put his own frontier “on the mountain.” The clash led to a cavalry invasion of the Parzutean land, in which the invaders may have burned buildings and taken women and children into slavery. The cavalry are said to have “gone down” to the Parzutean land. At one stage they seem to have crossed a river (CRUS+FLUMEN, TOPADA § 20). Can we think that line 2 of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 and TOPADA refer to the same events? The topography looks not unpromising. TOPADA, thus the frontier area, lies in the hilly country between Nevşehir and Aksaray, where it descends into the Konya plain. There is a river to cross, the Melendiz suyu. Is this the Parzutean Land and Türkmenkarahöyük the city of Parzuta? Pressing speculation further, could we identify the Parzutean of TOPADA as Hartapu II and the “enemy” of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 line 2 as Wasusarma?

Then there is BURUNKAYA. It was always surprising to find a Hartapu monument so far to the north-east of KIZILDAĞ-KARADAĞ, but it is only some 30 km from TOPADA. Could the situation of BURUNKAYA be the Parzutean’s frontier marker “on the mountain”, a cliff-like escarpment, a kaya typical of the geology of the area? Dating criteria for BURUNKAYA are not numerous. It is introduced by the zi/a-ti LOCUS-i(a), “in this place”, like KARADAĞ 1 for which a genuinely archaic date is preferred, but this could be an archaism. Then there are the unexplained first syllable of Hartapu (see above) and the unexplained (DEUS.TONITRUS) x-zi/a, where AMPLECTI or azami- “beloved of the Storm-god” are expected. But possibly the most telling is the final [t]u-pi-ra/i: is it [t]u- (Empire) or [t]u- (Late)? +ra/i (3rd sing. pret. with rhotacism) has always been very difficult to explain away as archaic. So let us provisionally place BURUNKAYA in the 8th century BC along with KIZILDAĞ 1–3, speculatively identical with the aggressive frontier marking by Hartapu II against Wasusarma in the “Topada War” (for the [affiliation] to Mursili, see below).

What then of the victory over the Muska referred to in TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK line 1 and KIZILDAĞ 4? As alluded to above, we believe that this refers to one and the same event, one that occurred in the early 12th century BC. Here we need to critique the dating criteria used by the Editors of the TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK inscription, who believe that KIZILDAĞ 4 has to be dated late because it refers to a defeat of the Muska, whom they equate with the Phrygians of the late period (Goedegebuure et al. 2020: 41). Indeed, this equation Muska = Phrygians is used by Osborne et al. (2020: 22) with far-reaching consequences, including the supposition that the destruction of Gordion itself around 800 BC may have been a result of a conflict with Hartapu. It is true that the name Muski is used to refer to the land of the Anatolian rival of Assyrian king Šarru-ukīn (Sargon) II (r. 722–705 BC) called Mita, who is equated with Midas the Phrygian known from classical sources.

However, the name Muski is also used by Assyrians in the 12th century BC, when Tukultī-apil-Ešarra (Tiglath-Pileser) I (1114–1076 BC) reports in his accession year that some 20,000 Muski with 5 kings had held the lands Alzi and Purulumzi for the previous 50 years as tributaries to Assur and that they have now taken the land of Katmuhi, which we can locate to the southeast of the Ṭūr ʿAbdīn (RIMA 2 A.0.87.1 i 62–88). A different text gives the number as 12,000 (RIMA 2 A.087.2: 18–20; 4: 18). As J.N. Postgate points out to us, the Muski here are not associated with or defined by a place-name, whereas other enemies are. Alzi is mentioned frequently in the annals of Tukultī-Ninurta I (1233–1197 BC) and is likely to have been in the region on the east bank of the Euphrates opposite Commagene, south of ancient Išuwa. Prior to Tukultī-apil-Ešarra I, Muski are also mentioned in administrative texts dated according to prosopographical criteria to the reigns of Ninurta-apil-Ekur (1191–1179 BC) and Aššur-Dān I (1178–1133 BC), including a defeat of the Muskans at the otherwise unlocated city of Quba (MARV 2.22; MARV 1.51; Radner 2006: 147–148). There is no question of these people being referred to as Phrygians at this time and in this place, a term which was first used in Greek much later, Iliad (3.189), and which should be reserved for the historical group and associated state that is known from the Middle Iron Age (10th to 8th century BC), whether or not there was any historical or ancestral connection between the people we refer to as Phrygians with their capital at Gordion, and people who are being referred to as Muski on the Upper Tigris in the 12th century.[13]

We do not know how the Phrygians referred to themselves, as the name comes from Greek sources, as does the related Briges (Herodotus 7.73). It is unclear how the Phrygians of the 8th century came to be referred to as the Muski by Šarru-ukīn II, when this term had previously only been used in Assyrian sources to refer to peoples living in the East. Tukultī-Ninurta II (890–884 BC) mentions attacking a city, Piru, after marching 4 days through “a rough region, land of the Muski” after leaving a station in Huzirina, often associated with Sultantepe to the south of Urfa, even if this does not fit well with the Assyrian king’s itinerary (RIMA 2 A.0.100.5: 120–122). In the reign of Aššur-nāṣir-apli (Assurnasirpal) II (883–859 BC) the Muski seem once more to be associated with Katmuḫi (RIMA 2 A.0.101.1: 74). It is possible that the inscription of Šamšī-ilu from Til-Barsip during the reign of Adad-Nārārī (Adad-Nirari) III (811–783 BC) refers to the Phrygians by the term Muski, calling himself the “overthrower of the lands of Muski and Urartu”, but this too could refer to eastern Muski (RIMA 3 A.0.104.2010: 10). By the time we reach Šarru-ukīn II, the situation can be compared to that which pertains in many other cultures: there were clearly different western and eastern ethnica for the same group of people. As the Greeks, who called themselves Hellenes, were called Graeci in the west and in the east Ionians – now Yunan in Turkish. A similar situation may have pertained, with Muski being the name for the state centred at Gordion in the east, Phrygians in the west, and we do not know what they called themselves. Craig Melchert also points out to us the migration of the term for the Hittite Empire Hatti from the central Anatolian land of Hatti (Hattusa) in the Bronze Age to the post-Hittite situation in northern Syria in the Iron Age.

It is true that we had until now no other evidence for people being referred to as Muska at this time in Anatolia. It is quite conceivable though that this name as used in the 12th century BC refers to a type of semi-mobile population group rather like the Kaska, whose definition contains elements that seem to be a combination not only of areal and ethnic features but also of social category and lifestyle (Gerçek 2012). There may well have been some relationship both between these people in early 12th century Anatolia and those invading the Upper Tigris, but the likely type of population involved makes positive statements quite difficult to uphold in this regard. There may also have been some relationship between the 12th century Anatolian Muska and those who later became the Phrygians, known to the Assyrians in the 8th century as the Muski, but it does not make any sense to transfer this later name back to the situation of the 12th century. Thus we find dubious both the equation of Muska with Phrygians in KIZILDAĞ 4, which is used by Goedegebuure et al. as a criterion for its re-dating to the 8th century, and the dating of the encounter of Kartapu with the Muska to the time of writing of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1. Rather the mention of Kartapu’s victory over the Muska refers back to an earlier glory, which we hold has been read and repeated by the writer(s) of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 from KIZILDAĞ 4 as a means of claiming legitimacy for king Hartapu. The celebrated Kartapu, son of Mursili, conquered the land of the Muska, while Hartapu (no father mentioned) was able to overcome an alliance of 13 kings.

It is thus the defeat of the 13 kings which forms the main content of the whole text, and its similarities with the style and content of TOPADA are where the first comparisons for the purpose of historical reconstruction should lie. The reference to part of KIZILDAĞ 4 that forms the first line of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 serves only as a reminder of the glory of the name that is being invoked: Kartapu/Hartapu. The use of the alternate form Kartapu along with the addition of the patronymic serve to differentiate this older Hartapu from the present Hartapu, who has prevailed over 13 kings according to his own narrative. By referring to a great victory of Kartapu centuries earlier, Hartapu II promotes his own military feats against a different enemy.

Even with this explanation of the first line, the inscription remains very strange. Due to the direct comparison with the phraseology of the relative phrase in KIZILDAĞ 4 and TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 with KARADAĞ 1 (REL-sa in the same phrase, see above), we cannot accept the reading of the relative pronoun as “when” that Goedegebuure et al. propose, who thus make the conquest of Muska and the defeat of the 13 kings contemporary. Instead we are left with a reference to Kartapu (= Hartapu I of KIZILDAĞ 4) and a short narration of the deeds of Hartapu II. This is no typical royal inscription, starting with “I am x” followed by epithets, that one might expect to find on display at a gate or in a palace. Rather it seems to be a commemorative plaque, quite poorly executed, that celebrates deeds and claims ancestry for the ruler. That is no reason to doubt that the events it refers to really happened or at least were being represented as being real. But it is necessary to take a more nuanced approach to the wording of the inscription and its contribution to our understanding of the Iron Age in Anatolia.

What of the Mursili, father of Kartapu, mentioned in line 1 of TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1, who must be identical with the Mursili father of Hartapu known from KIZILDAĞ 4? Mellaart (1974: 514–516) proposed that this person should be the originator of the dynasty in the area, the first Great King of the region ruled by Tarhuntassa, namely Mursili III/Urhi-Teššub. However, he would have had to have been very old in order to be the father of someone who was Great King after the break-up of the Hittite Empire, which is the only time when we might expect Muska to be a force to be reckoned with in central western Anatolia, as the name is not attested in the Hittite cuneiform archives. We therefore think that this is another Mursili, possibly a son of Kuruntiya, who also called himself “Great King.”

The one possible snag here is BURUNKAYA, now to be dated to the 8th century, which had always been assumed to have been authored by a Hartapu [son of] Mursili, even if the name Hartapu is not written as it usually is and the affiliation [son of] is lost in a break. Above we proposed to restore [descendant of/ (INFANS)har-tu] in the break at the end of BURUNKAYA. This word occurs at the end of a list of preceding generations in MARAŞ 1 § 1 (Hawkins 2000: 262) which stretches from the father through to the great-great-great-grandfather and then the dynastic ancestor, but does not otherwise occur in a similar context, at least in Hieroglyphic texts. One might compare here the use of liblibbu (ša₃.bal.bal) “descendant” in Babylonian and Assyrian texts from Hammurapi through to Aššur-bāni-apli (Assurbanipal), which also indicates the dynastic ancestor (CAD L 180).

The basic premise that we have to start from is that we cannot simply abandon the criteria that we have built up over years for dating inscriptions due to one new find, especially one as peculiar as TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1. Thus we cannot down-date KIZILDAĞ 4, an inscription that is clearly old from all perspectives (phraseology, orthography, sign-forms). We need to observe that we have one old inscription and several later ones, and then seek explanations for this. This already created a paradox that needed to be answered, given the clearly late dating of KIZILDAĞ 1 and the seated figure on the throne, even without the discovery of the new inscription. In 1992 Hawkins tried to answer this paradox by supposing that Wasusarma had visited the area and put up the relief and inscription imitating the earlier Hartapu. The new data from TÜRKMENKARAHÖYÜK 1 make it more likely that we have a second Hartapu who is imitating the style and recalling the deeds of the first, although this was already an option that was under consideration.[14] Similarly, if we find Muska attested in an inscription that is dated earlier than otherwise attested for Anatolia, then we need to look at our understanding of the term Muska, its dating and its use. We have a record of two wars: One from the period shortly after the break-up of the state with its centre at Hattusa, conducted by a Great King surviving in the region of Tarhuntassa, against peoples referred to as Muska, who are also attested around this time further to the East. This victory was celebrated in the inscription of KIZILDAĞ 4. The other war is fought four centuries later against Wasusarma, the author of the TOPADA inscription, possibly even with a coalition of 12 other kings. Unsurprisingly, both kings claim to be the victors against a larger coalition, both call themselves “Great King”, but Hartapu II prefaces his victory by reproducing in grandiose but incompetent relief the claim of his ancestor or predecessor many years previously – thus directly slotting himself into the glorious tradition of the Hulaya-Riverland and Tarhuntassa.

Fig. 2 
          Map of the most important places mentioned, on the basis of a map by Zenobia Homan.
Fig. 2

Map of the most important places mentioned, on the basis of a map by Zenobia Homan.


We are very grateful to Craig Melchert, Çiğdem Maner, Nicholas Postgate, Max Gander and Geoff Summers for reading drafts of this essay and commenting on it, as well as to Neil Roberts for discussing the geology of the region with us, and to editors Joost Hazenbos, Mirko Novák and Jana Matuszak for their comments. We alone bear responsibility for any errors or misunderstandings in the final presentation.


CHLI I = Hawkins (2000).Search in Google Scholar

CHLI III = Hawkins (forthcoming).Search in Google Scholar

MARV 1 = Freydank (1976).Search in Google Scholar

MARV 2 = Freydank (1982).Search in Google Scholar

RIMA 2 = Grayson (1991).Search in Google Scholar

RIMA 3 = Grayson (1996).10.1021/ed073p3Search in Google Scholar

Akçay, A. (2016): Hartapu, kimin Kralı? In: S. Erkut/Ö. Sir Gavaz (ed.), ANTAḪŠUMSAR “ÇİĞDEM” Eski Anadolu Araştırmalarına ve Hititlere Adanmış Bir Hayat/Studies in Honour of Ahmet Ünal, Istanbul, 9–24.Search in Google Scholar

Beckman, G. (1999): Hittite Diplomatic Texts; 2nd Edition (SBL WAW 7), Atlanta.Search in Google Scholar

d’Alfonso, L. (2019): War in Anatolia in the Post-Hittite Period: The Anatolian Hieroglyphic Inscription of TOPADA Revised, JCS 71, 133–152.10.1086/703857Search in Google Scholar

d’Alfonso, L./A. Payne (2016): The Paleography of Anatolian Hieroglyphic Stone Inscriptions, JCS 68, 107–128.10.5615/jcunestud.68.2016.0107Search in Google Scholar

Erbil, Y./A. Mouton (2018): From Ikkuwaniya to Ura: A Reassessment of the Geography of the Hūlaya River Land According to the Hittite Archaeological and Philological Evidence, Anatolica 44, 75–122.Search in Google Scholar

Freydank, H. (1976): Mittelassyrische Rechtsurkunden und Verwaltungstexte (VS 19/NF 3), Berlin. 10.1515/9783112616307Search in Google Scholar

Freydank, H. (1982): Mittelassyrische Rechtsurkunden und Verwaltungstexte 2 (VS 21/NF 5), Berlin. 10.1515/9783112616185Search in Google Scholar

Friedrich, J. (1926): Staatsverträge des Ḫatti-Reiches in hethitischer Sprache. 1. Teil: Die Verträge Muršiliš’ II. mit Duppi-Tešup von Amurru, Targašnalliš von Ḫapalla und Kupanta-dKAL von Mira und Kuwalija (MVAeG 31/1), Leipzig. Search in Google Scholar

Garstang, J./O.R. Gurney (1959): The Geography of the Hittite Empire (OccPubl. BIAA 5), London.Search in Google Scholar

Gerçek, N.İ. (2012): The Kaška and the Northern Frontier of Ḫatti, Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Michigan.Search in Google Scholar

Goedegebuure P./Th. van den Hout/J. Osborne/M. Massa/Ch. Bachhuber/F. Şahin (2020): TÜRKMEN-KARAHÖYÜK 1: A New Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscription from Great King Hartapu, Son of Mursili, Conqueror of Phrygia, AnSt. 70, 29–43.10.1017/S0066154620000022Search in Google Scholar

Götze, A. (1967): Die Annalen des Muršiliš, Reprint of MVAeG 38 (1933), Darmstadt.Search in Google Scholar

Grayson, A.K. (1991): Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC I (1114–859 BC) (RIMA 2), Toronto. 10.3138/9781442671089Search in Google Scholar

Grayson, A.K. (1996): Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC II (858–745 BC) (RIMA 3), Toronto. 10.3138/9781442671072Search in Google Scholar

Hawkins, J.D. (1992): The Inscriptions of the Kizildağ and the Karadağ in the Light of the Yalburt Inscription. In: H. Otten/H. Ertem/E. Akurgal/A. Süel (ed.), Hittite and Other Anatolian and Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Sedat Alp, Ankara, 259–275.Search in Google Scholar

Hawkins, J.D. (1995): The Hieroglyphic Inscription of the Sacred Pool Complex at Hattusa. With an Archaeological Introduction by Peter Neve (StBoT Beih. 3), Wiesbaden. Search in Google Scholar

Hawkins, J.D. (2000): Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Vol. 1: Inscriptions of the Iron Age, Berlin. 10.1515/9783110804201Search in Google Scholar

Hawkins, J.D. (forthcoming): Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Vol. 3, Berlin. Search in Google Scholar

Hawkins, J.D./M. Weeden (in press): The Dating of the Tabalian Inscriptions: Archaic or Archaizing? In: C. Draycott/S.B. Branting/J.W. Lehner/Y. Özarslan (ed.), From Midas to Cyrus and Other Stories. Papers in Honour of Geoffrey and Francoise Summers, Manuscript submitted to British Institute at Ankara Monographs. Search in Google Scholar

Jones, M. A. (2019): Searching for Tarhuntassa: Using GIS Spatial Analysis and Diverse Data-Sets to Investigate a Question of Historical Geography in Hittite Southern Anatolia. PhD Dissertation, Birmingham. Search in Google Scholar

Kopanias, K. (2015): The Mushki/Phrygian Problem from the Near Eastern Point of View. In: N.Chr. Stampolidis/Ç. Maner/K. Kopanias (ed.), NOSTOI: Indigenous Culture, Migration + Integration in the Aegean Islands + Western Anatolia During the Late Bronze + Early Iron Ages (Archaeology / Koç University Press 58), Istanbul, 211–226. Search in Google Scholar

Kuzucuoğlu, C./A. Çiner/N. Kazancı (ed.) (2019): Landscapes and Landforms of Turkey, Cham. 10.1007/978-3-030-03515-0Search in Google Scholar

Marazzi, M. (1990): Il geroglifico anatolico: problemi di analisi e prospettive di ricerca. Con la collaborazione di N. Bolatti-Guzzo e un’ appendice di C. Mora (Bibliotheca di recerche linguistiche e filologiche 24), Rome. Search in Google Scholar

Maner, Ç. (2019): Inside Tarḫuntašša: A Systematic Survey of Karapınar, Konya. The 2017–2018 Field Seasons of the KEYAR Survey Project. In: S. Steadman/G. MacMahon (ed.), The Archaeology of Anatolia. Vol. 3: Recent Discoveries (2017–2018), Newcastle upon Tyne, 205–217.Search in Google Scholar

Maner, Ç. (2021): Eine bedeutende Salzquelle in Karapınar Konya – Meke Gölü (Meke Maar) und ein Gleichsetzungsvorschlag für liki “Salzlecke” im Staatsvertrag des Kurunta und Tutḫalija IV, AoF 48, 327–346.10.1515/aofo-2021-0018Search in Google Scholar

Maner, Ç./M. Weeden/M. Alparslan (2021): Archäologische Forschungen am Karacadağ und eine hieroglyphenluwische Inschrift aus Karaören, AoF 48, 347–383.10.1515/aofo-2021-0019Search in Google Scholar

Massa, M./Ch. Bachhuber,/F. Şahin/H. Erpehlivan/J. Osborne/A.J. Lauricella (2020): A Landscape-oriented Approach to Urbanisation and Early State Formation on the Konya and Karaman Plains, Turkey, AnSt. 70, 45–75.Search in Google Scholar

Matessi, A. (2016): The Making of Hittite Imperial Landscapes: Territoriality and Balance of Power in South-Central Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age, JANEH 3, 117–162, in Google Scholar

Melchert, H.C. (forthcoming): Bilingual Texts in First-Millennium Anatolia. In: A. Payne/Š. Velhartická/J. Wintjes (ed.), Beyond All Boundaries: Anatolia in the 1st Millennium BC. Proceedings of a Conference held at Monte Verità (Ascona), 17–22 June 2018 (OBO). Search in Google Scholar

Mellaart, J. (1974): Western Anatolia, Beycesultan and the Hittites. In: E. Akurgal/B. Alkım (ed.), Mansel’e Armağan (Mélanges Mansel), Ankara, 493–536.Search in Google Scholar

Meriggi, P. (1975): Manuale di eteo geroglifico. Vol. 2.2: Testi – 2a e 3a serie (Incunabula graeca 15.1), Rome.Search in Google Scholar

Oreshko, R. (2016): New Readings in the Hieroglyphic-Luwian Inscriptions of BURUNKAYA and KIZILDAĞ 4, Kadmos 55, 1–16.10.1515/kadmos-2016-0001Search in Google Scholar

Oreshko, R. (2017): Hartapu and the Land of Maša: A New Look at the KIZILDAĞ-KARADAĞ Group, AoF 44, 47–67. 10.1515/aofo-2017-0007Search in Google Scholar

Orthmann, W. (1971): Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst (SAB 8), Bonn.Search in Google Scholar

Osborne, J.F./M. Massa/F. Şahin/H. Erpehlivan/Ch. Bachhuber (2020): The City of Hartapu: Results of the Türkmen-Karahöyük Intensive Survey Project, AnSt. 70, 29–43.Search in Google Scholar

Otten, H. (1988): Die Bronzetafel aus Boğazköy: Ein Staatsvertrag Tutḫalijas IV (StBoT Beih. 1), Wiesbaden. Search in Google Scholar

Peker, H. (2020): TÜRKMEN-KARAHÖYÜK 1, A New Reading and Interpretation, NABU 2020/4, 249–250.Search in Google Scholar

Poetto, M. (1998): Traces of Geography in Hieroglyphic Luwian Documents of the Late Empire and Early Post-Empire Period (BOĞAZKÖY-SÜDBURG and KIZILDAĞ IV): The Case of Maša. In: S. Alp/A. Süel (ed.), III. Uluslararası Hititoloji Kongresi Bildirileri, Çorum 16–22 Eylül 1996 / Acts of the IIIrd International Congress of Hittitology, Çorum, September 16–22, 1996, Ankara, 479–496. Search in Google Scholar

Radner, K. (2006): Review of Musker und Phryger (Wittke, Anne-Maria), ZA 96, 144–149. Search in Google Scholar

Şenyurt, Y. (2010): Ovaören-Göstesin Geç Hitit/Luwi Hiyeroglif Yazıtı. In: Ş. Dönmez (ed.), DUB.SAR É.DUB.BA.A – Veysel Donbaz’a Sunulan Yazılar / Studies Presented in Honour of Veysel Donbaz, Istanbul, 261–264.Search in Google Scholar

Şenyurt, Y./A. Akçay (2018): Topada Yazıtına Farklı bir Bakış: Geç Hitit Döneminde Orta Anadolu’da Güç Dengeleri / A Different Viewpoint for Topada Inscription: Balance of Power in Central Anatolian Late Hittite Period, TÜBA-AR 22, 95–117.10.22520/tubaar.2018.22.006Search in Google Scholar

Summers, G.D. (2017): After the Collapse, Continuities and Discontinuities in the Early Iron Age of Central Anatolia. In: A. Schachner (ed.), Innovation versus Beharrung: Was macht den Unterschied des hethitischen Reichs im Anatolien des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr.? Internationaler Workshop zu Ehren von Jürgen Seeher, Istanbul 23.–24. Mai 2014 (BYZAS 23), Istanbul, 257–276.Search in Google Scholar

Sürenhagen, D. (2008): Hartapus – Ein Sohn Mursilis II.? In: A. Archi/R. Francia (ed.), VI Congresso Internazionale di Ittitologia, Roma, 5–9 settembre 2005. Vol. 2 (SMEA 50), 729–737. Search in Google Scholar

van den Hout, Th. (1995): Der Ulmitešub-Vertrag: Eine prosopographische Untersuchung (StBoT 38), Wiesbaden. Search in Google Scholar

Vertegaal, A.J.J. (2017): Filling in the Facts: The Practice of Space-Filling in Hieroglyphic Luwian, AoF 44, 235–260.10.1515/aofo-2017-0020Search in Google Scholar

Vertegaal, A.J.J. (2018): Signs of Length: Towards an Interpretation of Non-filling Plene Spellings in Hieroglyphic Luwian, IF 123, 159–210.10.1515/if-2018-0007Search in Google Scholar

Watkins, C. (1997): Luvo-Hittite ːlapan(a)-. In: D. Disterheft/M. Huld/J. Greppin (ed.), Studies in Honor of Jaan Puhvel. Vol. 1: Ancient Languages and Philology. Vol. 2: Mythology and Religion, JIES Monograph 20, Washington, 29–35.Search in Google Scholar

Wittke, A.-M. (2004): Mušker und Phryger: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte Anatoliens vom 12. bis zum 7. Jh. v. Chr. Kommentar zur TAVO-Karte B IV 8 “Östlicher Mittelmeerraum und Mesopotamien um 700 v. Chr.” (TAVO Beih. B/99), Wiesbaden. Search in Google Scholar

Yakubovich, I. (2010): Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language (Brill’s Studies in Indo-European Languages & Linguistics 2), Leiden.10.1163/9789047440277Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2021-11-30
Published in Print: 2021-11-05

© 2021 J. David Hawkins and Mark Weeden, published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Downloaded on 26.2.2024 from
Scroll to top button