Karatepe Arslantas

Karatepe Arslantas, (Karatepe Turkish “black hill”, Arslantas Turkish “Lowenstein”, also Aslantaş) Luwian á-za-ti-wa/i-tà-ia-na (Urbs) Azatiwataya, [1] is a Neo-Hittite ruins in the county Kadirli province Osmaniye in southern Turkey . Azatiwada , the end of the 8th until the 7th Century BC, a late luwisches prevailed small kingdom, the hill fort founded his palace at a distance then important trade route. She was lying on the River Ceyhan , the ancient Nereus, in the south of the Taurus Mountains . Since no buildings subsequent rulers were excavated, the site should have been abandoned soon after Azatiwadas death.

The fort is surrounded by a one kilometer long wall, which has disappeared partially in the water of Arslantas Reservoir. From the fort, the walls of some buildings have been preserved, including one from Bît-Hilani type . The place is known for the found there two monumental gates with remarkable reliefs, Helmuth Theodor Bossert discovered in 1946 and to this day (2012) under the direction of Halet Çambel be explored (1916) and restored. They also show scenes of courtly life and mythological and cult images. They are to a large extent with bilingual texts in hieroglyphic Luwian and Phoenician writing provided that Bossert as Bilingue realized what decisively contributed to the decipherment of hieroglyphic Hittite then mentioned document. A version of the Phoenician inscription partially covered the oversized statue of the weather god.


The palace is located on the limestone hills Azatiwada Ayrica Tepesi about 224 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Cilician Taurus funds, approximately 135 km north-east of Adana . South of it begins Karatepe mountain range. West of the acropolis and the Ceyhan River led Akyol along the caravan route that connected the plane Cilicia to the Anatolian plateau. It corresponds to a part of the ancient road network of Karatepe the north by the Taurus to Central Anatolia and the South over the Amano after Sam’al (today Zincirli ran). Today’s Arslantas dam flooded the river and parts of the walls. On the opposite bank of Ceyhan is another fortified hill Domuztepe. From there probably comes a part of the basalt, which was used for the relief of the Karatepe Arslantas. Bahadır Alkım found there in his excavations, traces of digestion. [2]

The later Cilicia, which is about the Hittite Kizzuwatna corresponded existed at the beginning of the first millennium BC from the kingdoms Qu’e and Hilakku . Qu’e roughly corresponded Kilikia Pedias, the Cilician Plain and Hilakku which was later name to the whole of Cilicia, corresponded Kilikia Tracheia, the rough Cilicia. Qu’e belonged to the region of present-day Adana, where the namesake for the city Danunäer were located. Between 738 and 732 BC in Qu’e king reigned Awariku . He was the Assyrian monarch Tiglath-Pileser III. tribute, in its tribute lists he appears under the name of Urikki. Awarikus governor was recuperating Karatepe Azatiwada. This can be assumed that this was used in the reign of Awariku and erected the castle. As he describes in the inscription that he had enthroned the descendants Awarikus in Adana, for the emergence of the inscription a date must occur after the death Awarikus accepted (after 709 BC). [3]

Some researchers Azatiwada is equated with Sanduarri, [4] the king of Kundi (probably Anazarbos ) and Sissu ( Kozan .), both north of the plain of Adana Sanduarri allied himself in the 7th Century BC with the Phoenician city of Sidon against Assyria, but was of Esarhaddon captured and beheaded. This would equate to that of Albrecht Götze fit described Luwian immigration into Cilicia towards the end of the Assyrian domination and to Phoenician presence in the area. [5] [6] However, while Goetze and others an earlier date to the 9th Century in the time of Shalmaneser III. propose assigns the American archaeologist Irene J. Winter , the relief after a stylistic analysis in a later time, including for the construction of the attachment, however, the 9th Century not. [6] For the end of the castle, possibly destroying them in the campaigns of Esarhaddon after Hilakku (Cilicia), is generally the 7th Century thought. [7] traces of Nachfolgebauten have not been found, some much later to be dated wall lines in the Northwest area of the fortress date from the Byzantine period.
History of research

Karatepe discovered in 1946 by the German archaeologist Helmuth Theodor Bossert after the other under local teachers Ekrem Kuscu had given evidence of a stone lion. On behalf of the University of Istanbul , he explored the area together with Halet Çambel and Bahadır Alkım that the Turkish Historical Society worked. Here, the gates were uncovered and the Bilingue of Karatepe found a bilingual inscription in Phoenician and Hieroglyphic Luwian. As part of the Phoenician was readable, this Fund also contributed to the decipherment of the then-called Hittite hieroglyphic writing. In the years between the early 1950s and the grub Alkım Domuztepe and explored the Karatepe Arslantas of the Taurus to Central Anatolia and the Amanosgebirge after Sam’al (today Zincirli) leading road network. From 1952, the excavations were conducted by Halet Çambel while Bossert in Mopsuestia , now Yakapınar sought after in the text capital of the Asitawatas Pahri said. Until 1957, restoration work on the gates and led by Bahadır Alkım further excavations were made in some areas of attachment. In the late 1950s, the gates were protected by roofs, 1958, the Karatepe Aslantaş National Park was founded. In the 1980s because of the construction of the dam Arslantas rescue excavations at Domuztepe were necessary, which were carried out by Mehmet Özdoğan 1983/84. During the restoration work on the gates continued to run, in 1997, led by Martina Akman seepage from the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul, recorded in collaboration with Halet Çambel work on the fortress architecture. [8]

1962 visited Paolo Matthiae , then working for the Italian excavations at Arslantepe Karatepe in the absence of the excavation team, made ​​of photographs and at his university published the unauthorized writing Studi sui Rilievi Karatepe Tues. After sharp protests from sites of various institutions, the University moved back the release. Then, on the grounds of a strict on photography was adopted. For the publication of the paintings of Karatepe that Halet Çambel and Aslı Özyar published in 2003, were the relief of John Dieter, the photographer of the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul, re-recorded and then saved the photo shots. [9]

The site is now an open-air museum under the direction of Halet Çambel the Archaeological Museum Adana attached. [10]
Plan Karatepe

A two-piece ring wall surrounding the castle hill on which the palace stood, the western and eastern part of the system are not interconnected. The diameter of the mount is in north-south direction, approximately 375 meters in east-west direction of 195 meters, the circumference is about one kilometer. The walls are on average about four feet thick and had 28 towers and five gate towers. Parts of the outer attachment to the east are now submerged in the reservoir. The construction of the walls on the natural, rugged rocks necessitated partly a relining of rock crevices, or the removal of rock outcrops. Especially in the steep to the river located eastern part of the system was a risk of undermining the masonry runoff rainwater. Therefore, in the whole area of ​​the fort is a complex drainage system was established with the canals run through under walls and buildings. A bulwark on the steep eastern side of the mountain protected the entrance to the river, so that the water supply was assured. [11] Accessed through two monumental gates to the north and south. Northwest and southeast of the remains of the wall of the upper, southern gate are interpreted as barracks or as a depot. An adjoining room next door to the south gate with rock arrangements as wells and shell rock equipped. This and the proximity to the statue of the weather God can be close to a cultic function of the space. [11] Further north are the remains of a generally interpreted as a palace building. In the northernmost area of ​​the walled enclosure is another building complex, whose function is unknown.

The unit is called palace complex is located at the highest point of the hill and measures 45 meters in east-west and 65 meters in north-south direction. Obtained are only 40 centimeters above the natural bedrock reaching remnants of foundation walls. Around a courtyard of 22 × 30 meters, grouped in an irregular arrangement a number of rooms. North of the courtyard is an open space to the south, the entrance opening is flanked by two basalt blocks. Bahadır Alkım sees this column base, acknowledging in the arrangement of the Northern Component the outline of a Bît Hilani , one in the Middle East and spread into Asia Minor type of building, which consists of several small rooms, grouped around an open, broad input from columns is framed.

Because of partial superstructures and slight differences in the orientation can be seen that the complex was built in at least four phases. From the first phase, only a staircase and a few vestiges of the western palace building was preserved. She is in the upcoming rock work and by younger walls built over the east. A later phase of channel 2 is taken as a channel in the stairs.

The second construction phase include the spaces in the north form the Bît Hilani. Right and left of the enclosed porch with columns 12.5 meters wide are two square formation, possibly towers. Behind him is the main room in the same width and 7.5 meters in depth, along the east and the west is an elongated space, a group of four adjacent and three arranged in front of rooms. From the middle of Hilânis from construction through channels to the east out of the building and to the west is drained by the other rooms. The channels are below the floor level and measure 20 to 30 centimeters in width, they are trimmed from 10 to 30 centimeters high curbs.

In phase 3, the Bît Hilani was rebuilt, with the existing walls were built over part. The main room has been added to the laterally adjacent parts. The basalt bases in the anteroom were probably only at this stage, the western port area in the main room were also found basalt base. In the south there were two wings of the building as well as a wall to the east, so now the court came as a central element about. Through a long room and several small in the West includes the Southern part of the Hilani to the north, the alignment is slightly offset from each other. The channels of two phase are disturbed by the new walls partly, suggesting that they were no longer in use at this time. New channels through the southwestern space outward and further under a paved path. Of the paving of the courtyard in some places remains are preserved.

In Phase 4, the Hilani across the width has been further extended to the north, where layers of verstürztem masonry were overbuilt. This demonstrates clearly different wall techniques. While the walls are built up small rocky phase 3, phase 4, a larger, polygonal masonry was used.

Some remains of walls in the northwest area, which are built on the existing away, without referring to existing differences in levels of up to one meter of consideration, suggests a construction in a much later, possibly Byzantine times. In Kumkale, upstream, is a Byzantine stronghold, probably explains the already found by Alkım scattered Byzantine sherds.

Marina seepage Akman, which since the 1990s explores the architecture on the Karatepe summarizes, that the structures reflects the Hittite traditions with the element of Bît Hilani and the farm as well as North Syrian, Aramaic influences. The suspected Alkım of wooden columns could indicate contact with the Cretan culture. [12] [11]

To enter the castle consisted of two gates in the northeast and southwest of the enclosure, for simplicity referred to as North Gate and South Gate. These led ramps that followed the natural terrain course. The gates were protected by integrated into the castle wall upstream or flanking towers. The ramps resulted initially in a covered courtyard, which was followed by a goal from inside two wooden wings. Of which still are the thresholds and receive on both sides hinge stones. Behind them followed the right and left one chamber. The walls were in the base area of rubble with mud mortar, also with unfired clay bricks made ​​with only small remnants of the latter are obtained. Inside they were with orthostats equipped, carrying reliefs and inscriptions. They stand on basalt pedestals largely labeled likewise. Between bases and orthostats and about the rising masonry down, wooden beams were inserted. The labels in the Luwian and Phoenician script and language, some of which cover all orthostats, but can also be found on pedestals, and the reliefs are Torlöwen form of the bilingual Karatepe. Behind the south gate, there was a sacred area where the statue of the weather god was, the left is now placed behind the goal. The sculpture is a carrier version of the Phoenician part of the bilingual. [13]

The reliefs, including the portal lions and sphinxes are referred to Çambel with a combination of two upper and a lower case letter and one digit. It is the first capital letter ‘S’ or ‘N’ for south or north gate, the second ‘V’ or ‘K’ for atrial or chamber, the third small letter r ‘or’ l ‘for left or right. The numbers follow a continuous numbering of the outside of the gates to the inside. The inscriptions are named for Pho Ho and hieroglyphs or Phoenician south gate at the top or at the bottom according to Hu and Phu North Gate.

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