ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Hasan Peker

Istanbul University, Faculty of Letters, Department of Ancient Languages and Cultures, Istanbul/TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Karkemish, Iron Age Funerary Stele, Anatolian Hieroglyphic Script, Luwian, Birds of Prey.


Karkemish is located on the West bank of Euphrates River, about 60 kilometres southeast of Gaziantep, Turkey, and 100 kilometres northeast of Aleppo, Syria. Ruins of the city, over 90 hectares, of which over 55 lie in Turkey and around 35 in Syria. Since 2011 Karkemish has been newly explored by a joint Turco-Italian Archaeological Expedition. During the 2016 excavation campaign by the Turco-Italian Archaeological Expedition at Karkemish, a fragment of a funerary stele bearing a Hieroglyphic Luwian text was unearthed in the Lower Palace area. The stele probably dates to the early eighth century BCE (reign of Yariri/Yarri) and belonged to the wife of a cultic official. In this article, after presenting an edition of the inscription in question, new values for the Anatolian hieroglyphic sign L375 (which is attested on the stele in the writing PURUS-L375-sá of the word *kummayalli(ya)s, “sacred priest”) and related signs such as L375, L144 (= *521), L74, L129, and L398 are suggested while reinterpreting several passages of hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions from both the Empire and Late Hittite periods.