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Abracadabra , or “I Create as I Speak”: A Reanalysis of the First Verb in the Katumuwa Inscription in Light of Northwest Semitic and Hieroglyphic Luwian Parallels

Authors:
BASOR 381 (2019). © 2019 American Schools of Oriental Research. 0003-097X/2019/381-009$10.00. All rights reserved. DOI: 10.1086/703077.
Timothy Hogue: Department of Near Eastern Languages and
Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles, 378 Kaplan
Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095; thogue@ucla.edu
The Katumuwa Stele was discovered in 2008 in
situ in a mortuary chamber at the northern lower
town of Zincirli (Samal) (Schloen and Fink 2009:
10–11; Struble and Herrmann 2009; Herrmann 2014).
e stele provides an important window into the social
world of Iron Age Syro-Anatolia and monumentaliza-
tion practices in particular, and it has appropriately been
taken up by numerous studies in the relatively short time
it has been known. One of the most striking features of
the Katumuwa Inscription is its monumentalization se-
quence. at is, the inscription describes a sequence of
actions that rendered the monument functional. e
rst verb in this sequence, however, is inconsistently
translated and has been the center of some debate in its
previous attestations. is study will primarily focus on
oering a new understanding of the phrase qnt ly in light
of parallel monumentalization verbs and sequences in
Northwest Semitic and Hieroglyphic Luwian monumen-
tal inscriptions.
e inscription was initially published by Dennis
Pardee (2009) shortly aer the stele’s discovery. While
some subsequent adjustments have been suggested,
Pardee’s remains the denitive translation of the inscrip-
tion. e present study will suggest only one revision
to others’ translations of the text. e root √qny in the
rst line of the inscription does in fact mean “to create”
Abracadabra, or “I Create as I Speak”: A
Reanalysis of the First Verb in the Katumuwa
Inscription in Light of Northwest Semitic and
Hieroglyphic Luwian Parallels
T H
Previous translations of the Katumuwa Inscription have either rendered the rst verbal
phrase (qnt ly)I commissioned for myself,” or “I acquired for myself. No scholars have yet
defended the possibility that it simply means “I made.” In fact, this is likely the case given the
typical monumental rhetoric of Northwest Semitic and Hieroglyphic Luwian monumental in-
scriptions. In particular, a comparison with verbs of monumenting in Hieroglyphic Luwian
inscriptions suggests that the monumenting phrase in the Katumuwa Inscription was calqued
on a Luwian phrase. is dierence is signicant because it reveals an important aspect of the
inscription’s monumentality and the Syro-Anatolian conception of the stele. e stele that Ka-
tumuwa created was not understood merely as the inscribed object. Rather, the monument was
the conjunction of material object, ritual engagement, and the resultant manifestation of the
monuments commissioner. ere was no monument apart from Katumuwa, whose voice was
preserved in the inscription and whose presence could be reactivated through ritual. erefore,
Katumuwa did in fact “create” the stele as he spoke through it to his monument’s users.
Keywords: Northwest Semitic inscriptions; Samalian; Zincirli; Katumuwa; KTMW Stele;
Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions; monuments; monumentality
Ah no, my hearers, the monument is made of hardy material, but the lie it tells will outlast it
a million years.
—Mark Twain, “Advice to Youth”
194 TIMOTHY HOGUE BASOR 381
and not “to commission” or “to acquire as others have
suggested.1 at this is the case can be demonstrated
not only on the basis of Northwest Semitic parallels but
also in light of typical Hieroglyphic Luwian monumen-
tal rhetoric, which Katumuwa likely calqued in his in-
scription. Beyond these semantic matters, a translation
of “to create” is more in accordance with the function
of Northwest Semitic monuments during the period.
e monumenter2—that is, the individual speaking in
the inscription—really did create the monument as he
spoke through it. It was also his sole prerogative to take
credit for the monument’s production. e purpose of
this study is to produce a context-sensitive translation
of the opening lines of the Katumuwa Inscription. Such
a translation must account for the wider cultural rheto-
ric of Katumuwa’s Syro-Anatolian context as well as the
monumentality of the text.
From the outset, I should clarify that I will use the
term “monument” and its derivatives in this study in a
functional rather than a formal or generic sense. Recent
art historical and archaeological studies have determined
that a monument cannot be determined by its size, shape,
durability, or even visibility, but is rather dened by its
relationship to communities of people. To be monumen-
tal, an object must be engaged by a community in order
to make meaning (Wu 1995: 11; Osborne 2014: 3–4). In
Syro-Anatolia, monuments were objects that material-
ized ideology for a collective of any size (Gilibert 2011:
126–28). Past studies of the Katumuwa Inscription have
taken great care in choosing parallels from the same
genre, and as a result, they unnecessarily limit them-
selves to groups of texts based on their content rather
than their function (Sanders 2013: 37–45). Monumental
inscriptions are united by their function, and their lit-
erary tropes primarily reect this unity. While divisions
into dedicatory, building, funerary, and memorial are
helpful for considering the primary content of inscrip-
tions, these separations fail to account for the attesta-
tion of common structural elements and phrases across
1 e meaning “to acquire” is suggested in Tropper 1993: 53; San-
ders 2012; 2013; Suriano 2014; and Steiner 2015: 129.
2 In resuscitating this obsolete agential noun, I am inspired by
James Osborne’s (2014) sug gestion that the transitive verb “monument”
be revived as well. Just as the verb emphasizes that monuments act on
communities to make meaning, the agential noun emphasizes that the
commemorated person is perceived as a ritual actor (OED, s.v. “monu-
menter, n.”; Osborne 2014: 3–4). is term is also preferable to “monu-
ment commissioner” in many cases, as the individual responsible for
commissioning the monument is not always the same as the individual
identied as speaking in the monument, which is especially likely in the
case of funerary monuments (see, e.g., K 4 [Hawkins 2000: 143],
where the monumenter is Ruwas but the monument’s commissioner is
identied in §15 as Hulis).
these genres. Furthermore, all of these genres include
examples of monumentalization sequences because they
were all monumental. Considering parallels on func-
tional rather than generic grounds will allow for a much
broader inquiry, which will reveal connections previous
scholarship has missed.
A substantial part of the present argument will hinge
on the understanding of the word nb at Samal. In keep-
ing with the above theoretical considerations, I will
translate this word simply as “monument” throughout
this study. e Katumuwa Inscription reveals that this
term was applied to steles in addition to statues, which it
describes in KAI 214 and 215. ese objects were united
not by their form but their function. eir function was
to manifest their monumenters. As Seth Sanders has ar-
gued, these objects were designed to “produce the pres-
ence” of the monumenter (2012: 35). eir inscriptions
“ventriloquize” the monumenter “as if he were standing
right in front of us” (Sanders 2009: 114). Matthew Suriano
(2014: 405) further proposed that this was accomplished
through ritual activation. at is, ritual engagement with
the monument resulted in the “manifestation of the self”
that was anchored in the object.3 e monument was
thus the conjunction of object, ritual engagement, and
imagined manifestation of the monumenter. e phrase
qnt ly should be translated to account for this sense of nb
in the Katumuwa Inscription.
Review of Previous Scholarship
Pardee transcribed and translated the opening of the
Katumuwa Inscription as follows:
1. nk . ktmw . bd . pnmw . zy . qnt . ly . nb . b
2. yy . wšmt . wth . bsyr/d . lmy . wggt . s
3. yr/d . zn . . .
1. I am KTMW, servant of Panamuwa, who commis-
sioned for myself (this) stele while
2. still living. I placed it in my eternal chamber(?) and
established a feast (at)
3. this chamber(?). . .4
None of the letter forms in this line are dicult to de-
termine based on context, and Pardee’s reconstructions
are not in need of revision. In particular, the portion of
the line in contention—qnt . ly—is well preserved. e
only portion of Pardee’s translation in need of revision is
his rendering of qnt . ly as “I commissioned for myself.”
Pardee acknowledged that this was a contentious verb in
3 A similar understanding of monuments manifesting persons is
developed in Slanski 2012: 107.
4 is transcription and translation may be found in Pardee 2009:
53–54.
195REANALYSIS OF THE FIRST VERB IN THE KATUMUWA INSCRIPTION
2019
his commentary, but he settled on his translation “since it
is unlikely . . . that KTMW himself made the stele” (2009:
59). While his logic is sound, it does not apply to matters
literary and philological. Surely Katumuwa did not him-
self make the stele, but that is not enough reason for him
to avoid claiming to have done so.
e subsequent revisionists to Pardee’s translation
have chosen another one of his options. Sanders thus
translated the same portion as follows:
1. I am Katumuwa, Servant of Panamuwa, who acquired
a stele for myself while
2. alive and set it up in the guest-chamber of my tomb
and ritually instituted
3. this guest-chamber . . .5
Sanders (2012; 2013) and, following him, Suriano (2014)
have accepted the reading “to acquire” for √qny in the
Katumuwa Inscription. ey develop this suggestion
in part on the basis of parallels in Old South Arabian—
particularly, Qatabanian—inscriptions.6 While these in-
scriptions greatly advanced our understanding of syd in
this text, they do not particularly aid in interpreting the
verbs concerning the stele. Sanders notes three parts of
monumentalization sequences in Qatabanian tomb in-
scriptions: the dedicators make (s1y) and acquire (rb)
the tomb according to a decree (g). Sanders and Suri-
ano argue that this is directly paralleled by Katumuwa’s
acquiring (qny), placing (šm), and ritually inaugurating
(gg) his stele (Sanders 2012: 24; 2013: 38; Suriano 2014:
395). ere are some diculties with this proposal, how-
ever. While the correspondence between g and gg is
undoubtedly striking, they are used in separate semantic
categories and seem to have somewhat dierent mean-
ings. Similarly, placing (šm) does not exactly parallel
making (s1y). e suggestion that qny parallels rb is the
weakest part of the argument. ere is no philological
correspondence between these two terms, no reason is
given as to why qny might not parallel s1y instead, and
there are no other examples of acquisition playing a role
in monumentalization in Northwest Semitic inscrip-
tions. While Sanders’ main argument concerning syd
in light of Qatabanian parallels is quite compelling and
his attention to sequenced monumentalization verbs is
very helpful, the connection made between qny and rb
should be discarded.
Both of these suggestions fail to account for monu-
mental rhetoric in Zincirli’s immediate cultural context.
While there are perhaps no direct philological parallels
5 is translation is drawn from Sanders 2013: 50.
6 is connection was originally made in Mazzini 2009.
for the use of √qny in the Katumuwa Inscription, other
Northwest Semitic monumentalization verbs may serve
as rhetorical parallels and will be instructive as to the
potential range of meaning for the root. Hieroglyphic Lu-
wian verbs of monumenting are also instructive in this
regard, and this corpus may provide the neatest parallel
for the rst lines of the Katumuwa Inscription. In both
sets of texts, creation is a key aspect of monumentaliza-
tion, and it is, for the most part, the sole prerogative of
the speaker in the inscription. e monumental rhetoric
of exaggeration required that the speaker claim to have
created the monument, whether or not he had really par-
ticipated in its craing. Acquisition, on the other hand, is
a concept alien to the rhetoric of Syro-Anatolian monu-
ments. ese parallels will demonstrate that the meaning
of “to create” or “to make” for √qny should not only be
unsurprising but rather expected.
Another problem not yet addressed is the use of the
dative-reexive ly in this clause. Pardee previously noted
the unusual use of ly in conjunction with this verb, and
understood it as reexively referring to Katumuwa,
translating it as “for myself” (Pardee 2009: 53). is likely
reects the Luwian background of the phrase. While ly is
regularly encountered as a dative construction in North-
west Semitic inscriptions, this is the only example from
this period where it acts as a reexive. It is surprising
given the typical usage of reexive verbal stems in Se-
mitic languages that render a reexive pronoun unnec-
essary. Such reexive pronouns are extremely common
in Hieroglyphic Luwian, however. While Northwest Se-
mitic monumentalization verbs provide helpful rhetor-
ical parallels to Katumuwa’s language, an exact parallel
must be sought among Hieroglyphic Luwian monumen-
talization sequences. e presence of a reexive in this
phrase in the Katumuwa Inscription suggests that it may
be calquing a Luwian phrase.
Northwest Semitic Monumenting Verbs
e Katumuwa Inscription is an example of non-royal
elite emulation of a royal monumenting practice (Gili-
bert 2011: 126–28). Northwest Semitic royal inscriptions
will therefore provide the most important parallels to
Katumuwa’s rhetoric (Sanders 2013: 40). Chief among a
king’s domestic achievements was construction. at is,
Northwest Semitic kings legitimated themselves through
their acts of creation especially as expressed in building.
In this way, they brought order to their environment
(Green 2010: 307–10). In all royal building descriptions,
an ideology of self-aggrandizement required that the
king claim sole credit for these acts. Perhaps most im-
portant among these projects was the king’s monument,
196 TIMOTHY HOGUE BASOR 381
which preserved the fullest expression of his ideology
in its text. Northwest Semitic monumentalization tends
to involve the monument’s creation and installation.
Monumentalization clauses were not rigidly standard-
ized, however, so we only ever encounter some of these
actions in sequence if at all. A number of verbs are used
to describe monumental constructions, but these expres-
sions are all unied by the fact that the king—the speaker
in the monumental inscription—is the sole actor.
Installation
A small selection of verbs is used to describe the erec-
tion or installation of smaller monumental objects like
statues and steles. e most commonly encountered verb
is √šym “to set up” or “to place,” which even occurs in the
Katumuwa Inscription itself. Line 2 reads: wšmt . wth .
bsyd . lmyand I set it [the stele] up in the guest-chamber
of my tomb” (Sanders 2013: 50). is is exactly paralleled
by KAI 202 B.13–14, where Zakkur claims [w]šmt . qdm .
[lwr .] nb . znh and I set up this stele before Illwer.”7
Elsewhere in Samalian, the causative form of the verb
qwm “to rise” was used with a similar sense. In KAI
214.1, Panamuwa identies himself thus: nk . pnmw .
br . qrl . mlk . ydy . zy . hqmt . nb . zn . lhdd “I am Pan-
amuwa, son of Qarili, king of Yaudiya, the one who raised
this monument for Hadad.”8 Because these phrases par-
allel another line in the Katumuwa Stele, they cannot be
philological parallels for √qny, but they may again act as
rhetorical parallels. ese phrases are never translated “I
had it placed” or “I had it installed.” e speaker is always
accepted as the agent.
Creation
Verbs referring to making or creating may be the best
parallels for √qny as it is used in the Katumuwa Inscription,
but they do present some challenges. ere are three iso-
glosses employed in dierent dialects with this meaning:
šy, √pl, and √bd. e root šy is of course known from
Hebrew, but in the corpus of monumental inscriptions it
is limited to the Moabite exemplars. KAI 181.3 reads wʾʿš
. hbmt . zt . lkmš . bqrh “I made this high-place for Che-
7 My translation. is verb in not used in the same sort of sequence
as it appears in the Katumuwa Inscription, but it does follow Zakkur’s
claim that he “built” (bnyt) Aphis (B.10). Also, he subsequently com-
pletes the stele when he writes (ktbt) the inscription on it (B.14–15).
e inclusion of inscribing in a monumentalization sequence is paral-
leled by at least one Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription (see C §1–5,
Hawkins 2000: 445).
8 My translation. Note that raising the monument occurs as the
middle action in a sequence: Panamuwa rst builds (bnyt) the land,
then raises (hqmt) the statue and a tomb (mqm) for himself. He notably
avoids a reexive here and simply speaks of himself in the third person.
mosh in Qaroh.”9 It is striking that Mesha preferred the
šy for his monumental cult place here over √bny, which
he employs for non-monumental constructions in the
same inscription.10 e root pl is limited to Phoenician
inscriptions. It similarly takes smaller structures as its ob-
ject. For example, KAI 26 AIII.15–16 reads: hšr z š pʿl
ztwd “the gate that Azatiwada made.”11 Finally, √bd is
only encountered in Aramaic inscriptions. e only place
it describes a monumental object is in KAI 309.15, which
reads: dmwt zt ʿbd l zy qdm hwtr “he made this likeness
better than before.” Against Josef Tropper’s assertion that
we should expect this root at Zincirli and thus discount
the possibility of “to make” for √qny (1993: 52), √bd is
only attested in Samalian with a meaning of “to work
(land)” in KAI 214.7. In fact, we do not know which iso-
gloss to expect in Samalian because no verb “to make” is
attested, with the possible exception of √qny.12
As for the root √qny itself, it is preserved in two other
instances in Northwest Semitic monumental inscrip-
tions. In KAI 26 AIII.18, it occurs in the nominal con-
struction l qn r “El, the Creator of Earth.” e usage of
qn for “creator” here in Phoenician is uncontested. e
appearance of the root in KAI 25, however, has been the
center of some scholarly debate. As already mentioned,
Tropper discounted the possibility of “to make” and in-
stead translates the verb “zum Besitz geben” (1993: 52),
much as Sanders and Suriano have taken it as “to ac-
quire” (Sanders 2012: 24; 2013: 38; Suriano 2014: 395).
Alternatively, Paul-Eugène Dion and André Dupont-
Sommer prefer the translation “orner” (Dion 1974: 26;
Dupont-Sommer 1947: 25). Dupont-Sommer also oers
the possibilities of “créer” and “forger,” and notes that the
use of a verb referring to acquisition in such a text would
be unusual (1947: 24). Similarly, Kurt Galling translated
the verb simply as “made” but oers the alternatives of
dedicate” and “forge” (1950: 16). Pardee does allow for
the possibility of “made,” though he prefers his under-
standing of “commissioned” as in the Katumuwa Stele
(2009: 59). ese other occurrences render possible a
translation of “to create” or “to make,” but these cannot
solve the issue as they are not precisely parallel. e ap-
pearance in KAI 25 is somewhat similar to that in the
Katumuwa Inscription, but there is no reexive pronoun,
9 is verb also occurs in KAI 306.3 but with an unknown object.
10 is usage parallels that of s1y in Qatabanian inscriptions for the
creation of monumental tombs (Sanders 2012: 24; 2013: 38; Suriano
2014: 395).
11 Azatiwada is speaking of himself in the third person in this ex-
ample. is root is similarly employed in votive inscriptions. It takes a
stele as its object in KAI 6.1 and a sarcophagus in KAI 1.1.
12 In the Aramaic inscriptions from Zincirli, √bd is only used in
the nominal sense of “servant” (see KAI 216.3 and 217.1, 4). Similarly,
pl is only attested with the meaning “to do,” when it appears in Phoe-
nician at Zincirli in KAI 24.
197REANALYSIS OF THE FIRST VERB IN THE KATUMUWA INSCRIPTION2019
no monumentalization sequence, and the verb’s object
remains an open question (Lemaire 1990).
Hieroglyphic Luwian Monumenting Verbs
is section will explore parallels to Katumuwa’s
monumentalization sequence in Hieroglyphic Luwian
inscriptions, where such sequences are more regularly
attested. Before analyzing these verbs, though, an argu-
ment must be made for considering them at all. San ders
argues that the continuity of the Luwian language at
Zincirli was uncertain in the 8th century ... He also
suggests that any potential language contact must have
le little impact on the basis that there are no identi-
able Luwian loanwords in Iron Age Northwest Semitic
dialects (Sanders 2013: 42). e rst assertion is becom-
ing increasingly unlikely in light of recent discoveries. As
to the second, while there are few Luwian loanwords in
Northwest Semitic, one of these occurs on the Katumuwa
Stele in addition to as many as three calques of Luwian
phrases. is is likely a reection of the fact that Luwian
did continue to be used as a written language through-
out the 8th century, both in the surrounding region and
within Zincirli itself.
Hieroglyphic Luwian is attested from the region of
Samal in three inscriptions, dated both before and aer
Katumuwa.13 ese include an early 9th-century funer-
ary stele complete with banquet scene from Karabuçlu
(5 km north of Zincirli), the recently discovered P-
 Inscription dating to the 10th or early 9th cen-
tury, and the late 8th-century signet ring of Barrākib
(Younger 2016: 384–88). e inscriptions demonstrate
that Hieroglyphic Luwian was used at the site before the
so-called Aramaean dynasty, possibly during the reigns
of its earliest rulers, and certainly during the reign of
its last (Herrmann, van den Hout, and Beyazlar 2016:
69–70). e signet ring is particularly striking as it sug-
gests that Barrākib may have been corresponding with
other kingdoms in Luwian. e recent discovery of an
as-yet unpublished lead strip letter in Luwian at Zincirli
in a late 8th- or 7th-century context further attests to the
continued use of the language at the site aer the time of
Katumuwa (Schloen and Fink 2009: 10; Herrmann, van
den Hout, and Beyazlar 2016: 68).
e Katumuwa Inscription itself attests to this continu-
ation. e initially unidentiable word in line 3—qrpdl
has been identied as the Luwian arpatalli “the host”
(Yakubovich 2010: 396; 2011: 181). e divine name hdd
13 To these, we might add an inscription discovered 800 m east of
the workshop at Yesemek in a style unlike that of the workshop. Vir-
ginia Hermann, eo van den Hout, and Ahmet Beyazlar suggest that
this may be an inscription from Samal (2016: 68–69).
krmn “Hadad/Storm-god of the Vineyard” has been iden-
tied as a calque of the Luwian tuwarsis Tarhunzas “Tar-
hunzas/Storm-god of the Vineyard” (Masson 2010: 53).
Furthermore, a closer historical examination of the “I am”
statement opening the Katumuwa Inscription reveals that
it is a calque of a popular Luwian phrase as well, albeit of
one that had already gained popularity in Northwest Se-
mitic. e earliest occurrences of the phrase in Northwest
Semitic are in 9th-century memorial inscriptions, such as
KAI 24 and 181, but this is not where the tradition origi-
nated. e practice is regularly attested in Hieroglyphic
Luwian monuments from the 10th century onward (Aro
2013: 234–38). In fact, the earliest attestation of the
opening in Hieroglyphic Luwian may be N—a
12th-century inscription of Šuppiluliumaš II, which was
partially reconstructed based on a parallel expression
in Hittite in KBo 12.38 (Güterbock 1967: 81; Aro 2013:
240–42). Aer this innovation by the Hittites, the practice
appears to have been adopted and spread by the dynas-
ties at Carchemish, which had signicant inuence on
Zincirli among other sites (Gilibert 2011: 121–25; Aro
2013: 238–40; Herrmann 2017). Even with a growing us-
age in Northwest Semitic at the time of Katumuwa, the “I
am” opening likely began in Luwian and was adapted by
Northwest Semitic scribes.
All of this data points to the conclusion already reached
by many scholars that the true separation between the
“Luwians” and “Aramaeans” in Syro-Anatolia is one of
disciplines—that is, Semitic and Anatolian philology—
rather than cultural traditions (Mazzoni 1997: 301; Bun-
nens 1999: 615; von Dassow 1999: 249; Novák, Prayon,
and Wittke 2004: 2–4; Gilibert 2011: 9–10; Sanders 2013:
51; Herrmann, van den Hout, and Beyazlar 2016: 70).
While it was undoubtedly aected by its unique socio-
political history, what is observed at Zincirli is a regional
expression of broader Syro-Anatolian cultural practices,
which could be encoded to varying degrees in multiple
languages (von Dassow 1999: 249; Bunnens 2000: 16–17;
Gilibert 2011: 9). We must thus expand our search for
parallels to Katumuwa from West Semitic and Luwian
funerary inscriptions to the broader corpus of Syro-
Anatolian monuments—both those inscribed in North-
west Semitic dialects and those in Hieroglyphic Luwian.
Katumuwa’s monumentalization sequence is paralleled
by a number of such Hieroglyphic Luwian sequences.
Hieroglyphic Luwian Monumentalization Sequences
Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions regularly included
monumentalization sequences, while their Northwest
Semitic counterparts were oen limited to one activity.
ey are thus an indispensable contextual aid for un-
derstanding the sequence in the Katumuwa Inscription.
198 TIMOTHY HOGUE BASOR 381
While only one of the verbs in these sequences appears
to truly parallel √qny in the Katumuwa Inscription, a
broader consideration of this evidence will provide sev-
eral useful parallels as well as a list of typical monumen-
talization activities. e verbs describing these actions
vary, but Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions generally
describe monumentalization in terms of making, install-
ing, and ritually inaugurating. To consider all such mon-
umentalization sequences would go beyond the scope of
this study; however, a few examples should suce to de-
velop the parallel with the Katumuwa Inscription.
In terms of content, S may provide the
most striking parallel to the Katumuwa Inscription. e
monumenter was a non-royal elite, who erected a statue
of one of the same deities mentioned in the Katumuwa
Inscription. His prescribed sacrice for ritually engaging
the statue is of the same type as Katumuwas prescription
as well (Sanders 2013: 43 n. 40). Furthermore, the monu-
mentalization sequence occurs at the beginning of the in-
scription with the identication of the monumenter, just
as in the Katumuwa Inscription. e inscription begins:
§1 EGO-mi-i [sa5+ra/i-wa/i-ti|-wa/i+ra/i-[sa . . .]-
wa/i-[. . .] |INFANS-ni-sa |wa/i-su-SARMA-ma-sá-´
|HEROS-li-i-sá SERVUS-lá/í14-sa
§2 a-wa/i |za-a-na |(DEUS)TONITRUS-hu-zá-na |tu-
wa/i+ra/i-sà-si-i-na |ta-nu-wa/i-ha||
§3 a-wa/i-sa |á-pi-i |CRUS-nú-wa/i-mi-i-na
|BOS(ANIMAL)-ri+i-i 9 OVIS a+ra/i-ma-sa-ri+i-i
§4 a-wa/i-na |u-pa-ha |HWI-i
§1 I am [Sarwatiwaras, . . .’s] son, servant of the hero
Wasusarmas.
§2 I set up this Tarhunzas of the Vineyard.
§3 He is to be set up again with an ox and nine month-
ling sheep.
§4 When I dedicated him . . .15
Here, the verb tanuwa- describes the setting up of a cult
statue to Tarhunzas of the Vineyard, likely the divine
name calqued by Katumuwas “Hadad of the Vineyard”
(line 4). e same verb is then used a second time to
describe an action involving animal sacrice. Finally, this
action seems to be summed up by the verb upa- “to dedi-
cate.” is sequence of monumenting verbs, tanuwa- and
upa-, exactly parallels Katumuwa’s use of √šym and √gg.
More importantly, in Sultanhan, the terms tanuwa- and
upa- “refer to the same act,” according to Melchert (2004:
373). Together, these verbs denote the statue’s monu-
14 I have updated Annick Payne’s transliteration (2012: 98–101) to
reect the new reading of ta5/i5 as lá/í proposed by Elisabeth Rieken
and Ilya Yakubovich (2010).
15 I have adapted most of this translation from Payne 2012: 98–101
but preferred Craig Melchert’s translation of upa- as “to dedicate”
(2004: 373) as opposed to Payne’s “to sacrice.”
mentalization, with tanuwa- describing the physical in-
stallation and upa- describing the ritual inauguration,
as Sanders has similarly dened šym and gg (2013: 38).
ough a parallel to √qny is missing, this at least strongly
suggests that a parallel may be found among Hiero-
glyphic Luwian monumentalization sequences.
K 1 expresses the same sequence with only
slightly dierent verbs. e relevant portion reads:
§5 |za-ha-wa/i |a+ra/i-ta-la-si-na |(DEUS)TONITRUS-
hu-u-za-na- |á-mu |ta-nu-wa/i-ha-´
§6 |wa/i-na |(“ANNUS”)u-si-na |(“ANNUS”)u-si-na 1
(“BOS.ANIMAL”)wa/i-wa/i-ti-i 3 (“OVIS.ANIMAL”)
ha-wa/i-ti |sa-sa5+ra/i-la-wa/i
§5 I myself also set up this Tarhunzas of the ARATALI.
§6 And I shall sacrice to him every year one ox (and)
three sheep.16
e verb tanuwa- appears again to describe the emplace-
ment of the monument, but this time it is paired with
the verb sasarla- “to oer.” Given that the same sort of
animal sacrice is prescribed for this action, it is likely
the same sort of ritual engagement described by tanuwa-
and upa- in S. Again, monumentalization in-
volves both emplacement and ritual engagement. Also,
as in S, the monumenter in K 1 has the
sole prerogative in these matters. He claims full responsi-
bility for both actions, regardless of who else might have
been involved in the monument’s actual installation. He
even claims this prerogative emphatically by inserting
the rst-person pronoun amu before the verb.
J -H 4 contains a similar sequence to
those described above, but it includes the verb izi(ya)-
“to make.” We know from the Karatepe bilingual that
this term was rendered √pl in Phoenician, which may
parallel √qny in Samalian. e relevant portion of the
inscription reads:
§2 |á-mu-pa-wa/i-na CERVUS+RA/I-ta-pi-sá á-pi-si-
na COR-tara/i-i-na i-zi-i-ha
§3 wa/i-na á-pi-sa-za tá-ti-za DEUS-na-za COR-ni-i-
na <wa/i?->li-nu-u-ha
§4 (“VIA”)ha+ra/i-w[a/i]-ta-z[a]||-pa-wa/i-tu-ta za-a
X-ha
§5 (DEUS)TONITRUS-ti-i 1 ARIES/OVIS-ni-sa
|(“X.X”) ku-wa/i-za-i
§6 POST+RA/I-ta-pa-wa/i “1” BOS(ANIMAL) |1
GAZELLA(ANIMAL) CRUS+X-i
§2 but I, Runtapi, made him (as) his person,
§3 and for his fathers’ gods I exalted him (as) a soul,17
16 Transcription and translation are Payne’s (2012: 87–88), but I
have kept the divine name Tarhunzas rather than rendering it “Storm
God.”
17 e original translators used “image” to render both COR-tara/i-
i-na (atrin) and COR-ni-i-na (tanin) in order to emphasize the ma-
199REANALYSIS OF THE FIRST VERB IN THE KATUMUWA INSCRIPTION2019
§4 and for the travelers I . . . ed this for him:
§5 for Tarhunta one ram will always KUWAZA,
§6 and aerwards one ox (and) one gazelle will stand.18
is sequence comes very close to Katumuwa’s. e
monumenter—Runtapi—claims emphatically to have
made the image himself, pairing this particular part of
the action with the rst-person pronoun in §2. He then
claims to have exalted it and done something to make
it an object of ritual attention for travelers. e original
publishers understood this reference to travelers to mean
that the monument was set up along a road and meant
to be venerated there (Dinçol et al. 2014: 65). Runtapi
then gives specic instructions for how the object is to be
ritually engaged. Notably, the second verb describing this
ritual engagement uses the same logogram—CRUS—
that was used to describe rededication in S.
Whatever the exact actions denoted by the verbs in §3–4,
it is clear that the monumentalization described in this
inscription involved creation, placement, and ritual en-
gagement. e only feature that sets this sequence apart
from Katumuwa’s is that the image here described is not
the monumenter’s, and the clause regarding its creation
thus lacks a dative-reexive pronoun in the rst person.
e closest parallels to the sequence in the Katumuwa
Inscription come from Carchemish.19 K A15b,
for example, appears to include all of the same activities
involved in the objects monumentalization. e relevant
passage reads:
§11 á-mi-i-na-pa-wa/i(-)u!-mu! (“COR”)á-tara/i-i-na
|“SCALPRUM”(-)i-ara/i-za i-zi-i-ha
§12 wa/i-mu-tá (DEUS)ku+AVIS-pa-pa-sa |(“PES”)
pa-lá/í20 PONERE-mi-i-na |CAPERE-i ||
§11 I made my person into a portrait,
§12 and Kubaba will take me [i.e., my portrait] placed
at (her) foot.21
teriality of their referents in this case. However, these terms literally
mean “person, self” and “soul,” respectively. ey are distinct words
but express closely related concepts. ey undoubtedly refer to an im-
age in this context but only metaphorically (Yakubovich 2002: 196; van
den Hout 2002: 178–81). While Sanders has convincingly argued that
Samalian nbš does not exactly parallel Hieroglyphic Luwian atri-, it
is notable that both script traditions actually utilized two terms to re-
fer to dierent aspects of the same material referent: atri- and tani- in
Hieroglyphic Luwian and nb and nbš in Samalian (Sanders 2012: 23;
Suriano 2014: 404–5). For an alternative to Sanders’ view, see J. David
Hawkins’ study of the inscription in which he argues that nbš is actually
a translation of Luwian atri- (Hawkins 2015).
18 is transcription and translation follow Dinçol et al. 2014.
19 ese parallels are especially attractive given the close relation-
ship between the sites (Gilibert 2011: 121–25; Herrmann 2017).
20 See n. 14.
21 is transcription follows Payne 2012: 85–86, but the translation
is adapted from van den Hout 2002: 185.
e rst of these lines pairs the verb izi(ya)- “to make”
with the dative-reexive pronoun -mu. e function of
the pronoun, as a self-benefactive dative-reexive, is
to draw attention to the speaker’s agency in the action
(Yakubovich 2015: 15). e monumenter—Yariri—notes
emphatically that he made the monument and further-
more that he made himself into that monument, under-
scoring the Syro-Anatolian conception of a monument
as an object meant to manifest the monumenter. In the
next line the statue is described as PONERE-mi-i-na (tu-
wamin) “placed.” While not an active verb, this directly
parallels šym in the Katumuwa Inscription. We also know
from the Karatepe bilingual that the verb tuwa- in Hiero-
glyphic Luwian is translated by the Semitic šym. Finally,
Yariri notes that Kubaba will take the statue for him.
Given the divine actor of this verb and the fact that the
statue was placed in a temple, this very likely refers to
some form of ritual acceptance. us, while not all are
actions of the monumenter, all three elements of Katu-
muwa’s monumentalization sequence are present here in
Yariri’s sequence. Notably, the only action Yariri abso-
lutely claims for himself is the one he was least likely to
have directly participated in: the creation of the statue.
Furthermore, his use of a reexive pronoun is likely
meant to emphasize his claim to sole agency in the stat-
ue’s production.
K A1a oers an even closer parallel. e rele-
vant portion reads:
§25 wa/i-mi-i-´ za-i-na DEUS-ní-si-i-na |*455-li-ia-na
i-zi-i-ha
§26 za-ha-wa/i |(FORTIS)mu-wa/i-ta-li-na (DEUS)
TONITRUS-za-na |CRUS-nu-wa/i-ha
§27 |CUM-ha-wa/i-tú za-a-zi DEUS-ni-zi-i |CRUS-nu-
wa/i-ha
§25 I made for myself this assemblage of the gods,
§26 and I set up this potent Tarhunzas,
§27 and with him I set up these gods.22
In addition to the divine images, the monumenter claims
to have made his own statue in the damaged §28. is
selection is almost immediately followed by instructions
for oering sacrices to the monumental installation
in §29–35. is sequence parallels Katumuwa’s monu-
mentalization sequence in all regards. e monumenter
creates the monuments, sets them up, and leaves in-
struction for their ritual engagement. Furthermore, the
verb iziya- “to make” is here paired with a rst-person
22 is transcription and translation follow Hawkins, but I pre-
fer Payne’s translation of the verb tanuwa- as “set up” as opposed to
Hawkins’ “make stand” (2000: 88–89). I have also changed Hawkins’
rendering of the enclitic pronoun -mi from the emphatic “myself” to
the dative-reexive “for myself” as suggested by C. Melchert (pers.
comm., 2017).
200 TIMOTHY HOGUE BASOR 381
dative-reexive pronoun. ese examples provide neat
syntactic and contextual parallels to the Katumuwa Stele
and therefore likely express the same idea as the clause
containing qnt ly.
Conclusions: e Creation of the Monument
in Katumuwa’s Speech
Given that the phrase qnt ly is unusual for a North-
west Semitic inscription but that it has a number of
rhetorical and syntactic parallels among Hieroglyphic
Luwian inscriptions, it may be best explained as a calque
of a Luwian phrase—the third such calque identiable in
the Katumuwa Inscription. It is not enough to seek the
meaning of qny in other Semitic contexts. Instead, qny
+ l- must be treated as a unique entry in the Samalian
lexicon. e verb qny + dative-reexive ly exactly paral-
lels the use of the Luwian verb izi(ya)- + dative-reexive
-mi or -mu in Karkamišean inscriptions. e meaning
of these phrases is “I made for myself,” where the pro-
noun emphasizes the speaker’s activity. is translation
is in keeping with the Syro-Anatolian conception of the
monument and rhetoric of exaggeration that accompa-
nied it. e legal or nancial acquisition of a monument
is not one of the ritualized actions involved in Syro-
Anatolian monumentalization. Neither is the commis-
sioning of the monument. Monumenters very rarely
acknowledged their commissioning and thus almost
never distanced themselves from monumentalization.
Rather, as the key ritual participant in monumentaliza-
tion, the monumenter claimed the sole prerogative in all
monumenting acts. He is thus the monument’s creator,
installer, and inaugurator. Monumentalization emerges
from these acts performed in concert.
More importantly, this conclusion illuminates the
monumentality of the Katumuwa Stele and its inscrip-
tion. e stele was not merely a passive craed object,
it was an art object meant to manifest Katumuwa’s per-
sonhood (Suriano 2014: 403–4).23 is manifestation of
Katumuwa was the primary result of the object’s monu-
mentalization. e object and its inscription, iconogra-
phy, ritual emplacement, ritual inauguration, and later
ritual reactivation all acted in concert to manifest Katu-
muwa. e nb is thus not the stone but the stone as it
acted. It was the materialization of Katumuwa’s presence
and agency so that he might interact with future users of
the monument (Sanders 2012: 35). e stone may have
been craed by someone else, but the stele as a functional
object was created by Katumuwa as he was manifested
by its inscription. While there was certainly exaggeration
involved in the opening lines of the inscription, it was
also very logical for Katumuwa to claim sole preroga-
tive in its monumentalization. e object only became a
monumental stele, a nb, as he spoke through it.
Acknowledgments
is article greatly benetted from the input of William
Schniedewind and Craig Melchert, who kindly commented on
earlier dras. All remaining mistakes are solely my own.
23 For more on art objects as social agents, see Gell 1998: 17–21. For
the application of this theory in other ancient Near Eastern contexts,
see Meskell 2003: 44 and Feldman 2010: 148–51.
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... The inscription presents royal power by making the king present in language, ventriloquizing Mesha as if he were standing in front of us. 29 I have followed Hogue ( 2019a ) in understanding the verb qny to reflect creation in certain contexts. Hogue bases his argument on the conventions of Luwian monumental inscriptions. of the deity is essentially made present by the first-person voice of the text. ...
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In 2006 - A report was brought to the late professor Ali Dinçol of the discovery of a new Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription on the bank of the Orontes river in the village of Demirköprü (formerly, Jisr el Hadid), Hatay province. A visit by Professor Ali Dinçol with Profesor Bellas Dinçol and Dr. Hasan Peker revealed a basalt block in the form of a base, bearing on two preserved sides parts of one and two lines inscription. They worked on the text in 2006 - and again in 2009, and prepared the piece for removal to the Hatay Museum. A preliminary publication is offered here in collaboration with Professor J.D. Hawkins. The text as preserved concerns the father of the author of the inscription and the erection of a memorial statue to him, probably on this base itself.
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Foreword 1. The Problem Defined: The Need for an Anthropology of Art 2. The Theory of the Art Nexus 3. The Art Nexus and the Index 4. The Involution of the Index in the Art Nexus 5. The Origination of the Index 6. The Critique of the Index 7. The Distributed Person 8. Style and Culture 9. Conclusion: The Extended Mind Bibliography Index
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