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Akpınar/Sipylos Monument

The large, almost statue like, relief is about 8 meters in height and 4.5 meters in width and located in Sipylus Mountain (Spilos, Sipil) near Manisa in the locality of Akpınar. The badly worn out relief appears to be a seated figure, carved into a large niche. For a long time it was thought to be a seated goddess (cf. the 3rd picture below). However the recent consensus among several scholars is that the figure is a male with a beard, possibly a Hittite mountain god representation. There are two inscriptions by the relief/statue, one to its right and one to the left. The one on the left, which is a relief-type inscription, is read by Bossert as Ku(wa)lanamuwa or Ku(wa)lamuwa. This name also appears in Gezbeli and İmamkulu monuments, although it is less likely to be a reference to the same person. About 3 meters to the right of the head is a second inscription carved into the rock. First part might be read Zu(wa)-wa/i-ni EUNUCHUS2 (Hawkins), possibly followed by a city name. There is not a way to date the monument to a certain time but 14th or 13th century BCE is generally accepted. Although originally a Hittite monument, it was also a popular attraction in the later ages and was believed to have been a representation of the goddess Kybele. It is known that in Lydian times religious ceremonies were conducted by the monument.


Click on pictures for a larger image.

T. Bilgin T. Bilgin A drawing of the monument from 1880; Ills. London News H. Ehringhaus H. Ehringhaus Left inscription - H. Ehringhaus
Second inscription
Second inscription - H. Ehringhaus Second inscription - H. G. Güterbock Second inscription - K. Kohlmeyer Second inscription - M. Poetto



Literature:
Andre-Salvini, B. and M. Salvini. "Fixa cacumine montis: Nouvelles Considerations sur le relief rupestre de la pretendue 'Niobe'
      du mont Sipyle" In Collectanea Orientalia. Historie, arts de l'escape et Industrie de la Terre. Paris. 1996: 7-20.
Ehringhaus, Horst. Götter, Herrscher, Inschriften, Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern. 2005: 84-87.
Güterbock, H. G. and R. L. Alexander. "The Second Inscription on Mount Sipylus", Anatolian Studies 33, 1983: 29-32.
Hawkins, D. "Commentaries on the readings" in BoHa 22, 2005: 298.
Kohlmeyer, Kay. "Felsbilder der hethitischen Großreichszeit", Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 15, 1983: 7-154 (28-34).
Poetto, Massimo. "In margine alla seconda iscrizione luvio-geroglifica del monte Sipylos," VO 7: 171-76.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, 2012.
Illustrated London News, 1880.
Hörst Ehringhaus, 2005.
Hans G. Güterbock, 1983.
Massimo Poetto, 1988.