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Altınyayla Stele

The stele was found in a cemetery near Altınyayla town of Sivas province. It is about 1.86 meter high and 0.86 meter wide. It shows a god standing on a deer, which represents the Stag-god Kurunti/Runtiya. The deer appear to be standing on mountain like carvings. God has a bow on the right shoulder and in his extended left hand he is holding antlers (hieroglyphic Luwian logographic sign of the represented god). He is wearing a typical Hittite style short tunic, pointy shoes and a pointy hat (although top of the hat is damaged). In front of the god, in the much more worn out right section of the stele is a large male figure, unusually almost as tall as the deer and god combined. It is shown pouring libation to the god. Some clothing and even facial details are still visible. The block may have originated from the nearby Hittite city Sarissa (Kuşaklı). Hawkins suggests the deity to be identified as the Stag-god of the city of Sarissa standing on his sacred mountain (Mt. Sarissa), both of which are mentioned in Hittite festival texts. He also dates the monument to Tudhaliya IV. Accoding to Müller-Karpe, the sacred moutain should be identified with modern day Mt. Karatonus, at the foot of which is situated the city of Sarissa. The stele is currently in Sivas Museum.


Click on pictures for a larger image.

Ehringhaus 2005 A. Müller-Karpe 2003 B. Bilgin 2017 T. Bilgin 2017 T. Bilgin 2017



Literature
Müller-Karpe, A. "Die Stele von Altınyayla," in Studies presented to Ufuk Esin, 2003: 313-9.
Hawkins, J. D. "Tudhaliya the Hunter." PIHANS 103 (Fs de Roos), 2006: 49-76 (63).

Image sources:
Horst Ehringhaus. Götter, Herrscher, Inschriften. 2005, Zabern.
Andreas Müller-Karpe, 2003.
Bora Bilgin and Tayfun Bilgin, 2017.