Arslantepe (Malitiya / Malizi)
Arslantepe is the current name of the Hittite city site of Malitiya. The city was known as Malizi in Neo-Hittite period and referred to in Assyrian and Urartian sources as Melid or Melitia. The Arslantepe mound is located on the bank of Euphrates about 4 km to the north-east of modern day Malatya. First excavations were conducted by French teams in the 1930s (Louis Delaporte) and late 1940s (Claude Schaeffer). Since 1961 Italian teams have been carrying out the excavations with some intervals under Piero Meriggi, Salvatore Puglisi, Alba Palmieri, and currently Marcella Frangipane.
Arslantepe, Turkish for Lion Hill, gets its name from the lion statues excavated at the location in the early excavations. The site has a rich history going back to 4th millennium BCE. The city and the region probably came under Hittite rule in the 14th century BCE. After the collapse of the Hittite state around 1180 BCE, initially it was a part of the Kingdom of Karkamış and ruled by the descendants of the Hittite Great Kings. By the 11th century BCE it became an independent state. In 712 BCE the city was sacked and made part of Assyria by King Sargon II.
Most of the monumental orthostats and sculptures originate from the area of the Lions Gate. Although the construction of the last phase of the Lion Gate has been dated to the early 8th century BCE, most of the sculptures and reliefs found there were apparently reused originally coming from earlier structures dating from 12th to 10th centuries BCE. With the exception of a few orthostats in Malatya Museum, most of the finds are displayed in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.
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West wing orthostats
East wing orthostats
Orthostats of an earlier gate structure
Other orthostat and steles
Statue of a king and other dfragments
Delaporte, L. Malatya I. La porte des lions, Paris, 1940.
Frangipane, M. "Melid. B. Archäologisch," RlA 8, 1993: 4252.
Frangipane, M. et al. "Arslantepe: new data on the Formation of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Melid," News from the Lands of the Hittites, Scientific Journal for Anatolian Research v. 3-4, 2019-2020: 71-111.
Hawkins, J. D. "Melid. A. Historisch," RlA 8 1993: 3541.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin, 2000: 282329 and plts. 14752, 15556, 16364.
Liverani, M. "Melid in the Early and Middle Iron Age: Archaeology and History," in The Ancient Near East in the 12th10th Centuries BCE. Culture and History, edited by G. Galil et al. AOAT 392, Münster 2012: 327-344.
Manuelli, F. "Carving the memory, altering the past: PUGNUS-mili and the earlier Iron Age rulers at Arslantepe/Malizi," FsStobel 2019: 22741.
Orthmann, W. Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst, Bonn, 1971.
(List of Abbreviations)
Tayfun Bilgin, 2006, 2017.
Bora Bilgin, 2017, 2022.
Clelia Mora, Arslantepe IX, 2013: 273.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
Winfried Orthmann, 1971.
Museé du Louvre, 1985.