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Gezbeli (Hanyeri) Rock Monument

It is at the mountain-pass known as Gezbeli (Gezbel) about 800 meters north of the Hanyeri village, southeast of Erciyes mountain in the Kayseri province. The relief is carved on a rock wall about 4 meters above the ground level and covering an area of roughly 3 meters wide and 2 meters high. It was first reported in 1939 by Ali Rıza Yalgın, then the director of Adana Museum.

The relief has three parts. On the left scene which shows a bull and a mountain deity, the two-line hieroglyphic Luwian inscription is read: "King of the Mountain, Sharruma" (REX MONS DEUS.SARMA) and "Sword, the divine mountain" (ENSIS DEUS.MONS), per Hawkins presumably referring to the peak called Beydağı by which the mountain pass is located. Hawkins also suggests that the bull and mountain god figures represent the Hittite god Sharruma and the divine SWORD mountain respectively.

The male figure in the middle is similar to the one on the Hemite relief. His left hand is holding a bow that is hanging on his shoulder. His right hand is extended forward and holding a spear. He is wearing a short tunic, shoes with curved tips and a round cap or helmet. The signs above the raised hand reads “Prince Kuwalanamuwa” (EXERCITUS-BOS+MI REX.FILIUS). Same name also appears at İmamkulu which is located at the northern end of the same pass. On the right side there is an antithetic inscription: "Prince Tarhuntami" (TONITRUS--mi REX.FILIUS). It is argued that this inscription on the right may not be a part of the original relief. The relief probably dates to 13th century BCE.

The rock monument remains unprotected right by the main road and prone to damage. By 2013 a large piece of the rock at the bottom section which had been separated from the main block by a large crack that can be seen in the older photos has fallen off. A smaller, triangle shaped piece at the top right above the hieroglyphs of the central group is also gone.

Click on pictures for larger images.

H. Ehringhaus, 2005 T. Bilgin, 2009 H. Ehringhaus, 2005 K. Bittel, 1976
K. Kohlmeyer, 1983 H. Ehringhaus, 2005 H. Ehringhaus, 2005 H. Ehringhaus, 2005 H. Ehringhaus, 2005
H. Th. Bossert, 1954 K. Kohlmeyer, 1983 H. Ehringhaus, 2005



Literature:
Bossert H.Th., Das hethitische Felsrelief bei Hanyeri (Gezbeli), Orientalia NS 23, 1954: 129-47.
Ehringhaus, H. Götter, Herrscher, Inschriften. Die Felsreliefs der hethitischen Großreichszeit in der Türkei. Mainz: Zabern, 2005: 70-80.
Hawkins, J. D. “Hittite Monuments and Their Sanctity,” in A. D’Agostino, V. Orsi, and G. Torri (eds.), Sacred Landscapes of the Hittites and Luwians, Studia Asiana 9. Firenze, 2015: 1-10.
Kohlmeyer, K. "Felsbilder der hethitischen Großreichszeit", Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 15, 1983: 7-154 (86-90).
Rossner, E. Die hethitischen Felsreliefs in der Türkei, Munich, 1988.
Stokkel, P. “A New Perspective on Hittite Rock Reliefs,” Anatolica 31, 2005: 171-88.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, Bora Bilgin, Ertuğrul Anıl, 2009.
Horst Ehringhaus, 2005.
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, 1976.
Kay Kohlmeyer, 1983.
Helmuth Th. Bossert, 1954.