Main Page

Kızıldağ - Hartapu Monument

Kızıldağ (meaning Red Mountain in Turkish) is one of the cones of the Karadağ group of mountains nearby Karaman. Near the top of the moutain is a Hittite monument where surfaces of a rock outcrop are carved and flattened to form something like a "throne". On the flattened surface of the back seat of the throne is the relief of a seated man holding a cane in left hand and a bowl in the right. The hieroglyphic Luwian inscription right next to the head of the figure gives his name as "Great King, Hartapu". A little to its left, on the flattened horizontal surface was a second inscription: "Beloved(?) (of) the mighty Storm-God, the Sun, Great King, Hartapu." On the vertical surface right next to it was a third inscription in three lines: "Beloved(?) (of) the Storm-God, The Sun, Great King, Hartapu, son of Mursili, Great King, hero, built this city." Apparently the second and third inscriptions were destroyed sometime before 1980 by treasure seekers. The boulder with the second incription lies a few meters below the rock outcrop.

Somewhere on the eastern side of Kızıldağ a fallen rectangular stele with a round top was reported by Meriggi in 1963, but has not been reported since then. Only the top line of the inscription was readable: "Mursi[li], Great King, Hero ...".

About 150 meter southeast of the "throne" is the so called staircase inscription. At the top of the stairs to the right, carved on the rock wall is the two-line inscription that is read (by Hawkins and Poetto): "The Sun, Great King, Hartapu, Hero, beloved of the Storm-God, son of Mursili, Great King, Hero: by the goodness (of) the celestial Storm-God (and of) every god, (he) who conquered every country, (and) conquered the country Masa forever. All the territories ... the Great King, (titles), took (by favour of) the celestial Storm-God."

There is no Great King by the name of Hartapu during the Empire Period. However after the collapse of the empire, some local rulers did assume such traditional titles. Until recently the monument was thought to be from around 8th century BCE mainly based on the Assyrian style hair and beard of the king relief. However, in recent years a dating towards much earlier times is gaining support. The clues from inscribed letters point to 12th-10th century BCE. Hawkins suggests that the relief of the king may have been added in later centuries by Tabal kings which would explain its late style appearance.

Hartapu name appears in two other Hittite monuments at Karadağ and Burunkaya. The rocks also bear inscriptions and carvings from Greek times.

Click on pictures for a larger image.

Throne Relief and Inscription
T.Bilgin 2009 T.Bilgin 2009 T.Bilgin 2009 T.Bilgin 2009 T.Bilgin 2009 K.Bittel E.Rossner
Second and Third inscription, and Mursili Stele
Second inscription - J.Hawkins Second inscription T.Bilgin 2009 Third inscription - G.Bell 1907 Third inscription - J.Hawkins Mursili stele - J.Hawkins, photo: Meriggi
Staircase Inscription
Staircase and inscription - B.Bilgin 2011 Staircase and inscription - B.Bilgin 2011 Staircase inscription detail - B.Bilgin 2011

Hawkins, J. D. "The Inscriptions of the Kızıldağ and the Karadağ in the Light of the Yalburt Inscription," in FsAlp, Ankara: TTK, 1992: 259-75.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000: 429-42 and plts. 236-39, 242.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, Bora Bilgin, Ertuğrul Anıl, 2009.
Bora Bilgin, Ertuğrul Anıl, Ercüment Süer, Cüneyt Süer, 2011
Eberhard Rossner, Die hethitischen Felsreliefs in der Türkei. 1988, ISBN 3924390029.
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, Beck, München 1976, ISBN 3406030246.
John David Hawkins, Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. 2000.
Gertrude Bell, 1907, University of Newcastle Gertrude Bell Project (