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Lion of Maraş

This inscribed portal lion used to be over the gate of the Maraş citadel along with another similar but uninscribed lion, clearly in a secondary context. They were brought to Istanbul Museum in 1884. The flat platform on its right side suggest that it was part of a structure that once stood on the right side of a gateway. It is carved from a basalt block and measures 73 cm in length, 41 cm in height, and 25 cm in width. Six lines of hieroglyphic Luwian inscription covers almost all of the left side. The author Halparuntiya identifies himself as the ruler (tarwani) and king of Gurgum and in the first three lines of the inscription provides a detailed genealogy: son of governor(?) Larama (II); grandson of Halparuntiya (II), the hero; great-grandson of Muwatalli (II), the brave(?); great-great-grandson of the ruler Halparuntiya (I); great-great-great-grandson of Muwizi, the hero; descandant of governor Larama (I). The continuing lines are mainly about how he was favored by various gods. Since there are two other Halparuntiyas among his ancestors, this king is labeled Halparuntiya III. He must be the same person as Qalparuda, Son of Palalam, ruler of Gurgum, known from the Assyrian king Adad-Nirari III's Pazarcık stele of 805 BCE. Thus the portal lion should date to around the same time. In 2013 the lion was moved to the newly constructed Kahramanmaraş Museum.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

W. Wright, 1886 B. Bilgin, 2003 B. Bilgin, 2003 B. Bilgin, 2003

B. Bilgin, 2015 B. Bilgin, 2015 J. D. Hawkins, 2000

Literature:
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2000: 261-65 and plts. 112-13. (MARAŞ 1)
Orthmann, W. Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst, Bonn, 1971. (Maraş B/1)
Payne, A. Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Atlanta: SBL, 2012: 52-54.

Image sources:
Bora Bilgin, 2003, 2015.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
William Wright, The Empire of the Hittites, 2nd ed. London, 1886.