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A stele with the relief of a female figure and hieroglyphic Luwian iscription. The upper part of the two piece stele was reported to be found by the Orontes river in Meharde village about 20 km northwest of Hama. The bottom part has appeared in antiquities market in 1980s. Together it stands over 2 meters in height. The stele shows a female figure and a smaller figure next to her standing on a crouching lion. Below the relief, as well as on the sides and back of the stele is an inscription of Taita the Walastinean king who dedicated stele to a goddess named "Queen of the Land". The upper part is currently in Aleppo Museum.

Another hieroglyphic Luwian stele comes from nearby Sheizar Citadel which is at the northern part of Meharde village. Interestingly this stele is also in two piece, upper part in Beirut Museum and lower in Hama Museum. Round topped stele is inscribed on front and on the sides. Content indicates it to be written for "Kupapiya, the wife of Taita, the Hero of the country Walastin" and also makes references to "divine Queen of the Land". In connection with the monuments of Taita from Aleppo the steles are roughly dated to sometime around 11th century BCE.

The place name Walastin also appears in Tell Tayinat inscriptions and is suspected to be a variation of Palastin (i.e. Palestine) that appears on some Aleppo inscriptions (see Hawkins, NEA 72, 164-73).

Click on the pictures for larger images.

Meharde Stele - J.D.Hawkins Meharde Stele - J.D.Hawkins Sheizar Stele - J.D.Hawkins Sheizar Stele - J.D.Hawkins

Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000: 415-19 and Plts. 225-28.
Hawkins, J. D. "The Lower Part of the Meharde Stele," AnSt 38, 1988: 187-190.
Orthmann, W. Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst, Bonn, 1971: 104-5, 286-7, 519, Taf. 38.
Payne, A. Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Atlanta: SBL, 2012: 47-50.

Image sources:
J. David Hawkins, Corpus, 2000.