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Ördekburnu

The stele was found in 1888 by Felix von Luschan by a hill called Ördekburnu, about 18 km south of Zincirli, roughly midway between the villages of Kayacýk and Yukarý Bilenler. The location was within the territory of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Sam'al centered on Zincirli. The basalt stele is about 120 cm high and 54 cm wide at the top but tapers toward the bottom. On the upper side of the stele, there is a relief of a table scene that is similar to other funerary steles from the region. It shows a standing male and a seated female figure on two sides of a small table. The bottom half of the front side of the stele is covered with a 9-line inscription written with Aramaic alphabet in Sam'alian dialect, and there is a 10th line written vertically on the left side. At the very top are the remnants of some symbols that may be similar to those found on some of the royal monuments in Zincirli. The stele is a funerary monument for a female, possibly a member of the royal family, perhaps a queen, whose name probably starts as "Piya-". The inscription is written in first person by the deceased, who asks for offerings to gods, as well as to herself to be made in the royal necropolis. A. Lemaire and B. Sass (2013) suspect that the stele may have originated from a nearby mound which might be the location of another necropolis of the Sam'alian royalty, older than the one in Gerçin. They suggest a date between 820 and 760 BCE, during the reign of King Kulamuwa or his successor. The stele is on display in the Islanbul Archaeology Museum.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

T. Bilgin, 2020 T. Bilgin, 2020 T. Bilgin, 2020

Literature:
Bonatz, D. Syro-hethitische Grabdenkmal, Mainz: Zabern, 2000 (C 52).
Lemaire, A and B. Sass, "The Mortuary Stele with Sam’alian Inscription from Ördekburnu near Zincirli," BASOR 369, 2013: 57–136.
Orthmann, W. Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst, Bonn, 1971. (Ördekburnu 1)
von Luschan, F. and G. Jacoby, Ausgrabungen in Sendschirli, vol. IV. Berlin, 1911: 329–30.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, 2020.