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Meharde

The stele has the the relief of a female figure and a Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription. The upper part of the two piece stele was reportedly found by the Orontes River in the Meharde village about 20 km northwest of Hama. The bottom part has appeared in antiquities market in the 1980s. Together it stands over 2 meters in height. The stele shows a female figure and a smaller figure next to her, both 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 the 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 pieces, upper part in the Beirut Museum and lower in the Hama Museum. The round topped stele is inscribed on the front and on the sides. The inscription is written for "Kupapiya, the wife of Taita, the Hero of the country Walastin" and has references to the "divine Queen of the Land". In connection with the monuments of Taita from Aleppo, the steles are roughly dated to sometime around the 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, 2000 Meharde Stele - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Sheizar Stele - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Sheizar Stele - J. D. Hawkins, 2000



Literature:
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.