Aleppo (Halab, Halep) came under Hittite rule in 15th century BCE. In 14th century BCE, after his Syrian campaign, Suppiluliuma I installed his son Telipinu as the ruler of Aleppo. Telipinu was succeeded by his son Talmi-Sharruma. During the Empire period, the city was overshadowed by Karkamis, which was the main administrative center of the Hittites in Syria. Aleppo was the center of the Storm-God cult in Syria.
Aleppo survived the attacks of the Sea Peoples as a Neo-Hittite city state beyond 1200 BCE. Excavations in the Aleppo citadel revealed remains of a Storm-god temple with multiple orthostats which date to post empire period, possibly around the 11th to 10th century BCE. The city came under Assyrian rule in the 9th century BCE.
A dedicatory inscription of Talmi-Sharruma (ALEPPO 1) is the only monumental inscription from the Empire period. Until the Syrian civil war most of the orthostats from Neo-Hittite period were still visible in the citadel while some others were in the Aleppo Museum. A large stele of Storm-god (BABYLON 1) and a couple of inscribed stone bowls (BABYLON 2 & 3), which were excavated in Babylon at the palace complex of Nabuchadnezzar II in 1899 (last row of pictures below), were apparently carried away from Aleppo as trophies. The stele is currently in Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
Click on the pictures for a larger image.
|Talmi-Sharruma inscription (ALEPPO 1)
||Aleppo Citadel - Temple of Storm God
||Storm God Stele (BABYLON 1) and a votive bowls (BABYLON 2 & 3)
Gonnella, J., W. Khayyata, K. Kohlmeyer, Die Zitadelle von Aleppo und der Tempel des Wettergottes: Neue Forschungen und Entdeckungen. Münster: Rhema, 2005.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000: 23538, 38897, 562 and plts. 206, 20912, 320.
Hawkins, J. D. "Cilicia, the Amuq, and Aleppo: New Light in Dark Age," NEA 72.4, Dec. 2009: 16473.
Hawkins, J. D. "The inscriptions of the Aleppo Temple," AnSt 61, 2011: 3554.
Kohlmeyer, K. The Temple of the Storm God in Aleppo during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. NEA 74.4, 2009: 190202.
Laroche, E. 1956. "L'inscription hittite d'Alep," Syria 33: 13141 (ALEPPO 1)
(List of Abbreviations)
Gertrude Bell, 1909, University of Newcastle Gertrude Bell Project (www.gerty.ncl.ac.uk)
Hatice Gonnet, 1979 (Koç Üniversitesi Digital Collections).
Dick Osseman, 2009, Aleppo Citadel Gallery.
World Monuments Fund (wmf.org).
Kay Kohlmeyer, 2009.
Bora Bilgin, 2011.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).