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Asmacık Stele

Asmacık stele and inscription
The basalt stele was found in 1970 in a house in the Asmacık village (previously Tilhalit), which lies in the Oğuzeli province of Gaziantep, about 47 km south of the Gaziantep city center. Top section of the stele is broken. On the flattened front side is a Storm God figure, and on the rounded back side are the last three lines of a Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription. The surviving part of the stele is about 80 cm in height, 41 cm in width, and 20 cm in depth. Unfortunately the inscription is too worn out to be read. Stylistically a date around the 10th to 9th century BCE has been suggested. The unexcavated Tilhalit mound which lies about 1 km northeast of the village may be suspected as the source of this and other finds in the surrounding area. The stele is currently in the inventory of the Gaziantep Archaeology Museum.

Asmacık stele
Another broken stele was found in 1933 used as a building material in a wall in the same village. On the surviving bottom section the legs of a person, probably a Storm God, can be seen standing on a bull. The long object in front might be either the bottom part of a spear or the top of a leash (see Cekke). The basalt block is 73 cm in height, 44 cm in width, and 29 cm thickness. The stele may date to the 9th to 8th century BCE. It is currently on display in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara.

Demirkonak orthostat
Museum label states that the basalt orthostat was found in Demirkonak village just a few km to the west of Asmacık. It depicts 4 persons holding hands (?) and facing right. Rectangular block is 130 cm in length, 70 cm in width and 50 cm in depth. Due to damage details of the reliefs have been greatly lost. Three figures in front with plaited skirts, wide belts, and veils are females. The last figure at the back is a bit shorter and has different style headpiece/hair and clothing, and perhaps is a young person. He may have an object in his right hand or under the arm. The orthostat is on display at Gaziantep Archaeology Museum.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

Asmacık stele shown from multiple angles - J. D. Hawkins in 2000 Front of the stele showing the Storm God relief and a line drawing - B. Balcıoğlu in 2009 Lower half of a Storm God stele from Asmacık/Tilhalit - T. Bilgin, 2019 Demirkonak orthostat - T. Bilgin, 2019

Balcıoğlu, B. Gaziantep Arkeoloji Müzesi Geç Hitit Dönemi Taş Eserleri, Gaziantep, 2009: 11, 28.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000: 564–65 and plt. 322.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 3, Berlin, 2024: 281.
Kalaç, M. "Einige Stelen mit hieroglyphisch-luwischen Inschriften oder ohne sie," CRRAI 20. 1975: 187-88 and plts. XLII–XLIII.
Yağcı, R. "Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesindeki Tanrı Adad betimlemeli bir grup eser," GsAkyurt-Devam, 1995: 373–87 and plts. 19–20.
(List of Abbreviations)

Image sources:
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
Burhan Balcıoğlu, 2009.
Tayfun Bilgin, 2014, 2019.