The large Hittite relief is in the Karabel Pass on the Kemalpasa-Torbali road, on the southern slope of a mountain, on the left side of the road. It is about 1.5 meter wide 2.5 meters high. A male figure is depicted standing with a bow in his right hand and a spear in his left, wearing a tunic and a cone-shaped hat. This relief is referred as Karabel A among the scholars. Between the head of the warrior and the spear there are three lines of a badly worn out hieroglyphic Luwian inscription, barely visible to the human eye. Monument was mentioned by Heredotus in his history where he identified it as the Egyptian pharaoh Sesostris: "... in Ionia there are two figures of this man carved upon rocks, one on the road by which one goes from the land of Ephesos to Phocaia, and the other on the road from Sardis to Smyrna. In each place there is a figure of a man cut in the rock, of four cubits and a span in height, holding in his right hand a spear and in his left a bow and arrows, ... and from the one shoulder to the other across the breast runs an inscription carved in Egyptian hieroglyphics, saying, 'This land with my shoulders I won for myself.' " (Herodotus II.106). Needless to say Heredotus was mistaken about the identity of the relief. The latest on the reading of the Karabel A inscription was published by David Hawkins in 1998. Hawkins reads the three line inscription as:|
Tarkasnawa, King of Mira (land).
(Son of) Alantalli, King of Mira land.
Grandson of (...), King of Mira land.
Alantalli reading is not certain. Also, although the name of the grandfather is not readable, it was suggested to be Kupanta-Kurunta. The reading of Hawkins also reveals Tarkasnawa to be the same person as Tarkondemos who appears in some Boğazköy seals (see also Torbalı). The Tarkasnawa reading has been widely approved by scholars. Thus the relief is dated to the second half of the 13th c. BCE or perhaps a bit late, corresponding to the reign of either Tudhaliya IV or Shuppiluliuma II.
About hundred meters north of the Karabel A relief was another relief similar to it and two separate hieroglyphic inscriptions. The three of them were named as Karabel B, Karabel C1 and Karabel C2 respectively. Unfortunately during the widening of the nearby road, these three carvings were completely destroyed in sometime between 1977 and 1982. Karabel B also displayed a standing male figure with a spear on his extended left hand and probably a bow on the right shoulder. The worn out inscription on the relief was unreadable other than the first character which was probably 'King'.
The inscriptions C1 and C2 were located on the perpendicular surfaces of the same rock just a few meters to the north of Karabel B. The C1 inscription was the better preserved of them with five hieroglyphic characters. Güterbock (in 1975) suggested a reading of 'Targasnawati' and Kohlmeyer read it as '(...) (of )Auwa(?)-wa-ti king/city'. The C2 inscription was in less readable shape. It had three lines of hieroglyphs, top line being the best preserved.
Hawkins, J.D. "Tarkasnawa King of Mira," AnSt 48, 1998: 1-31.
Kohlmeyer, K. "Felsbilder der hethitischen Großreichszeit", Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 15, 1983: 7-154 (12-28).
Tayfun Bilgin, 2012.
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, Beck, München 1976.
Gertrude Bell, 1907, University of Newcastle Gertrude Bell Project (www.gerty.ncl.ac.uk)
Kay Kohlmeyer, 1983.
David Hawkins, 1998.