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Karadağ Inscriptions

About 35 km north of the Karaman city center is the inactive volcano Karadağ. Its highest point is the 2271 meters high Mahalaç (Mahalıç) hill. It is about 13 km southeast of Kızıldağ. On the hill are the ruins of a Byzantine church with a chapel and monastery. On the eastern side of the church, there is a rock-cut corridor from Hittite times. Whatever the corridor was leading to has now disappeared under the ruins of the church. On the northwest wall of the corridor, there is a 2 meters long, one-line inscription in Hieroglyphic Luwian with a partially damaged end on the left (KARADAĞ 1). J. D. Hawkins reads it as: "In this place (to/for?) the celestial Storm-God, the divine Great Mountain (and) every god, the Sun, Great King, Hartapu ..., (he) who conquered every country, (to/for?) the celestial Storm-God and every god ..." Diagonally opposite of the inscription, on the southeast wall of the corridor is a second short inscription that only says "Great King Hartapu" (KARADAĞ 2). The name Hartapu also appears at Kızıldağ, Türkmen-Karahöyük, and Burunkaya. It has been dated to the 8th century BCE.

Around the year 2000 a military radar base was built right around the ruins and access is restricted.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

The corridor, looking west - G. Bell 1907 The corridor, looking west - B. B. Charles, 1911 KARADAĞ 1 - V. Höhfeld, 2000 KARADAĞ 1 - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Drawing of KARADAĞ 1 - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 KARADAĞ 2 - J. D. Hawkins, 2000

Ehringhaus, H. Das Ende, das ein Anfang war: Felsreliefs und Felsinschriften der luwischen Staaten Kleinasiens vom 12. bis 8./7. Jahrh. v. Chr., Mainz, 2014: 28–31.
Hawkins, J. D. "The Inscriptions of the Kızıldağ and the Karadağ in the Light of the Yalburt Inscription," FsAlp, 1992: 259–75.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin, 2000: 429–42 and plts. 240–42.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 3, Berlin, 2024: 256, 336, 338.
(List of Abbreviations)

Image sources:
Gertrude Bell, 1907, University of Newcastle Gertrude Bell Project (
Benson B. Charles, Hittite Inscriptions, Ithaca, 1911.
Volker Höhfeld, (CC BY-SA 4.0), 2000.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.