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Karakuyu Hittite Dam

The Hittite dam is located in near the village of Karakuyu, at the Pınarbaşı district of Kayseri. Its presence was first noted by H. Z. Koşay and H. H. von der Osten during the course of a survey in 1931 which was followed by a publication of von den Osten in 1933. More recently the site was re-excavated by K. Emre, T. Sipahi, and T. Yıldırım from Ankara University in 1987-1989. This small irrigation reservoir has a 440 meter long U-shaped embankment on three sides, open side facing south. In the middle of the northern embankment is a 1.4 meter wide and 8 meter long sluice(?), which was built using large rectangular stone blocks in the style of empire period Hittite masonry. A large block of stone that formed part of this structure was found in situ and contains a two-line hieroglyphic inscription with the name Tudhaliya (IV) in it, and thus dates the structure to the second half of the 13th century BCE. The first line bears the cartouche of Tudhaliya IV with Labarna, Great King, and Hero titles on both sides of his name. To the right of this is the name of his father Hattusili. The second line lists the names of some gods and mountains. It has also been suggested that the structure might be the remnants of a chamber (similar to the so-called Südburg in Hattusa) which possibly has been referred to in the second line of the inscription as the "Storm-god's sacred vault(?)" (TONITRUS.PURUS.L. 417.4).

For preservation purposes, at some point in the 1930s or 40s the inscription was cut off from the large block that contained it and removed from the site. It is currently on display in the Kayseri Museum. A second large stone block that bears the remains of an incomplete inscription remains in situ.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

View of embankment from south - B. Bilgin, 2011 View of northern embankment with the remains of sluice(?) in the middle - B. Bilgin, 2011 B. Bilgin, 2011 B. Bilgin, 2011 North and east embankments - B. Bilgin, 2011
T. Bilgin, 2006 K. Bittel, 1976

Emre, K. "Hittite Dam of Karakuyu," in Prince Mikasa (ed.), Essays on Anatolian archaeology. Wiesbaden, 1993: 1–42.
Forlanini, M. "Le Mont Sarpa," Hethitica VII, 1987: 73–87.
Hawkins, J. D. "Tudhaliya the Hunter," FsdeRoos, 2006: 49–76 (61–62, Fig. 11).
Hawkins, J. D. “Hittite Monuments and Their Sanctity,” StAs 9, 2015: 1–10.
Meriggi, P. Manuale di eteo geroglifico. Parte II: Testi 2a e 3a serie. Roma, 1975: 315–16.
(List of Abbreviations)

Image sources:
Bora Bilgin, 2011.
Tayfun Bilgin, 2006.
Kurt Bittel. Denkmäler eines hethitischen Großkönigs des 13. Jahrhunderts vor Christus, 1984.