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Kızıldağ - Hartapu Monument

Kızıldağ (meaning Red Mountain in Turkish) is one of the cones of the Karadağ group of mountains nearby Karaman. Near the top of the mountain is a rock outcrop on which a section of the rocks are worked to form a flat platform in front of a rock wall. On the flattened surface of the wall, there is the carving of a seated man holding a cane in left hand and a bowl in the right. The Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription right next to the head of the figure gives his name as "Great King, Hartapu" (KIZILDAĞ 1). A little to its left, on the flattened horizontal surface was a second inscription: "Beloved(?) (of) the mighty Storm-God, the Sun, Great King, Hartapu" (KIZILDAĞ 2). On the vertical surface right next to the second was a third inscription in three lines: "Beloved(?) (of) the Storm-God, The Sun, Great King, Hartapu, son of Mursili, Great King, hero, built this city" (KIZILDAĞ 3). Apparently the second and third inscriptions were destroyed sometime before 1980 by treasure seekers. The boulder with the second inscription lies a few meters below the rock outcrop.

About 150 meter southeast of the rock outcrop is the so called staircase inscription. At the top of the stairs to the right, carved on the rock wall is the two-line inscription that reads "The Sun, Great King, Hartapu, Hero, beloved of the Storm-God, son of Mursili, Great King, Hero: by the goodness (of) the celestial Storm-God (and of) every god, (he) who conquered every country, (and) conquered the country of Muska. All the territories ... the Great King, (titles), took (by favor of) the celestial Storm-God." The Muska mentioned here is probably a reference to the Phrygian state in western Anatolia which appears in Assyrian sources as Muški during that time period.

Somewhere on the eastern side of Kızıldağ a fallen rectangular stele with a round top was reported by Piero Meriggi in 1963, but has not been reported since then. Only the top line of the inscription was readable: "Mursi[li], Great King, Hero ...".

Hartapu name appears in three other Hittite monuments at Karadağ, Türkmen-Karahöyük and Burunkaya. The relief of the king stylistically dates to the 8th century BCE. While the Kızıldağ insciptions have Empire period features, that's probably due to intentional archaism, since King Hartapu has been dated more convincingly to the 8th century BCE after the discovery of Türkmen-Karahöyük inscription.

The rocks also bear inscriptions and carvings from later periods.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

Throne Relief and Inscription
E. Anıl, 2009 B. Bilgin, 2009 B. Bilgin, 2009 C. Süer, 2011 C. Süer, 2011 K. Bittel, 1976 E. Rossner, 1988
Second and Third inscription, and Mursili Stele
Second inscription - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Second inscription - E. Anıl, 2009 Third inscription - G. Bell, 1907 Third inscription - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 Mursili stele - J. D. Hawkins, 2000 (photo: P. Meriggi)
Staircase Inscription
Staircase and inscription - C. Süer, 2011 Staircase and inscription - C. Süer, 2011 Staircase inscription detail - C. Süer, 2011

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: 14–27.
Hawkins, J. D. "The Inscriptions of the Kızıldağ and the Karadağ in the Light of the Yalburt Inscription," in FsAlp, Ankara, 1992: 259–75.
Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, Vol 1, Berlin, 2000: 429–42 and plts. 236–39, 242.
Hawkins, J. D. and M. Weeden. "The New Inscription from Türkmenkarahöyük and its Historical Context," AoF 48, 2021: 384–99.
(List of Abbreviations)

Image sources:
Ertuğrul Anıl, 2009.
Bora Bilgin, 2009.
Cüneyt Süer, 2011.
Eberhard Rossner, Die hethitischen Felsreliefs in der Türkei, München, 1988.
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, München, 1976.
J. David Hawkins, 2000.
Gertrude Bell, 1907, University of Newcastle Gertrude Bell Project (