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Muwatalli Relief

It is near the old Misis-Ceyhan road by Sirkeli village. Located southwest of the Yılanlıkale ruins, the relief is carved on a rock wall facing the Ceyhan river about 5 m. above the water level. It shows a Hittite king with a long robe. Inscriptions to the right of the relief has been read as "Muwatalli, Great King, the Hero, son of Mursili, Great King, the Hero." This refers to Muwatalli II, the son of Mursili II, and that makes the monument the oldest Hittite rock-relief currently known. Muwatalli II (1306-1282 BCE) is known to have moved the capital from Hattusa to Tarhuntassa, location of which is unknown but believed to be close to Sirkeli. That may explain the significance of the location of this relief. Another suggestion was that the site was used as a major crossing point on Ceyhan river.

The rock platform above the relief has two separated rock blocks with deep cracks between them. Two recesses are to be found at the rear end of the surface, probably related to libation ceremonies. These pits were part of a larger cultic installation which also included a building to the west of the rock reliefs.

In 1994 another rock-relief was found to the right of Muwatalli relief, though far less well preserved. It may have been chiseled out during antiquity. It is thought to be one of Muwatalli's sons.

Click on pictures for a larger image.

Sirkeli Project T. Bilgin T. Bilgin T. Bilgin K. Bittel E. Akurgal Second relief - Sirkeli Project

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Ehringhaus, H. "Die hethitischen Felsreliefs am Sirkeli Höyük in der Türkei - Bemerkungen zu Neufunden in Kilikien und Lykaonien," Nürnberger
    Blätter zur Archäologie
14, 1997/98: 89-104.
Güterbock, H. G. "Zum Felsrelief des Muwatalli am Sirkeli Höyük," IstMitt 47, 1997: 104.
Hrouda, B. "'Damnatio memoriae?' Neue Beobachtungen am Relief Nr. 2 bei Sirkeli/Türkei" Antike Welt 28, 1997: 471-74.
Kohlmeyer, K. "Felsbilder der hethitischen Großreichszeit", Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica 15, 1983: 7-154 (95-101).
Neve, P. "Bemerkungen zu einem neu entdeckten Felsrelief in Sirkeli," Antike Welt 27, 1996: 19-21.
Ussishkin, D. "Hollows, 'Cup-Marks', and Hittite Stone Monuments," AnSt 25, 1975: 85-103.

Image sources:
Tayfun Bilgin, Bora Bilgin, Ertuğrul Anıl, 2009.
Sirkeli Project
Kurt Bittel, Die Hethiter, München: Beck. 1976.
Ekrem Akurgal, The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations, Ankara: KTB. 2001.