The inscriptions of the Aleppo temple

Hawkins, J. D.
December 2011
Anatolian Studies (British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara);2011, Vol. 61, p35
Academic Journal
The location of the Temple of the Storm-God of Aleppo, one of the most famous cult-centres of antiquity, has long been a matter of speculation, but was finally revealed by excavations on Aleppo citadel begun in 1996. These have gradually uncovered the central cult-room of the temple with a rich inventory of sculptures datable to several phases of the construction. In 2003 came the dramatic exposure of a substantial Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription recording a dedication to the Storm-God by a ruler, Taita King of Palistin, incised alongside his own image standing in an attitude of reverence before the deity. This was followed in 2004-2005 by the discovery of a further, but broken, inscription on portal figures of the entrance, attributable to the same ruler. These inscriptions are datable by their palaeography approximately to the 11th century BC, a period previously regarded as a dark age lacking written records. They suggest the existence of a large and powerful kingdom in an area where the increasingly known archaeology shows an influx of people of Aegean connections bringing with them the distinctive Mycenaean IIIC pottery. A combination of the archaeological data and the evidence of the inscriptions begins to offer an outline history for this little-known age. This paper presents the first full publication of the inscriptions together with some comments on their background and implications.


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