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Hittitology today: Studies on Hittite and Neo-Hittite Anatolia in Honor of Emmanuel Laroche’s 100th Birthday

Alice Mouton

III. Histoire et géographie historique

The Northern Border of Tabal

Zsolt Simon

Texte intégral

This research was carried out during my fellowship period at the Koç University financed by the TÜBİTAK. I am very grateful to both institutions as well as to Joanna Derman, who kindly improved the style of the text.


  • 1 E.g. Bittel 1970: 133-134 (“I do not, however, think this evidence is strong enough to prove that T (...)

1Most of the Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions found to the north of the Kızılırmak River have been known for a very long time (for KARABURUN see already Anderson 1901, for ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2 Forrer 1927: 36 who already talks about Tabalite inscriptions, for ALİŞAR Gelb 1935: 73), the only exceptions being the KIRŞEHİR-letter, found and published not long ago (Akdoğan/Hawkins 2007- 08 and 2010) and a further fragment, that may or may not belong to this letter (Weeden 2013). However, until today, most of the publications, not only those written by non-specialists, but also Hittitologists, mark the northern border of Tabal with the river called Kızılırmak (without any argumentation).1 Since they did not attribute this region to any other Neo-Hittite state, they practically exclude this area from the Neo-Hittite world and leave the existence of these inscriptions unexplained.

  • 2 Also Wittke’s map is problematic, since she marks areas with Phrygian inscriptions where there aren (...)
  • 3 Though somewhat earlier he states that there were no Neo-Hittite kingdoms to north of the river (Su (...)

2Exceptions are very few. From a cartographic point of view, only Anne- Maria Wittke 2007b and Andreas Fuchs extend Tabal beyond the river (Fuchs 2007b, 2007e, 2007f but not in Fuchs 2007a), presumably based on the aforementioned inscriptions, though Fuchs later fills this area with entirely invented territories of lesser Tabalite kingdoms, Atuna and Ištuanda (latter with question mark, Fuchs 2007c, 2007d).2 Beyond that, Geoffrey Summers (2009: 660 n. 16) suggests in a footnote “that at its greatest extent Tabal extended to north of the area from which hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions are (currently) known”.3 According to Wittke 2014: 751-752

“Tabaler (bzw. tabalische Vasallen oder kleine eigenständige Fürstentümer im ‘Grenzbereich’) griffen offenbar ab dem 9. Jh. [i]mmer wieder über den Halys nach Norden aus (z. B. Karaburun, Topaklı oder in Grenzlage? Çalapverdi mit der nördlichsten immobilen hieroglyphenluwischen Inschrift), zuletzt unter Mugallu (...), der sein Herrschaftsgebiet (...) erheblich auch in den Halysbogen ausdehnen konnte”.

3Unfortunately, without any arguments, this picture is entirely speculative, including the dating and the assumption of the extension of the kingdom of Mugallu. The views of Özgüç 1971: 118 were similar: he assumed a Tabalite rule for a certain period or on several occasions based on Çalapverdi. Finally, a real, but short discussion of this problem can be found only recently by Mark Weeden (2010: 46, 58) and Sanna Aro (1998: 250-254, 2012: 388), both of them leaving the problem unsolved.

4In this paper I will address this problem from all three theoretically possible points of view: linguistics, history, and archaeology. I will discuss later, in the appropriate parts, what are the chronological limits of these answers. My point of view will be Tabalite, i.e. I will not discuss the much vexed question of the role of Phrygian and Phrygians in this area, not because of the obvious time limits, but for a simple methodological reason: since Tabal as such is better known than the Phrygians, the question of the northern border of Tabal can be more easily settled than the Phrygian question. And a more or less clear view on this region from a Tabalite point of view will be conducive to our understanding the Phrygians’s role as well. Finally, for the sake of simplicity, I treat Tabal here in the traditional way as a conglomerate of small local kingdoms, without making any judgment about its internal structure and about its exact members south to the Kızılırmak.

A linguist’s answer

5The appropriate formulation of this question is that of the northern border of the Luwian-speaking area in Central Anatolia. Note that intersection with other language areas (notably Phrygian and Kaškean) is possible, moreover, rather expected, but this won’t be pursued further here.

6Though the number of Luwian inscriptions beyond the Kızılırmak is remarkable, their sheer presence unfortunately does not mean the presence of Luwian speakers. A good example of this problem is provided by Tell Ahmar, where the Luwian inscriptions disguise the Semitic names of the local protagonists, and thus probably the Semitic speaking majority of the local population, restricting the usage of Luwian to the official level (cf. Bunnens 2006: 86-87 with refs.).

  • 4 The otherwise unattested name Katunis of the KIRŞEHİR-letter (§4) can be explained as a regular con (...)
  • 5 Ni(ya)s is well attested in the Luwian corpus, cf. KULULU lead strip 1 (19), 2 §1, Hawkins’s normal (...)
  • 6 The only unexplained name is Sipis, though a Luwian connection may be possible if it represents a c (...)

7The content and the medium of these inscriptions can, however, provide a key to understanding the local sociolinguistic situation. Unfortunately, the stone blocks of ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2 cannot contribute to this problem, as they are badly preserved and practically unintelligible. The rock inscription of KARABURUN, a kind of compact of King Sipis with a governor also called Sipis, and the KIRŞEHİR-letter with the fragment on lead strips, a letter of a high official to his overlord shows only that Luwian was used for representative and administrative purposes and tells nothing about the speakers. Though the protagonists have mainly Luwian names (Katunis,4 Muwatalis, Ni(ya)s5, Tuwatis),6 one could explain away this evidence arguing that this reflects only the custom of a Luwian(ised) elite of a non-Luwian population. ALİŞAR, however, shows a graffito consisting of an only partially preserved word and a personal name Hatusamuwas on the ring- base of a vessel. The placement of the graffito on the bottom of the vessel argues against the possibility of a Besitzerinschrift and thus against the possibility of arriving to Alişar from somewhere else through commerce or similar. Unless one prefers Anatolians traveling with potsherds in their pocket, this graffito is therefore to be treated as a product of a local person. Thus this graffito is a clear piece of evidence that Luwian was used also for everyday purposes and, furthermore, we have to count with Luwian speakers in this area. In other words, linguistically speaking the area between Alişar and the Kızılırmak, and in general the area of the Luwian inscriptions to the north of Kızılırmak must be considered as a part of the Luwian speaking area. As for the chronology: this region was of course a Luwian speaking area from the beginning of the Neo-Hittite period and the decline and disappearance of this language is part of a bigger, unsolved problem that cannot be treated here. The date of these specific inscriptions will be discussed below in the historical section.

A historian’s answer

8There are three theoretical possibilities: (a) the region beyond the Kızılırmak did not belong to Tabal at all (and in this case it does not even need to belong to a Neo-Hittite kingdom); (b) it did belong to Tabal, but represents a local polity unidentified until now; (c) it did belong to Tabal and it belonged to an already known Tabalite kingdom. Other Neo-Hittite states cannot be involved due to obvious geographic reasons.

9Since the Assyrian sources do not reveal anything about this region (and the local Phrygian inscriptions are either not intelligible or not historic, partly also too late), one can rely only upon the local Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions.

  • 7 The handbook of Bryce 2012 does not mention him at all, for unknown reasons. Nevertheless, despite (...)

10ALİŞAR and ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2 obviously do not help. Unfortunately, KARABURUN does not mention the name of the kingdom of Sipis. He is, however, not a so-called “Great King”, just a simple one, thus he belongs either to one of the already known smaller kingdoms (e.g. the nearby Atuna or Šinuhtu) or not. That is precisely why before the discovery of the KIRŞEHİR it would have been possible to argue that this area did not belong to Tabal at all and thus there would have been some merit in drawing the border of Tabal at the Kızılırmak. Interestingly enough, to the best of my knowledge, this type of argumentation was not used. On the contrary: if Sipis and his kingdom were noticed at all, they were always considered to be as a part of Tabal (cf. Jasink 1995; Hawkins 2000).7

11This situation has changed considerably with the discovery of the KIRŞEHİR-letter. Though its content is only partly understood, it is clear that we are dealing with a letter in administrative matters sent by a “servant”, Muwatalis, to his overlord, Tuwatis, who was identified with Great King Tuwatis of Tabal (Akdoğan/Hawkins 2007-08: 11; Akdoğan/Hawkins 2010: 10-11; Giusfredi 2010: 236, 239; Weeden 2010: 46). Though one cannot exclude the possibility that this is only a sketch or a copy of the letter sent, i.e. Kırşehir is the place of the sender, Muwatalis; it is still more probable that this is the place of the receiver, i.e. that of Tuwatis. Both cases lead, however, to the same result, namely, that this region belonged to Tabal from an administrative point of view (while many scholars extend Phrygia into this region as well, it is very improbable that high officials in Phrygia used Hieroglyphic Luwian for correspondence).

  • 8 Weeden’s formulation (“it may indicate that he [= Tuwatis, Zs. S.] (…) had interests north of the K (...)

12But to which Tabalite kingdom did this area belong? While the choice of the Great Kings of Tabal is obvious due to the frequent occurrence of the name Tuwati in this dynasty (see below), one must mention that Muwatalis calls Tuwatis only as his “lord” (DOMINUS-ni-). Thus his rank, strictly speaking, is not clear. Though it is more probable that this Tuwatis represents one of the Great Kings of Tabal, one should also consider the possibility that he does not and thus, theoretically, this region may not belong to or may belong not only to the realm of the Great Kings, but to one of the already known kingdoms or even to an until now unidentified one.8

13At this juncture, it must be mentioned that it has been proposed that the land of Parzuta, the enemy of Great King Wasusarmas, whose fight is commemorated in the TOPADA inscription, lies beyond the Kızılırmak and when the inscription mentions that the Tabalite forces had to cross a river to reach the land of the hostile city of Ta-x (§20 wa/i7-tù-‘ ANNUS tara/i-zi/a TERRA-REL+ra/i ta-x(URBS) a-tax CRUS+FLUMEN- tax”), the river to cross was the Kızılırmak (Woudhuizen 2007: 24, 34; Weeden 2010: 56-57 also considers it

14as one of the possibilities). The basic problem is that we do not know where these polities were located and what their connection with each other is (see the critical overview of Weeden 2010: 55-58). Moreover, the very position of the TOPADA inscription and the fact that it reports a series of victorious campaigns allows for the possibility that Wasusarmas attacked from the north, the south, or the east, and thus Parzuta and Ta-x were located to the west. Then, in case of a northern attack, the river might have been the Kızılırmak (Weeden 2010: 57), further supporting the assumption of the Tabalite rule north to the river, but in case of an southern or eastern attack this river might have been a completely different one (e.g. the Melendiz, also in case of a continuing northern attack, Weeden 2010: 57-58). If Wasusarmas attacked from the south, then the river might have been the Kızılırmak and it would mean that he re-established the Tabalite rule to the north of the river – re-established, since independent of the circumstance, if this was a mutiny or a hostile attack, his predecessor, Tuwatis had already ruled there, assuming his identity with the receiver of the letter. This, however, would locate only the city of Ta-x to the north of the Kızılırmak since, as mentioned, its relationship with Parzuta is not clear (Weeden 2010: 56; contra Woudhuizen 2007: 24, 34). All in all, the TOPADA inscription cannot help us at the present level of understanding.

15The next question is the chronology of the Tabalite control. Most of these inscriptions cannot be dated archaeologically, since KARABURUN is a rock inscription, and KIRŞEHİR and ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2 are stray finds. Only ALİŞAR can be dated archaeologically being a stratified object (Alişar 4bM) into the 8th century (Hawkins 2000: 568 with refs.).

16The second possibility is the palaeographical dating. Unfortunately, lacking Hieroglyphic Luwian palaeography this can give only very vague results: Hawkins dates KARABURUN in the late 8th century, ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2 in the 9th-8th centuries (Hawkins 2000: 481, 497), and KIRŞEHİR in the later 8th century (Akdoğan/Hawkins 2007-08: 11; Akdoğan/Hawkins 2010: 10; followed by Giusfredi 2010: 236). Nevertheless one must call attention to the fact that Hawkins 2000 by principle does not date Tabalite inscriptions after 700 (see also Hawkins 1982: 429 and Hawkins 2008: 40), which is highly problematic since the last known king of Tabal, [...]ussi, is mentioned ca. 640 (cf. Aro 1998: 93-94). In other words, the lower chronological limit of these inscriptions should be the mid of the 7th century.

17The final possibility is the historical dating based on the content. Such information is available only in case of KIRŞEHİR, if Tuwatis is indeed to be identified with a Great King Tuwatis of Tabal. But which one? Akdoğan and Hawkins (2007-08: 11 and 2010: 11) identify him without hesitation with Tuwatis mentioned in 743 by Tiglatpileser III. This is, however, only one possibility because we have a plethora of existing or assumed Tuwatis:

  • D’Alfonso2012: 177 suggested that the king of the country Tuali among the members of the Nairi- coalition against Tiglatpileser I. (1114-1076 BC, RIMA 2 A.0.87.1 iv 72) was in fact a king of Tabal, as another Tabalite king called Tuwatis could have given his name to his country in a regularly rhotacised form. Whether this theory is correct or not, such an early Tuwatis can be safely discarded on palaeographical grounds.

  • D’Alfonso2012: 177 follows the proposal of Bossert 1944: 278 (also accepted by Barnett 1953: 90) that the MALATYA 6 label “tu-wa/i-ti REX INFANS” refers to a boy: this text is written on an orthostat (Malatya A/7) showing a woman in an offering scene in front of a female deity (Sauska) and behind her a boy with an animal to sacrifice. D’Alfonso suggests furthermore that he was the member of the dynasty of the neighbouring Tabal. Since this relief belongs to the so-called Lions Gate, its dating is highly problematic, as it is well-known, thus, one cannot argue here chronologically. Set aside that the assumption of showing a prince of a neighbouring land is ad hoc and cannot be proven, it must be mentioned that other scholars believe that the text refers to the woman, a queen or princess, either as the daughter of a king Tuwatis of Tabal (van Loon 1990: 4 [he dates the king around 920], 6), which would still add yet another Tuwatis to our list; or herself as Tuwatis (Delaporte 1940: 19; Hawkins 2000: 287, 308; Zehnder 2010: 293-294 who does not quote the alternative proposal of Bossert). Van Loon bases his interpretation on the text what he translates as ‘child of king Tuwati’. However, d’Alfonso rightly emphasizes that all known texts consisting of a personal name and title always refer to the depicted person.

18A strong argument against the interpretation as a boy is provided by the parallel scene of the orthostat Malatya A/9b. It shows a king libating in front of a god and behind him a boy with an animal to sacrifice.

19There is a label here too (MALATYA 5): “PUGNUS-mili REX *462”, which thus unambiguously refers to the offering person and not to the boy who can thus be identified as a servant at the sacrifice. Accordingly, MALATYA 6 would refer to the woman and not to the boy. But can we reject the notion that a male member of the royal family, for instance the son of the couple is helping in the sacrifice? This was exactly the idea of Bossert 1944: 278, who also pointed out another scene from Karkamish, where Tuwarsis, a young prince, member of the royal family was carrying the sacrifice animal (KARKAMIŠ A7j).

20This text itself, “tu-wa/i-ti REX INFANS”, is unfortunately ambiguous: as Hawkins 2000: 308 underlines, it lacks both VIR2 and FEMINA signs, thus the gender of the INFANS cannot be ascertained. However, d’Alfonso 2012: 177 n. 8. rightly pointed out that Tuwatis is attested until now only as a male name.

21Nevertheless, strict boundaries did not always exist between male and female names in Anatolia and thus this argument is not necessarily compelling, especially since this name is, etymologically speaking, opaque (see also Aro 1998: 127; Zehnder 2010: 294). All in all, it is currently impossible to decide safely between the two options, though the presumably male name points to Bossert’s proposal of a prince called Tuwatis.

  • 9 If a highly speculative remark is allowed: the possibility of a king or prince called Tuwatis of Ma (...)

22Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that, contra d’Alfonso, there is no evidence that he belonged to a royal house other than that of Malatya and the parallel scene in Karkamish strongly supports this. In other words, this particular Tuwatis cannot be considered as the recipient of the letter, especially because we do not know if he reached the adulthood at all or if he followed his father on the throne at all. Furthermore, while it cannot a priori be excluded that the region to the north of Halys belonged to Malatya, this is rather unlikely from a geographical point of view (needless to say, those who prefer to see Tuwatis in the princess can also discard this Tuwatis).9

    • 10 Set aside the inscriptions that cannot be dated, there is a group of inscriptions that cannot be mo (...)
    • 11 Contra Giusfredi 2010: 236, the fact that the other Luwian documents written on lead also date to t (...)

    The next possibility in identifying Tuwatis is Tuatti, mentioned in 836 by Shalmaneser III. He cannot be excluded so easily, since we do not possess inscriptions from Tabal that definitely predate Tuwatis of 743.10 In other words, we cannot date the beginning of the so-called KULULU-style of the letter (to be observed in the AŠŠUR-letters, in the economic documents from KULULU, the KULULU stelae and the SULTANHAN inscription of Wasusarma), which of course could have started very early. But even if we had such securely dated inscriptions, this style is a kind of handwriting whose chronology is absolutely unknown to us.11

  • The final possibility depends upon the grammatical interpretation of the following Urartian passage from the description of the Neo-Hittite campaign of Argišti I (mentioned 778-764, Fuchs2012):

  • 12 König 1957: 89.
  • 13 Melikišvili 1960: 214; Arutjunjan 2001: 160 (here [’a-a]l-du-bi, cf. 163); Salvini 2008: 334, again (...)
  • 14 Since this is a genitive construction with a possessor in agreement with KUR-ni=ø in absolutive, th (...)


Itú-a-te-hi-ni-i KUR-ni[-e ’]a-al-du-bi12 or


Itú-a-te-hi-ni-i KUR-ni [’a-al]-du-bi13 (CTU A 8-3 ii 16)


Tuate=hi=i=ni=ø KUR-ni=ø14

  • 15 The translation ‘the land of Tuatehi’ (Melikišvili 1960: 216; Arutjunjan 2001: 161) leaves the suff (...)

23It is traditionally translated as ‘the land of the Tuatid’, lit. ‘the land of the one belonging to Tuate’ (König 1957: 89; Weeden 2010: 40).15 The ‘Tuatid’ may refer either to the dynasty of a Tuate or to the son of a specific Tuate. If it is a dynasty, then there is no need to assume one more Tuwati, since this ancestor can be identified with Tuatti, mentioned by Shalmaneser III in 836. If it refers to the son of a specific Tuate then one might also want to assume one more Tuwati around 800 (both options mentioned by Hawkins/ Postgate 1988; Hawkins 2000: 427), otherwise Shalmaneser’s Tuatti would have reigned unusually long.

24And this *Tuwati could also have been the recipient of the letter. Nevertheless, it would be unclear and strange why Argišti would not have named the defeated king, calling him only by his paternal name instead. However, considering that this naming practice was widespread in the Urartian texts (especially in those that referred to territories to the north of Urartu) and it is a cross-culturally widespread practice to name a region after its ruling dynasty, I find the dynastic interpretation more plausible and thus I do not assume one more Tuwatis.

25All in all, one can date the letter both around 836 and around 743. The inscriptions thus do not give us precise dating criteria, we can thus only suspect that this region stood under the control of Tabal approx. in the 9th-8th centuries and in the first half of the 7th century.

An archaeologist’s answer

26As we can see, currently we have written evidence only for the period 9th-first half of the 7th centuries BC, at best, thus I will restrict the archaeological side of this problem to this period, i.e. approximately to the (earlier) Middle Iron Age and to the region between the river and the northernmost inscriptions. Though these inscriptions have been known for a long time, early research even suggested that this region was a kind of no-man’s-land between Tabal and the Phrygians (Mellink 1965: 322), the surveys (for the region of Kaman-Kalehöyük see Sachihiro Omura’s annual survey since 1986 published in AAS; for the region of Alişar see Branting 1996; for Çalapverdi see Özgüc 1971: 117-119) and of course the excavations themselves (Çadır Höyük, Kaman-Kalehöyük, Yassıhöyük) demonstrated that this is not the case (see already Aro 1998: 251).

27The characteristic features of Tabalite material culture, such as rock reliefs, royal stelae, and funerary stelae are missing from the region under consideration (cf. also Summers 2009: 660) and Özgüç’s observation that the mound of Çalapverdi fits the type of Iron Age mountain fortresses known from Göllüdağ, Kululu or Havuzköy (Özgüç 1971: 117-118) may have been invalidated now with the recovery of an Empire period inscription supposedly originating from the same site (Taş/Weeden 2010: 349). While one may argue that due to recent surveys this lacuna may appear real (Summers 2009: 660), the continuous recovery of Luwian inscriptions from secondary contexts (just like that of the letter) reminds us that this may be a premature conclusion. Moreover, the very medium of the inscriptions beyond the Kızılırmak, i.e. the rock inscription of KARABURUN and the lead strips rather point to the presence of Tabalite material culture, at least in the circles of the administrative elite.

28Nevertheless, there is one aspect that definitely unifies this region with Tabal: pottery. The period of smaller pottery zones of the Early Iron Age is followed by a more uniform Middle Iron Age, where the Silhouette Ware / Alişar IV ware (9th-7th centuries) originating in the local, northern EIA pottery within the Kızılırmak bend (Genz 2000; Genz 2004: 223; Genz 2005: 75-76; Summers 2009: 660-661), unifies a vast area from the southern foothills of the Pontic Mountains down to Göllüdağ/Niğde and the Taurus mountains (Genz 2000: 40; Genz 2004: 225; Summers 2009: 660-661 with refs.), present also in Kaman-Kalehöyük, Çadır Höyük and Çalapverdi. Based on the broad geographical coincidence, Summers already connected this pottery with the kingdom of Tabal (Summers 1994 and 2009: 660-661). The fact that it can be relatively well separated from the monochrome Grey Ware prevailing west of the Kızılırmak (Genz 2011: 346, 349-350 with “border description”, though the border is definitely not sharp; Kealhofer/Grave 2011: 420-421) supports, though does not prove, the idea that there is a political factor behind its spread (Summers 2009: 661 rightly underlines that the date of the demise of this style is crucial in this respect: he plausibly connects it with the “murky” end of Tabal, but this question obviously needs a separate investigation). However, until the internal structure of Tabal is not clear, this must remain an open question.

29Nevertheless, currently there is no evidence that Tabal, in political sense, extended as far as the Pontic Mountains, thus the overlap is not perfect. It does not coincide with the linguistic boundaries either, since it includes not only Luwian speaking territories, but also regions with Phrygian inscriptions on the north.

30In other words, while a cultural unity expressed through this pottery can be observed, the boundaries of this cultural unity do not coincide with the political and linguistic borders, at least according to our current evidence.


31In the 9th-8th centuries the Luwian linguistic area spread well beyond the Kızılırmak, at least to Alişar.

32If it was a monolingual or mixed area (notably with Phrygian speakers), and if so, since when, requires a separate discussion. Politically speaking, the region beyond the river, at least the area of Karaburun and Kırşehir, belonged to Tabal. If it belonged to the realm of the Great Kings or was rather a local kingdom depends on the identity of Tuwatis with one of the Great Kings, a view that I personally support. However, we do not have any evidence yet to include the eastern half of the Kızılırmak bend (i.e. the region of Çalapverdi and Alişar). In another paper I argued that the analysis of the toponyms of the economic documents called the KULULU lead strips point to a Tabalite rule exactly in this eastern half (Simon forthcoming b). If this is correct, the entire region between Alişar and the Kızılırmak can be treated as an integral part of Tabal. Archaeologically speaking this area was a part of the Alişar IV Ware pottery zone, but it spread over a far greater territory than Tabal itself. Although, unsurprisingly, the three disciplines (linguistics, history, archaeology) give different descriptions of the region of the inscriptions beyond the river, one point, however, is clear today: the traditional view drawing the border of Tabal at the Kızılırmak is wrong. It is time to re-draw our maps.


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1 E.g. Bittel 1970: 133-134 (“I do not, however, think this evidence is strong enough to prove that Tabal extended so far to the north”); Hawkins 1982: 374; Hawkins 1995a: 1296; Wäfler 1983: 191 (with map between 190 und 191); Jasink 1995: 228; Kuhrt 1995: 563; Starke 1999: cols. 523-524; Starke 2002; Yiğit 2000: 177; Melchert apud Bryce 2003: 94; Bryce 2003: 97, 2009: 682-683; Bryce 2012: 32, 140, 141; some of the maps published in Wittke/Olshausen/Szydlak 2007 (Fuchs 2007a; Novák 2007 whose map does not even consider Tabal as a Luwian state!; Wittke 2007a; for exceptions see below); Collins 2007: 79; Popko 2008: 170; Sagona/Zimansky 2009: 294; Melville 2010: 89; Genz 2011: 331. Though one may argue that these maps are ambiguous for they rarely draw borders, many of the authors explicitly identify the northern border with the Kızılırmak (Bittel 1970: 134; Wäfler 1983: 191; Starke 1999: 528; Yiğit 2000: 177; Bryce 2003: 97; Bryce 2009: 682; Bryce 2012: 141; Melville 2010: 89; Genz 2011: 331) and also the remaining cases are clear due to the very placement of the label “Tabal” on the respective maps.

2 Also Wittke’s map is problematic, since she marks areas with Phrygian inscriptions where there aren’t any (Northeast Central Anatolia, including even a coastal strip) and omitting areas with Phrygian inscriptions (Northwest Anatolia).

3 Though somewhat earlier he states that there were no Neo-Hittite kingdoms to north of the river (Summers 2009: 660, overlooking ALİŞAR). For his reasoning see below.

4 The otherwise unattested name Katunis of the KIRŞEHİR-letter (§4) can be explained as a regular contraction of Katuwa-nni- from Katuwa-, a well-attested Luwian-Lydian name (cf. Gusmani 1964: 146-147) and the ubiquituous (hypochoristic) suffix -nni- (Zehnder 2010: 42-45).

5 Ni(ya)s is well attested in the Luwian corpus, cf. KULULU lead strip 1 (19), 2 §1, Hawkins’s normalisation as Nis is the other possibility.

6 The only unexplained name is Sipis, though a Luwian connection may be possible if it represents a compound name with a regularly contracted -piya- > -pi- as its second member. Nevertheless, the first member remains unexplained in this case. Considering the neighbourhood of Phrygian speakers and the presence of at least one Phrygian name among the Luwian rulers (i.e. Kurtis, for a detailed discussion see Simon forthcoming a), one may entertain the possibility of a Phrygian name, but this idea cannot currently be supported by any evidence. One further name may be attested as Sakwisani (§14), but cf. Akdoğan/Hawkins 2010: 6, 8 and especially Giusfredi 2010: 238, who considers §14 corrupted.

7 The handbook of Bryce 2012 does not mention him at all, for unknown reasons. Nevertheless, despite its title and goal, it is not the only occasion that Bryce does not consider all attested rulers, see also the case of Masaurhisas of the PORSUK inscription.

8 Weeden’s formulation (“it may indicate that he [= Tuwatis, Zs. S.] (…) had interests north of the Kızıl Irmak river”, Weeden 2010: 46) is unnecessarily cautious: if this Tuwatis is indeed one of the Great Kings, then this region belonged to his realm (unless one wants to assume a king on campaign). If Tuwatis indeed received the letter in the neigbourhood of Kırşehir, it may mean that he had a kind of residence there, not necessarily the capital (see also Weeden 2010: 46). Incidentally, the capital of Tabal has still not been located: Shalmaneser III calls it Artulu (RIMA 3 A.0.102.16 162’-181’, but see d’Alfonso 2012: 176 n. 7), which is supposed to be located either in the triangle of Kululu – Sultanhan – Kültepe (Hawkins 2000: 427; Bryce 2012: 142) or in the neighbourhood of Kayseri (Aro 1998: 96-97), Kululu itself was also suggested (Hawkins 1979: 163; Hawkins 1995b: 99; Weeden 2010: 44; Wittke 2014: 761 (“vermutlich”)).

9 If a highly speculative remark is allowed: the possibility of a king or prince called Tuwatis of Malatya, descendant of the Karkamishean royal Hittite dynasty, and the unknown origin of the dynasty of the Great Kings in Tabal displaying kings with the name Tuwatis convey the possibility that they are the descendants of the Malatya branch of the Hittite ruling house. For a detailed discussion of the origins of the Tabalite dynasty see Simon 2009: 262-264 with refs.

10 Set aside the inscriptions that cannot be dated, there is a group of inscriptions that cannot be more precisely dated as the 8th century (EĞREK, İSTANBUL 2, KULULU 3, KULULU 5, TEKİRDERBENT 1-2, ALİŞAR), and another one from the 9th-8th centuries (ÇALAPVERDİ 1-2, KURUBEL), see Hawkins 2000 s.vv.

11 Contra Giusfredi 2010: 236, the fact that the other Luwian documents written on lead also date to the 8th century does not necessarily mean that this one also has to be dated to the 8th century.

12 König 1957: 89.

13 Melikišvili 1960: 214; Arutjunjan 2001: 160 (here [’a-a]l-du-bi, cf. 163); Salvini 2008: 334, against this reading and for König’s see Weeden 2010: 40 n. 14.

14 Since this is a genitive construction with a possessor in agreement with KUR-ni=ø in absolutive, the underlying structure must be Tuate=hi=i=ni=ø KUR-ni=ø which can be written as <tú-a-te-hi-ni-i> as well.

15 The translation ‘the land of Tuatehi’ (Melikišvili 1960: 216; Arutjunjan 2001: 161) leaves the suffix -hi- unexplained. The translation ‘the sons of Tuate’ by Hawkins/Postgate 1988: 36 and Hawkins 2000: 427 is grammatically incorrect (rightly pointed out by Weeden 2010: 40 n. 10), just like the translation ‘the land of Tuate’ (Salvini 2008: 336). Weeden 2010: 40-41 offered two more possibilities: Tuate=hini=i in dative agreement with KUR-ni-[e] with an allomorph -hini- of -hi- in oblique cases assumed by Wilhelm 1976: 112-113. However, there is no evidence for this allomorph (all cited cases contain -hi- and the agreement marker -ni-) and as Weeden 2010: 40 with n. 12 himself rightly pointed out, the verb requires an object in absolutive, which would have been omitted then. Weeden suggests a “resumptive suffix” -ni-i in absolutive with a meaning “the one of Tuate, the land”, but this is ad hoc and semantically not satisfactory (admitted by him too). For those who still want to follow these translations, this Tuate might be identical with that of 743 (König 1957: 89 n. 7; Hutter-Braunsar 2009: 81), ruling unusually long (see also the cautious formulation of Weeden 2010: 40 with n. 13, allowing the possibility of the name of the dynasty) or another one ruling at the time of Argišti’s campaign.


Munich University
Institut für Assyriologie und Hethitologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München

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