Karatepe


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Karatepe

 

(Turkic, “black hill”). (1) A hill in southern Turkmenia, located 4 km south of the Artyk railroad station, where the habitations of settled farmers dating from the Aeneolithic (fifth to third millennia B.C.) have been discovered. The area measures approximately 15 hectares. Excavations were carried out in 1952 and between 1955 and 1963. Pottery with monochrome paintings, figurines of standing women, and copper tools were found in the lower layers. The middle layers contained two-color painted pottery and multichambered mud-brick houses. There are parallels between the stratigraphy at Karatepe and that at Anau and Namazgatepe. Several multichambered houses, which were the living quarters of extended-family communities, were unearthed in the upper layer, which dates from the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third millennium B.C. Among the objects found in these houses were vessels with geometric patterns and drawings of people, animals, and birds; terra-cotta statuettes of male and female deities; stone seal-amulets; and copper implements. The materials at Karatepe indicate the connection between the Aeneolithic in southern Turkmenia and similar remains in Iran, Afghanistan, and India.

REFERENCE

Masson, V. M. “Kara-depe u Artyka.” Tr. Iuzhno-Turkmenistanskoi arkheologicheskoi kompleksnoi ekspeditsii, vol. 10. Ashkhabad, 1960.
(2) A hill near the Ceyhan River, 22 km southeast of the city of Kadirli, Turkey, where the ruins of a city dating from the ninth to seventh centuries B.C. have been unearthed (excavations have been under way since 1947).
Two gates and part of a palace have been found in the citadel. The gates are decorated with stone reliefs depicting scenes of rituals, hunting, a sea battle, and musicians. The reliefs are characteristic of late Hittite art. A hieroglyphic inscription in the Hittite and Canaanite languages found at Karatepe and dating from the eighth century B.C. allows the supposition that Karatepe was part of the state of the Danunians, which subjugated the Hittite settlements of southeast Asia Minor at the start of the first millennium B.C.

REFERENCES

Mellink, M. J. “Karatepe.” Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. 7, no. 5. Bossert, H. T. “Die phonizisch-hethitischen Bilinquen vom Karatepe.” Oriens, 1948, vol. 1, no. 2.

V. M. MASSON

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