This is an inscription with the cartouche of King Tudhaliya IV, a Hittite king, 1250 BC and earlier (as a matter of fact, I have no reliable source, and with Google I found conflicting dates, but this seems a fair estimate). For a picture of the king at Yazılıkaya click here. Use to back button to return here.
This relief was found at the Karakuyu Hittite Dam, near the village of Karakuyu (in the Pınarbaşı district, c. 65 km east of Kayseri). It was the head-stone of the discharge channel of the reservoir. The first line of the inscription in Luwian hieroglyphs reads: "Hattusili, the Hero, Great King, Tudhaliya, the Hero, Great King". The second line lists the names of some gods and Mountains.
Luwian hieroglyphs are an indigenous logographic script native to central Anatolia, consisting of some 500 signs. They are typologically similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs, but do not derive graphically from that script. As in Egyptian, characters may be logographic or phonographic - that is, they may be used to represent words or sounds. The number of phonographic signs is limited; they are predominantly from the CV-type (consonant sound followed by a vowel sound). A large number of these are ambiguous as to whether the vowel is a or i. Words may be written logographically, phonetically, mixed (that is, a logogram with a phonetic complement), and may be preceded by a determinative. Unlike Egyptian hieroglyphs, the lines of Luwian hieroglyphs are written alternately left-to-right and right-to-left. This practice was called by the Greeks boustrophedon, meaning "as the ox turns" (as when plowing a field).
During the Hittite Empire (14th-13th century BC) hieroglyphs were only used for short monumental inscriptions and on personal seals. Longer texts were written on clay tablets, in Hittite cuneiform.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: Website of ‘hittitemonuments.com’ & Wikipedia.