West and Northwest (103-114)

Cyprus   103   Ashdod   104   Unknown   105   Ascharneh   106   Til-Barsip   107   Tell Tayinat   108   Carchemish   109   110   Melid   111   112   113   114  


103 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006584/]

A stone stele found in the vicinity of the modern city of Larnaca (ancient Kition) on the southern coast of Cyprus has a relief depicting Sargon II and an inscription of that ruler mentioning a number of military achievements, including victories over Urarṭu and Hamath, as well as his joyful entry into Babylon in 710. The inscription also describes the submission of rulers of the land Yāʾ and the erection of a stele in the land Adnana (Cyprus). The erection of (presumably) this stele is also mentioned in text no. 74 vii 39–44. Since the text refers to the king's third year (as ruler of Babylonia) (iv 21), the text must date to 707 or later. This inscription is often referred to as the Cyprus Stele, the Larnaca Stele, or the Kition Stele.

The discovery of this stele on Cyprus, the statement in it and several other inscriptions that seven kings of "the land of Yāʾ, a region of the land of Adnana (or Yadnana), situated in the middle of the Western Sea," had brought gifts to Sargon in Babylon when they had heard of his actions in the lands of Chaldea and Ḫatti (iv 28–42), statements in some other inscriptions that Sargon had subdued those kings (e.g., text no. 9 lines 27–29), and a possible understanding of passages in Sargon's Annals from Rooms II and V (text no. 1 lines 456b–467a and text no. 2 lines 436b–441a), have allowed some scholars to argue that Sargon sent soldiers to Cyprus to help Silṭa, the king of Tyre, put down a rebellion there by some of the latter's vassals and that the seven kings had sent their gifts to Sargon at some point following that event (see in particular Naʾaman, Orientalia 67 [1998] pp. 239–247 and CRRA 45/1 pp. 357–363). Since the passages in Sargon's Annals are poorly preserved, Sargon's exact actions vis-à-vis Silṭa and Cyprus remain uncertain. Whether or not a body of Assyrian troops ever went to Cyprus, it is quite reasonable to assume that some Cypriot rulers had sent gifts to Sargon in order to win his friendship since Assyria controlled Phoenicia, a major trading partner for Cyprus and the ancestral home of some of the people living there, and that Sargon had at some point sent an envoy, likely accompanied by a military escort or bodyguards, to Cyprus. There is no need to assume that Assyrian troops carried out actual military actions on Cyprus — whether in support of Silṭa or not — or that Assyria annexed any city located on Cyprus. Naʾaman's claim that "Sargon conquered Cyprus about 707 B.C.E." (CRRA 45/1 p. 357) cannot be accepted without serious reservations.

An important study by Radner on the erection and purpose of this stele — the only Assyrian artifact discovered up to now on Cyprus — is found in Rollinger, Interkulturalität pp. 429–449; B.N. Porter presents a study of the audiences for the stele in Studies Fales, pp. 669–675.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006584/] of Sargon II 103


VA 968


The exact date of discovery and provenance of the stele are matters of scholarly discussion. Local workmen apparently discovered it in 1845 (sometimes said to be 1844) near Larnaca on Cyprus. Most publications state that it was found in ruins to the west of the harbor of ancient Kition, thus at the site of Bamboula (see for example Yon in Caubet, Khorsabad pp. 161–168; and Radner in Rollinger, Interkulturalität pp. 429–430), but, following a thorough study of the early reports about its discovery, R. Merrillees has recently argued that it "was found in the southern part of ancient Kition, possibly on or near a mound in the south-western corner of the wall encircling the city" (Studies Hermary p. 378). It is also uncertain where the stele was originally erected; see iv 52–53 and the on-page notes to those lines. (With regard to where Assyrian steles were set up in general, see Frame, Subartu 18 pp. 61–63.)

The stele is in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, having been purchased in 1846. It is now 32–33 cm thick, but an additional ca. 13 cm had been cut away from the back of the stele, likely in order to lighten it for shipment to Berlin; thus, the cuneiform signs of the inscription that were at the end of right side (col. ii) and beginning of left side (col. iv) are now missing, as well as anything written on the back face (col. iii). The line arrangement assumes that the inscription began on the front of the stele (col. i) and carried on to the right (col. ii), back (col. iii, missing), and left (col. iv) sides respectively. Since col. ii ends at a textually logical point and col. iv begins at a textually logical point, it is not impossible that the back of the stele had not been inscribed and that this encouraged someone to remove it to lighten the weight of the object. Thus, what is given here as col. iv may really have been col. iii. However, based on other Neo-Assyrian steles, we would certainly expect the back to have been inscribed and we would also expect an account of the Assyrian campaign against Marduk-apla-iddina II (Merodach-Baladan) of Babylonia to precede the account of Sargon's joyful entry into Babylon, which is found at the start of the left side (col. iv) of the stele. The inscription was collated from the original, with some additional collations provided by J. Marzahn. Squeezes of col. iv preserved in the British Museum were also examined. Col. i is badly worn and the traces of the inscription are in places obscured by the relief. Thus, at times the copy published by Ungnad is the basis for the transliteration.

The stele is said to be made of black basalt (or gabbro), a stone that can be found on Cyprus in the Troodos massif. However, citing two scholars who have worked on the petrographic analysis of materials from Cyprus (C. Elliott and C. Xenophontoa), Merrillees states that "no block of vesicular basalt the size of the Sargon stele could have been mined in Cyprus, whereas, for example, volcanic deposits in north Syria were evidently suited for the purpose" (Studies Hermary p. 378). He thus hypothesizes that the stele was quarried and carved on the mainland and then sent by boat to Cyprus, although noting that a scientific analysis of the stone of the stele needs to be made.

The relief on the front of the stele depicts the king facing right, holding a mace in his left hand, and raising his right hand. Eight symbols representing various deities are carved in front of the face of the king: a horned crown (Aššur), a crescent moon (Sîn), a star (Ištar), lightning bolts (Adad), a spade (Marduk), a stylus (Nabû), seven circles (the Sebetti), and a winged sun disk (Šamaš). These same deities are invoked at the beginning of the inscription.

The text is written in Babylonian dialect using a mixture of Assyrian sign forms and archaizing Babylonian sign forms. Several passages similar to parts of i 1–25 may be found in Grayson, RIMA 2 pp. 12–13 A.0.87.1 i 1–16, text no. 116 lines 1–10, and text no. 117 i 1–19. For ii 22–65, see text no. 84 lines 12´–20´. For iv 1–42, see text no. 7 lines 140–149 and for iv 11–42, see text no. 74 vii 7–38 (with some significant divergences); see also text no. 86 lines 17´–18´ and text no. 87 lines 15´–21´.


1846 Ross, Hellenika pp. 69–70 and pl. I (drawing of relief, study)
1854 de Longpérier, Notice3 no. 617 (study)
1870 3 R pl. 11 (ii, iv, copy)
1871 G. Smith, ZÄS 9 pp. 68–72 (ii, iv, edition)
1874 Ménant, Annales pp. 206–208 (ii, iv, translation)
1878 Schrader, Keilinschriften und Geschichtsforschung pp. 244–246 (study)
1880 Ménant, Manuel pp. 323–327 (ii 1–21, copy, edition)
1881 Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies p. 178 (iv 23–25, transcription, translation, study)
1882 Schrader, Sargonsstele (ii, iv, photo; i, copy; edition, study, provenance)
1886 Bezold, Literatur p. 91 §53.9 (study)
1889 Winckler, Sar. 1 pp. 174–185; and 2 pls. 46–47 (copy; ii, iv, edition)
1893 von Luschan, Ausgrabungen in Sendschirli 1 pp. 20–21, Abb. 5 (drawing, study)
1907 Ungnad, VAS 1 no. 71 (copy; i 1–28, transliteration)
1908 Olmstead, Western Asia pp. 10–11 n. 41 (study)
1911 Zimmern, ZA 25 pp. 196–199 (study)
1912 Thureau-Dangin, TCL 3 p. 21 n. 3 (i 2, study)
1915 Meissner, AO 15 p. 125 and fig. 213 (photo of relief)
1920 Meissner, BuA 1 pl. 36 (photo of relief)
1926 Ebeling in Gressman, ATAT2 p. 350 (ii 51–65, translation)
1927 Gressman, ABAT2 p. 45 and pl. LIX fig. 135 (photo of relief)
1927 Luckenbill, ARAB 2 pp. 100–103 §§179–189 (translation)
1936 Gadd, Stones p. 214 (study)
1938 Tallqvist, Götterepitheta p. 73 (i 8–9, study)
1945–46 J. Lewy, HUCA 19 pp. 466–467 (iv 32–33, study)
1956 Borger, Asarh. p. 87 commentary to rev. 3 and p. 109 commentary to iv 18f (iv 45–46, 74, study)
1965 Genge, Stelen pp. 15–17, 119–123, 160–162, and 268–272 (edition)
1969 Oppenheim, ANET3 p. 284 (ii 51–65, iv 28–42, translation)
1971 Nicolaou, Cypriot Inscribed Stones p. 10 and pl. 3 (photo of front and sides; iv 36–53, translation)
1972 Levine, Stelae p. 53 (study)
1973 Katzenstein, Tyre pp. 239–241 (study)
1976 Saporetti, Studi Ciprioti e Rapporti di Scavo 2 pp. 84–85 (iv 28–53, translation, study)
1979 Elayi and Cavigneaux, OrAnt 18 p. 64 (iv 52–53, edition)
1982 Börker-Klähn, Bildstelen no. 175 (drawing of relief, study)
1982 Spieckermann, Juda unter Assur p. 317 (ii 61–65, edition)
1984 Borger, TUAT 1/4 pp. 385–386 (ii 51–65, translation)
1990 Pomponio, Formule p. 43 no. 46 (iv 63–74, translation)
1990 Potts, Arabian Gulf 1 p. 335 no. 7 (iv 23–27, translation)
1993 Wartke, Urartu pl. 22 (photo of relief)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad p. 386 (study)
1994 Reyes, Archaic Cyprus pp. 50–56 and pl. 2 (photo of relief; iv 28–53, translation [by S. Dalley]; study)
1994 Yon in Vandenabeele and Laffineur, Cypriote Stone Sculpture pp. 91–96 and pl. XXIVa–b (photo, drawing, study)
1995 Malbran-Labat in Caubet, Khorsabad pp. 169–179 (iv 28–74, translation; study)
1995 Yon in Caubet, Khorsabad pp. 161–168 (photo of relief, study, provenance)
1996 Tadmor, Eretz-Israel 25 pp. 286–289 (iv 43–57, translation; iv 52–53, study) [in Hebrew]
1999 Frame, Orientalia 68 pp. 41–48 (study)
1999 Tadmor, CRRA 44/1 p. 57 (iv 28–42, translation)
2001 Naʾaman, CRRA 45/1 pp. 358 and 361–363 (iv 28–42, translation [composite]; iv 43–57, translation)
2004 Hawkins, Studies Grayson p. 161 ii 51–56 (edition)
2004 Lipiński, Itineraria Phoenicia pp. 29, 46, and 50–53 (study)
2004 Malbran-Labat in Yon, Kition dans les textes pp. 345–354 (photo, edition, study)
2006 Frame, Subartu 18 pp. 53–55 (drawing, study)
2008 Cogan, Raging Torrent pp. 98–100 no. 23 (ii 51–65, translation, study)
2008 J.S. Smith in Sagona, Beyond the Homeland pp. 267–270 (study)
2009 Anthonioz, L'eau pp. 137–139 (iv 23–39a, translation; study)
2010 Radner in Rollinger, Interkulturalität pp. 429–449 (photo; iv 23–42, 57–74 translation; study)
2012 Porter, Studies Fales pp. 669–675 (study)
2014 Galter, CRRA 52 pp. 334 and 336–337 (study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon pp. 52–53 g8 and passim (study)
2014 Marzahn, Assyria to Iberia p. 187 no. 74 (photo of relief; iv 43–57, translation; study)
2016 Merrillees, Studies Hermary pp. 349–386 (study)
2016 Van De Mieroop, JAH 4 p. 21 (ii 42–50, translation)
2017 Liverani, Assyria pp. 97 and 205 (ii 23–27, iv 43–57, translation)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 79–80 no. 13 (ii 51–65, edition, study [combined with text nos. 84 and 105])
2018 Kiely in Brereton, Ashurbanipal pp. 138 and. 140–141 no. 148 (photo; ii 1–3 and iv 28–42, translation)


104 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006585/]

Three fragments found at Ashdod in 1963 come from one or more stone steles that are likely to be assigned to Sargon II in view of textual parallels on at least one of those fragments with passages in other inscriptions of that ruler. H. Tadmor has suggested that the fragments may have been parts of a stele erected soon after the capture of Ashdod by Sargon in 711 that had been deliberately broken when Hezekiah rebelled against Assyria in 705 (ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 [1971] pp. 192–194).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006585/] of Sargon II 104


(A) IAA 63-962 (IAA lot no. 3841; Ashdod 1161/63) (B) IAA 63-1053 (C) IAA 63-931 (IAA lot no. 3841; Ashdod 1638/1)


Three inscribed fragments of black basalt were found during the second season of Israeli excavations at Ashdod (1963) and these are stored in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The inscription is edited from the published photographs, with further collations made by J.G. Westenholz, who also provided the information on the museum and field numbers.

H. Tadmor, Z. Kapera, and several other scholars refer to these pieces as fragments 1–3, which correspond to our A–C. W. Horowitz and T. Oshima (Canaan pp. 40–41 and 208) cite our Frgms. A, B, and C as Ashdod 2, 4, and 3 respectively. They state that Frgms. A and C (their Ashdod 2 and 3) "are written in the same script with lines of identical height, but with different indentations at the left edge. Thus they could be from different steles or from two different parts of the same stele." They also say that Frgm. B (their Ashdod 4) "is written in a different hand altogether" and point out that it was found in a different area of the site. Thus, they believe that the three fragments "come from at least two separate originals."

Frgms. A and C preserve parts of two adjoining faces of a stele, referred to below as the left and right faces. Frgm. B preserves part of only one face of the stele; since there is a blank space immediately above the first line of the inscription on this piece, it is assumed that this is the first line that was on that face of the stele.

Due to a lack of clarity in the published records, the exact findspots of the individual pieces are not clear. Westenholz informs me that Frgm. A may be the piece found reused in a Hellenistic wall (Area A locus 45) since it is covered with a patina and its back is worked. This would then suggest that Frgm. C is the piece found in Area A in debris of Stratum 3 in square H/3 near locus 32. (See Dothan, ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 [1971] p. 40 and pl. XCVI.) Frgm. B would then be the piece found in the Byzantine dump in Area G (see Swauger, ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 [1971] p. 150, which, however, refers to two fragments being found there).

Tadmor (ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 [1971] p. 195) points out that the palaeography of the Ashdod, Acharneh (Asharné), and Cyprus inscriptions (text nos. 104, 106, and 103 respectively) are identical and very similar to the inscriptions from Samaria and Carchemish (text nos. 1009 and 1010). Tadmor suggests that the left sides of Frgms. A and C refer to Azuri's rebellion at Ashdod and the tentative restorations generally follow those proposed by Tadmor. Certainly, the phrase dābib ṣalipti, which may appear in Frgm. C left face line 2´ (largely restored), is used to refer to the people of Ashdod in text no. 7 line 95. Since, however, the same phrase is used to refer to Mutallu of Kummuḫu in text no. 7 lines 112–113, the mere presence of this phrase would not prove that the passage has to describe the rebellion at Ashdod. Questioning Tadmor's assignment of the left sides of Frgms. A and C to the episode about the rebellion at Ashdod, Kapera (Folia Orientalia 17 [1976] pp. 94–99) assigns the left side of Frgm. C to the episode of Mutallu of Kummuḫu. The restorations in Frgm. B (including the alternative restorations given in the on-page notes) also follow those suggested by Tadmor in his study of this text.


1963 Freedman, BiAr 26 p. 138 (study)
1964 Dothan, IEJ 14 p. 87 (provenance)
1964 Freedman, Presbyterian Life 17/6 pp. 10–13 (photo, discovery)
1966 Tadmor, BiAr 29 p. 95 fig. 11 (photo)
1967 Dothan, Archaeology 20 p. 184 (study)
1967 Tadmor, Eretz-Israel 8 pp. 75* [English] and 241–245, and pl. following p. 245 [Hebrew] (photo, edition, study)
1968 Borger in Galling, Textbuch2 p. 61 no. 31.1 (study)
1970 Tadmor, AfO 23 p. 191 (Frgm. B, Frgm. C left side 2´–4´, transliteration)
1971 Dothan, ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 p. 40 (provenance)
1971 Swauger, ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 p. 150 (provenance)
1971 Tadmor, ʿAtiqot, English Series 9–10 pp. 192–197 and pls. XCVI–XCVII (photo, edition, study)
1972 Levine, Stelae p. 53 (study)
1973 Hestrin, Inscriptions Reveal2 no. 47 (photo, study)
1976 Kapera, Folia Orientalia 17 pp. 87–99 (transliteration, study, provenance)
1982 Börker-Klähn, Bildstelen no. 174 (study)
1988 Cogan and Tadmor, II Kings third plate following p. 228 (photo)
1990 Stern, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible 2 p. 15 (photo)
1993 Dothan in Stern, New Encyclopedia 1 p. 100 (photo)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad pp. 386 and 392–393 (study)
2002 Horowitz, Oshima and Sanders, JAOS 122 p. 755 Ashdod 2–4 (study)
2006 Frame, Subartu 18 p. 51 (study)
2006 Horowitz and Oshima, Canaan pp. 40-41 and 208 Ashdod 2–4 (copy, edition)
2007 Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review 33/1 58 (Frgm B, photo, copy)
2008 Cogan, Raging Torrent pp. 232–233 no. 2 (photo, study)
2014 Galter, CRRA 52 pp. 334 and 336–337 (study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon pp. 53–54 g10 and passim (study)


105 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006586/]

A fragment of stone stele in the Bible Lands Museum (Jerusalem) preserves part of an inscription of Sargon II that describes the events of his second year (720), including the settlement of Assyrians in Hamath (ii´ 1–12). Mention is also made of events that occurred much later in the king's reign, including the submission of the seven kings of Yāʾ (i´ 24´–25´a, mostly restored), which took place in or around 708. J.D. Hawkins, the initial publisher of the text, suggests that it was erected in 708 within the territory of Hamath (Studies Grayson pp. 162–164). The stele has been at times referred to as the Beirut Stele, the Borowski Stele, and the Hamath (or Hama) Stele.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006586/] of Sargon II 105


BLMJ 1115


This fragmentary stone stele appeared on the antiquities market in Beirut and thus its original provenance is not known. W.G. Lambert (in Muscarella, Ladders p. 125) suggests that the stele "belongs to a type which was set up locally to commemorate events in the district. So presumably this one commemorates the settlement of Syria and Palestine in 720 B.C. and was set up somewhere in the region on the successful completion of the campaign." J.D. Hawkins suggests that it may have come from the territory of Hamath (Studies Grayson p. 162), possibly from Sheizar, which is located on the Orontes between Acharneh and Hama (CAH2 3/1 p. 417 n. 368).

Parts of two faces of the stele are preserved. There is an area without inscription above col. ii´; thus, col. i´ starts higher up on the stele than col. ii´. The inscription is edited from a copy of the inscription made by Hawkins and from photographs of the object provided by J.G. Westenholz (with supplementary collations by Westenholz).

The restorations in col. i´ follow Hawkins and are based upon text no. 43 lines 10–17 and 23–24 for i´ 2´–18´, text no. 13 lines 23–26, 28–31, and 41–45 for i´ 19´–20´a, 21´–22´a, and 24´–25´a, and text no. 43 line 26 for i´ 25´b–26´.


1975 Finet, Opposition pp. 12–13 and n. 48 (ii´ 5–12, edition; study [by Nougayrol])
1975 Garelli in Finet, Opposition p. 207–208 (ii´ 5–12, translation)
1981 Lambert in Muscarella, Ladders p. 125 no. 83 (photo,; col. ii´, edition, study)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad p. 387 (study)
2000 Younger, COS 2 p. 294 no. 2.118B (col. ii´, translation)
2004 Hawkins, Studies Grayson pp. 151–164 (photo, copy, edition, study)
2006 Frame, Subartu 18 p. 51 (study)
2008 Cogan, Raging Torrent p. 99 (ii´ 5–12, translation)
2014 Galter, CRRA 52 pp. 334 and 336–337 (study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon p. 53 g9 and passim (study)
2017 Liverani, Assyria p. 183 (i´ 11´–13´, translation)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 79–80 no. 15 (ii´ 1–12, edition; study, combined with text nos. 84 and 103)


106 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006587/]

A fragment of a basalt stele that was discovered near the bridge crossing the Orontes River at Acharneh (Asharné) bears part of an inscription of Sargon II which appears to describe a victory over the ruler of Hamath. Sargon is known to have conquered Hamath in his second regnal year (720). Thus, this is likely one of the earliest of Sargon's royal inscriptions. For the possibility that Acharneh is to be identified with the third and second millennium city Tunip, see Klengel, Studies Lipiński p. 128, and Goren, Finkelstein, and Na'aman, Inscribed in Clay pp. 116–121. N. Naʾaman (NABU 1999 pp. 89–90 no. 89) also suggests that Acharneh might be identified with the first millennium city Qarqar; however, Qarqar is normally thought to be modern Tell Qarqūr (see Bagg, Rép. Géogr. 7/1 pp. 194–195).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006587/] of Sargon II 106


M 10890


The inscription was found in 1924 by Commandant Maignan near the Acharneh bridge on the Orontes. It was M 10890 in the Aleppo Museum, but was later moved to the museum in Hama. The piece is inscribed on three sides (ii–iv), with the fourth side (i) being entirely damaged. Following F. Thureau-Dangin, it is assumed here that the totally damaged side had the beginning of the inscription; however, it is conceivable that the inscription did not begin on that side, but rather on our col. iv (i.e., iv > i, i > ii; ii> iii, and iii > iv). The inscription was kindly collated for the author by K. Radner.


1924 Thureau-Dangin, CRAIB p. 168 (study)
1933 Thureau-Dangin, RA 30 pp. 53–56 and 104, and pl. I (photo, edition; ii 13´–14´, study)
1972 Levine, Stelae p. 57 (study)
1982 Börker-Klähn, Bildstelen no. 177 (study)
1994 Fuchs, Khorsabad p. 386 (study)
2006 Frame, Subartu 18 pp. 49-68 (photo, edition, study)
2014 Galter, CRRA 52 pp. 333 and 336–337 (study)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 62–63 no. 2 (ii 1´–12´, iii 1´–9´, edition, study)

Til-Barsip (Tell Ahmar)

107 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006588/]

A stone fragment from Til-Barsip (modern Tell Ahmar), located on the Euphrates River about 20 km south of Carchemish, bears part of an inscription of Sargon II. Although the ruler's name is not mentioned in the section preserved, it may be assigned to Sargon II because of textual parallels in other inscriptions of this ruler.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006588/] of Sargon II 107


M 9944


According to F. Thureau-Dangin, the fragment is part of a bull that would have originally been placed at an entranceway. The piece has been set up in the courtyard of the Aleppo Museum. The inscription is poorly preserved and it is edited from the published photograph, with collations by H. Galter. It is not clear how much is missing at the beginning and end of each line and thus restorations in the transliteration have been kept to a minimum.

Lines 1´–6´ are restored from such similar passages as text no. 7 lines 4–7 and 10–12, text no. 8 lines 2–3 and 5, and text no. 84 lines 1´–2´.


1936 Thureau-Dangin, Til Barsib p. 159 no. 10 and pl. XV no. 3 (photo, study)
1973 Farber and Kessler, RA 67 pp. 163–164 (transliteration, study)
1998 Fuchs, SAAS 8 p. 5 (lines 7´–8´, transliteration)
2004 Galter in Hutter, Offizielle Religion p. 180 (lines 7´–8´, edition, study)
2006 Frame, Subartu 18 p. 53 (study)

Tell Tayinat

108 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006589/]

Five fragments of a basalt stele found at Tell Tayinat in the Amuq Valley of Turkey's Hatay province likely come from one and the same stele. Tell Tayinat (ancient Kullania) was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian province of Unqi following that area's conquest by Tiglath-pileser III in 738. Frgm. D mentions Qarqar, Samaria, and Hamath, and thus likely refers to Sargon II's defeat of a coalition of Syrian kingdoms in his second regnal year (720). The fragment may well preserve the beginning of the name of the leader of the rebellious coalition, Iaū-bi'dī (Ilu-biʾdī), the ruler of Hamath. Frgm. E also appears to duplicate a section of Sargon's Beirut Stele (text no. 105) dealing with the settling of deportees in Hamath.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006589/] of Sargon II 108


(A) Hatay Archaeological Museum — (B) A 27862 (T-3516) (C) A 60934 (T-2464)
(D) A 27863 (E) A 60933 (Possibly T-2209)


Frgm. A is known as the "Taşar Stone," from the name of the owner of the farmstead where it was discovered in 2006 by one of the people working on the excavations at Tell Tayinat. It was being used as a door step in a building, which likely explains the abraded state of the inscription. It had apparently been brought for use there at some point after 1980 and before 2002, when the owner took possession of the farm. In 2009, the piece was taken to the Hatay Arkeoloji Müzesi. The University of Chicago's Syrian-Hittite Expedition (1935–38) discovered Frgms. B–E during excavations at Tell Tayinat and the pieces are now conserved in the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. For detailed information on their provenance, see Lauinger and Batiuk, ZA 105 (2015) pp. 57–59 (information partially provided by H. Snow). The existence of Frgms. B–E has previously been mentioned by G.F. Swift (Pottery of the 'Amuq p. 183) and J.A. Brinkman (JCS 29 [1977] p. 62). Only Frgm. B preserves parts of two inscribed faces, the front, Face i, and left side, Face iv, of the stele; what would be Faces ii and iii, the right side and back of the stele, are not preserved on this fragment. J. Lauinger kindly provided the author with photos of Frgms. A–D and information on the discovery of the Frgm. A was provided by S. Batiuk.

Elements of the relief on the front of the stele are preserved on Frgm. A and Face i of Frgm. B. As noted by Lauinger and S. Batiuk (ZA 105 [2015] pp. 60–61), Frgm. A was likely situated higher on the stele than Frgm. B, and thus closer to the beginning of the inscription. The order in which the fragments are numbered is based on the assumed order of the text, with Frgm. A and Face i of Frgm. B preserving parts of the invocation of deities at the beginning of the text, Frgms. C–E preserving parts of the historical report, and Frgm. B Face iv preserving part of the curse at the end of the text. In view of the fact that none of the fragments join any other fragment, each fragment has been treated separately in the edition presented here. In general, the restorations follow those proposed by Lauinger and Batiuk.

Lauinger and Batiuk (ZA 105 [2015] pp. 66–67) suggest that the "most likely possibility seems to us to be that the report of Hamath's destruction is the main historical event described in the text."


2015 Lauinger and Batiuk, ZA 105 pp. 54–68 (photo, edition, study)
2018 Frahm, Last Days pp. 63–64 no. 3 (Frgm. D lines 1´–10´, edition, study)


109 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006590/]

Three fragmentary prismatic clay cylinders with an inscription of Sargon were found in 2015 during excavations at Carchemish by a Turkish-Italian expedition led by N. Marchetti. The text describes the conquest of Carchemish, the settlement of Assyrians there, the building activities carried out there by Sargon, and the expansion of irrigation in the area of that city. According to text no. 73, after Sargon's conquest of Carchemish in his fifth regnal year (717), booty taken from Pisīri(s), the king of Carchemish, was sent to Kalḫu and stored in the juniper palace there. A short colophon on the right end of ex. 1 states that the piece came from (or belonged to) the "Palace of Sargo[n]." Information on the text was kindly provided to the author by G. Marchesi before its recent publication in JNES.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006590/] or the score [/rinap/scores/Q006590/score] of Sargon II 109


(01) KH.15.O.221 (02) KH.15.O.300 (03) KH.15.O.355


The three fragments are preserved in the Gaziantepe Archaeological Museum. Ex. 1 originally had a diameter of ca. 8.5 cm and 12 faces. Each of the preserved faces has six lines and thus the text would have likely had 67–72 lines (with the final face having at least one line). Marchesi suggests that the lines on ex. 1 were at least as long as those on the Khorsabad cylinder Nap. III 3156 (text no. 43 ex. 1) and that "the longest lines of text preserved [on KH 15.O.221] are only preserved for about two-thirds of their original length" (JNES 78 [2019] p. 7).

Marchesi (JNES 78 [2019] pp. 11 and 18) argues that the apparent reference in line 13´ to people of Carchemish being deported to some place on the border of the land Kammanu almost certainly refers to a location in the state of Bīt-Purutaš, which was conquered by Sargon in 713. He thus states that this inscription must have been composed after that date. He further notes that the description of the war with Carchemish in this text is more similar to that in the Khorsabad Annals (text no. 1 lines 72–76a and text no. 4 lines 13´–18´a), which he dates to 707, than to that in A 16947 (text no. 102), which he dates to 711, and so he suggests that the Carchemish cylinder inscription is likely to date closer to the time of the former than that of the latter (ibid. pp. 11 and 21–23).

The description of the construction work at Carchemish, the planting of trees in its environs, and the celebrations following the completion of the work are often similar to passages in other texts of Sargon dealing with the city Dūr-Šarrukīn (see also Marchesi, JNES 78 [2019] pp. 11–17).

The restorations follow those proposed by Marchesi, with only a few minor modifications. The master lines are based on ex. 1 for lines 10´–32´, ex. 2 for lines 1´–5´, and ex. 3 for lines 38´–44´. Lines 6´–9´ are a combination of exs. 1 and 2 and lines 33´–37´ are a combination of exs. 1 and 3. The published photos are occasionally not completely clear and as a result the edition must rely at times on that of Marchesi.


2019 Marchesi, JNES 78 pp. 1–24 (exs. 1–3, photo, edition, study; ex. 3, copy)

110 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006591/]

A brief proprietary inscription of Sargon II is found inscribed on several bricks from Carchemish and one from the nearby site of Tell Amarna (about 8 km south of Jerablus). The conquest and plunder of Carchemish in Sargon's fifth regnal year (717) and the deportation of its royal family is mentioned in several of Sargon's royal inscriptions (see especially text no. 1 lines 72–76, text no. 73 lines 21–22, text no. 74 iv 13–24, text no. 102, and text no. 117 ii 20–22a). See text no. 1010 for a stone fragment from Carchemish with an inscription possibly to be assigned to this ruler.

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006591/] of Sargon II 110


(01) BM 90702 face (H.80.12) (02) BM 90702 side ( H.80.12) (03) AM 1463
(04) KH.14.O.256 side A (05) KH.14.O.256 side B (06) KH.14.O.636
(07) KH.14.O.845 face (08) KH.14.O.845 side A (09) KH.14.O.845 side B
(10) KH.14.O.974 (11) KH.16.O.215


Exs. 1–2 come from the excavations of P. Henderson at Carchemish in 1879. According to C.B.F. Walker, BM 90702 is part of a half brick and is stamped on the face and along the side (stamp 6.2×7.0 cm). The edition for these exemplars follows that of Walker and has not been collated. Ex. 3 is a fragment of a baked brick and was found in a pit (i.e., out of its original context) on May 7, 1996. Ö. Tunca suggests that it may have been taken from Carchemish after the Neo-Assyrian period for reuse during the Hellenistic or Roman-Byzantine period (Bagh. Mitt. 37 [2006] pp. 180–181). G. Marchesi kindly provided information (including transliterations) on exs. 4–11 and photos of exs. 6, 7, and 10; these unpublished exemplars from Carchemish are cited here through the courtesy of N. Marchetti, director of the Turco-Italian Archaeological Expedition to Karkemish.

According to L. Woolley and R.D. Barnett (Carchemish 3 pp. 211 and 265), a brick was found at Carchemish with an inscription saying "Palace of Sargon King of Nations, King of Assyria" (see ibid. p. 171 for possibly a different brick). Barnett also refers to a brick being found on the surface by Boscawen with a similar inscription (ibid. p. 265). According to Walker (CBI p. 119), "A typescript report entitled 'Report on the excavations at Carchemish 1911' by R.C. Thompson and T.E. Lawrence (now preserved in the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities, British Museum) refers (p. 51) to the discovery of 'an Assyrian brick inscribed in cuneiform 'Palace of Sargon, king of multitudes, king of Assyria'; and one of the field note-books of the Carchemish excavations has a note in Thompson's hand, 'Assyrian inscribed brick of Sargon 350 × 165 × 120 high. Another found near it 350 × 165 × 110'. The field note-books do not contain any copy, transliteration, or translation of these bricks." The current locations of these bricks are not known and it is not clear whether or not they had a different inscription to the one presented here, although the translation in Woolley and Barnett, Carchemish 3 pp. 211 and 265 would suggest KUR.MEŠ or KUR.KUR (mātāti, "lands") instead of ŠÚ (kiššati, "world") in line 2. The translation "multitudes" for ŠÚ is, however, attested in various other publications of the time (e.g., Thompson, Arch. 79 [1929] p. 124 and pl. XLV no. 70 line 1).

No minor variants are attested for this inscription and, as is the practice in RINAP, no score for this brick inscription is given on Oracc.


1952 Woolley and Barnett, Carchemish 3 pp. 211 and 265 (translation, study)
1981 Walker, CBI p. 119 no. 171 Sargon II X (ex. 1, transliteration, study)
2006 Tunca, Bagh. Mitt. 37 pp. 179–184 (ex. 3, photo, copy, edition)
2015 Marchetti, Current World Archaeology 70 p. 24 (photo)
2019 Marchesi, JNES 78 pp. 15–16 n. 15 (translation, study)

Melid (Arslantepe)


Four fragments of clay barrel cylinders bearing inscriptions of Sargon II were either certainly or likely found at Arslantepe (ancient Melid), near modern Malatya: text nos. 111–114. Text nos. 111 and 113–114 must come from different cylinders and it is clear that the inscription on text no. 111 is different to those on text nos. 113 and 114. It is possible that text nos. 113 and 114 are both duplicates of the same inscription, but since the line arrangement would differ in at least two places — text no. 113 lines 13´–17´ and 18´–22´ are each on five lines, rather than on four lines as on text no. 114 (lines 2´–5´ and 6´–9´ respectively) — and since only a little of text no. 114 is preserved, it has been thought best to keep them all separate here. Text nos. 111 and 112 were once physically joined together, but that was a false join since their inscriptions clearly deal with different topics where they were attached. It is not impossible, however, that the two fragments came from the same cylinder, but since this cannot be considered certain, they have also been kept separate here.

During the 1938 season of excavations at Arslantepe, L. Delaporte found two cylinder fragments with inscriptions of this ruler under the pavement of the Assyrian palace. The pieces were sent to the Ankara museum, but their inscriptions were not published at the time, although they were said to agree exactly with the text of Sargon's Annals (Landsberger, Sam'al p. 81 n. 213). It seems probable that one of these pieces was text no. 112 since at least part of the inscription on that piece does appear to duplicate part of Sargon's Annals. The other was likely text no. 111 or text no. 114, even though these are not duplicates of the Annals. Records in the Ankara Museum state that text no. 111 (AnAr 21717/323) was found at Arslantepe. While the provenance of text no. 114 (AnAr 21718/324) is not noted in the museum inventory, the piece is numbered and listed immediately following text no. 111; thus, it is quite possible that it also came from Arslantepe. (See Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 65–66; and Akdoğan and Fuchs, ZA 99 [2009] p. 85.) Since text nos. 111 and 112 were once physically joined together — albeit erroneously — it is not impossible that they were considered by B. Landsberger to be one piece and that his two cylinder fragments were text nos. 111+112 and text no. 114; however, in view of Landsberger's great expertise with cuneiform texts, it would seem unlikely that he would have accepted the join of text nos. 111 and 112. Text no. 113 was found at Arslantepe during excavations in 1968.

Sargon's conquest of and relations with Melid are mentioned in several other inscriptions of his (e.g., text no. 1 lines 204–210, text no. 2 lines 236–238 and 443, text no. 7 lines 78–80, text no. 8 lines 9–10 and 22, text no. 13 lines 24–26, and text no. 74 v 41–76). For an overview of this ruler's involvement with Melid, see Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 66–68.

111 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006592/]

The first cylinder fragment from Arslantepe is part of the right end of a clay barrel cylinder. Its inscription mentions the creation/building of sacred objects/temples at Nineveh and Kalḫu (lines 5–10), the building of the city Dūr-Šarrukīn (lines 11–14), military campaigns to the east and northeast and the deportation of people from there to the west and northwest (lines 15–33), and, after a long gap, the end of an account describing the defeat of Marduk-apla-iddina II (lines 1´-9´) and possibly the annexation of an area to Assyria (lines 10´–12´). Line 10 of the inscription refers to the ruler's fourteenth year (708), but the text should have been composed no earlier than his fifteenth year (707) because it refers to the installation of the gods of Dūr-Šarrukīn in their shrines (line 12), which took place in the eponymy of Ša-Aššur-dubbu (707).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006592/] of Sargon II 111


Malatya Archaeological Museum 1997


The cylinder fragment was transferred to the Malatya Archaeological Museum in 1970 from the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, where it had the inventory number 21717/323. The inventory in Ankara states that the piece was found at Arslantepe. (See Akdoğan and Fuchs, ZA 99 [2009] p. 84, and Frame, Studies Parpola p. 68.)

Parts of forty-seven lines are preserved, thirty-three from the beginning of the inscription and fourteen from the end of the inscription. The original inscription would have been over twice as long and each line would have been about five times as long as is currently preserved. The original has not been examined and the edition is based on the examination of a cast of the fragment that was kindly supplied by M. Frangipane and photographs of the original that were kindly made available by J. Renger.

Lines 1–4 are restored based upon text no. 103 ii 1–12 and 18–21; cf. text no. 74 i 1–11 and text no. 7 lines 1–7. Lines 10b–14 are restored based upon text no. 84 lines 7´a–11´; cf. also text no. 7 lines 154–156 and 158–159 and text no. 13 lines 94–101. Lines 1´–9´ are restored based upon such passages as text no. 74 vi 27–62 and text no. 86 lines 2´–9´. For lines 1´–9´, see also text no. 113 lines 9´–17´ and for lines 4´–9´ see also text no. 114 lines 1´–5´.


1939 Delaporte, RHA 5/34 p. 54 (study)
1940 Delaporte, Malatya p. 9 (study)
1941 Kalaç, Sumeroloji Araştırmaları pp. 990–991 and 1011 (study)
1948 Landsberger, Samʾal p. 81 n. 213 (study)
2004 Frame in Frangipane, Alle origini pp. 175–177 (photo, translation, study)
2004 Frangipane, Alle origini pp. 172 and 201 no. 183 (photo, study)
2009 Akdoğan and Fuchs, ZA 99 pp. 84–85 (study)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 65–79 (copy, edition, study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon pp. 47–48 G10 and passim (study)

112 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006593/]

In 2017, J. Renger kindly sent the author some photos of various royal inscriptions of Sargon II that were in his possession and that had been used by him during his work on Sargon's royal inscriptions. Among them were photos of two fragments of a clay barrel cylinder that had been joined together. He had received the photos, which had been taken by A. Palmieri in the Malatya Archaeological Museum, from A. Archi around 1974. The larger of the two fragments has been edited here as text no. 111 and likely comes from L. Delaporte's excavations at Arslantepe in 1938. That fragment was once in the Archaeological Museum in Ankara, but was moved to the Malatya Museum in 1970. While the other fragment also preserves a text of Sargon II, a study of the inscriptions on the two pieces clearly shows that the two pieces do not join where they were fixed on the photo. This false join must have been recognized at some point since the two pieces are no longer attached. The current museum number of the smaller piece is not known to the author and recent searches for it in the museum have not located it. Since both pieces are only fragments, it is not impossible that the two come from the same cylinder, although based on what is known of the two pieces, it does not appear that they preserve parts of the same line at any point. The smaller piece is edited here, but it must be noted that due to the fragmentary state of the piece, the photos are not always clear, that the beginning and end of the text are for the most part illegible, and that the edition presented must be considered only preliminary. Unlike the inscriptions on the other cylinder fragments from Malatya, the text on this piece, for the most part, duplicates sections from Sargon's Annals dealing with Ambaris of Tabal/Bīt-Purutaš during Sargon's ninth campaign (713).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006593/] of Sargon II 112


Malatya Archaeological Museum —


As noted earlier (introduction to text nos. 111–114), B. Landsberger (Sam'al p. 81 n. 213) stated that two cylinder fragments found by L. Delaporte at Arslantepe in 1938 and located at that time in the Ankara museum agreed exactly with the text of Sargon's Annals. However, none of the cylinder fragments previously thought to come from Malatya duplicate passages from the Annals, although they might at times deal with similar topics. The present piece, however, as far as one can tell, does agree for the most part with the text of the Annals from Room II (text no. 1), This would suggest that the current piece and possibly the fragment to which it was once (erroneously) joined (text no. 111) were one or both of the pieces that Landsberger saw.

On the photos of this fragment and text no. 111, line 11´ of text no. 111 (which deals with the founding of the city Dūr-Šarrukīn) was joined as a continuation of line 8´ of the present fragment (which deals with the appointment of governors over the land Bīt-Purutaš, following the defeat of its ruler Ambaris). Lines 5´–11´ of the present fragment may be compared to, and restored from, text no. 1 lines 198, 200, 202, 204, 125–126, 207, and 208 respectively (cf. text no. 2 lines 230, 232, and 235). Note that line 9´ matches parts of lines 125–126 of text no. 1, which come from the report of the Annals seventh campaign, unlike the remainder of the text which comes from the report of the ninth campaign. Since it is not clear how much is missing at the beginning and end of each line, restorations have been kept to a minimum in the transliteration.


1939 Delaporte, RHA 5/34 p. 54 (study)
1940 Delaporte, Malatya p. 9 (study)
1941 Kalaç, Sumeroloji Araştırmaları pp. 990–991 and 1011 (study)
1948 Landsberger, Samʾal p. 81 n. 213 (study)

113 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006594/]

Lines 1´–5´ of this fragment from the left side of a clay barrel cylinder found at Arslantepe in 1968 and currently stored in the Malatya Archaeological Museum describe the episode of Iāmānī of Ashdod and lines 6´–27´ summarize Sargon's campaigns against Marduk-apla-iddina II (Merodach-Baladan) (710–709), and in particular the capture of the latter's stronghold Dūr-Yakīn, which took place in Sargon's thirteenth regnal year (709). The inscription duplicates parts of the Nimrud prism (text no. 74) and two cylinder fragments from Niniveh (text nos. 86–87), as well as parts of two other cylinders from Arslantepe (text nos. 111 and 114).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006594/] of Sargon II 113


Malatya Archaeological Museum 855 (registration date 14.IX.1968)


The inscription was collated from a cast of the piece kindly loaned to the author by M. Frangipane in January 2004.

The mention of the king of Meluḫḫa and the fear of the brilliance of the gods Aššur, Nabû, and Marduk (line 4´) suggests that lines 1´–5´ describe the incident of Iāmānī, who usurped the throne of Ashdod, fled at the approach of Sargon's forces, took refuge in Meluḫḫa, and was later handed over to Assyria by the king of Meluḫha out of fear of the power of those three gods and of the Assyrian king (see text no. 7 lines 95–112 and text no. 8 lines 11–14).

For restorations in lines 6´–23´, see for example text no. 1 lines 404–408, text no. 2 lines 375–383, text no. 7 lines 126–129, 134–137, and 140–142; text no. 74 vi 14–80; text no. 86 lines 1´–18´; and text no. 87 lines 3´–14´. For lines 9´–17´, see also text no. 111 lines 1´–9´, and for lines 12´–27´, see also text no. 114 lines 1´–13´.


1975 Castellino in Pecorella, Malatya 3 pp. 69–73 and pl. LXVIII (photo, copy, edition, study)
1999 Na'aman, NABU 1999 p. 64 no. 65 (line 4´, study)
2004 Frame in Frangipane, Alle origini pp. 176–177 (photo, translation)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 79–80 (study)
2014 Maniori, Campagne di Sargon p. 47 G9 and passim (study)

114 [/rinap/rinap2/Q006595/]

This clay barrel cylinder fragment in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Ankara) was likely found by L. Delaporte at Arslantepe in 1938 (see the introduction to text nos. 111-114). The inscription preserves the end of an account describing the capture of Marduk-apla-iddina II's tribal stronghold of Dūr-Yakīn in Sargon's thirteenth regnal year (709) and the reorganization of the administration of Bīt-Yakīn (lines 1´-11´), as well the beginning of an account recording Sargon's triumphal entry into Babylon in the preceding year (lines 12´–13´). The inscription is similar to passages in several other texts, including the Khorsabad Display Inscription and the Nimrud Prism (text nos. 7 and 74), as well as in two other Malatya texts (text nos. 111 and 113).

Access the composite text [rinap/rinap2/Q006595/] of Sargon II 114


AnAr 21718/324


The provenance of the piece is not recorded in the museum inventory, but the immediately preceding piece (see text no. 111) is stated to come from Arslantepe (Malatya). The inscription is written in Neo-Assyrian script and, according to R. Akdoğan and A. Fuchs, in no place is more than at most one third of a line preserved (ZA 99 [2009] p. 83). Although the published photograph has been examined, the transliteration basically follows that of Akdoğan and Fuchs (ZA 99 [2009] p. 82).

Since it is not known where the line breaks would have occurred in the text, only minimal restorations are given in the transliteration even though the translation is restored in full. For the restorations in lines 1´–5´, see in particular text no. 111 lines 4´–9´, and for the restorations in lines 1´–13´, see text no. 113 lines 12´–26´. For line 1´, see also text no. 74 vi 39–42; cf. text no. 7 line 129. For lines 2´–5´, cf. text no. 74 vi 43–62. For lines 6´–9´, cf. text no. 7 lines 134–137 and text no. 74 vi 63–79. For 10´–11´, cf. text no. 7 lines 137–140 and text no. 74 vi 80–85. For lines 12´–13´, see text no. 7 lines 140–142.


1939 Delaporte, RHA 5/34 p. 54 (study)
1940 Delaporte, Malatya p. 9 (study)
1941 Kalaç, Sumeroloji Araștırmaları pp. 990–991 and 1011 (study)
1948 Landsberger, Samʾal p. 81 n. 213 (study)
2009 Akdoğan and Fuchs, ZA 99 pp. 82–86 (photo, transliteration, study)
2009 Frame, Studies Parpola pp. 65–66 (study)

Grant Frame

Grant Frame, 'West and Northwest (103-114)', RINAP 2: Sargon II, Sargon II, The RINAP 2 sub-project of the RINAP Project, 2021 [http://oracc.org/rinap/rinap2/rinap2textintroductions/westandnorthwest103114/]

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The RINAP 2 sub-project of the University of Pennsylvania-based RINAP Project, 2020-. The contents of RINAP 2 were prepared by Grant Frame for the University-of-Pennsylvania-based and National-Endowment-for-the-Humanities-funded Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project, with the assistance of Joshua Jeffers and the Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI), which is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/] license, 2007-21.
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