Seal of Hittite prince found in mound
Excavations carried out at Aççana mound in the Reyhanlı district of the southern province of Hatay unearthed some 3,250-year-old seal impressions and 3,400-year-old tablets. The artifacts belong to the Hittite prince, according to officials.
The excavations in the region have been carried out under the chairmanship of Hatay Mustafa Kemal University Archeology Department head of Protohistory and Near East Archeology Department Associate Professor Murat Akar.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Akar said the excavations in the region have been carried out for six months with the support of the Turkish Historical Society.
Stating that they achieved important results in this year’s work, Akar stated that they found tablets, cylinder seals and seal impressions on clay gall in the region.
Akar evaluated the finds as “exciting.”
“There are Akkadian cuneiform texts on the tablet found. This is a 3,400-year-old tablet, and also a seal impression of a previously unknown Hittite prince was also found. The tablet and the cylindrical seals give us information about the administration and administrative practices of the region, especially during the period when the region was under the rule of the Mitanni Empire,” he added.
“Another important find we found in our new excavation area, which we opened recently, is a 3,250-year-old ‘bulla,’ that is, a seal impression on a clay gall. This find is one of the most important discoveries of this year in order to understand what happened in the period after the region came under Hittite control and to define its administrative and political dynamics.”
Stating that the finds provide information about the administrative and archival practices of Alalah, which was the capital of the Mukish Kingdom in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, Akar said: “The written documents we found are extremely exciting. We previously found cylindrical seals and seal impressions that showed us the existence of a ruling class here, but this last one, with hieroglyphic Luwian writing on it, gives us the name of a Hittite prince whose name was not mentioned in other written documents in Alalah. We see his name for the first time.”
“The name of the Hittite prince will be announced to the scientific world in the near future. This find was also an extremely important discovery for us to define and understand the Hittites’ administration policy in southeastern Anatolia and northern Syria, and to describe the administrative dynamics of the region at the end of the Bronze Age.”