A number of ancient inscriptions refer to Sam’al or its rulers. Some of these inscriptions were found at the site of Zincirli itself or nearby. They shed light on the political, economic, and religious history of Sam’al and the ethnic origins of its inhabitants. The archaeological results obtained from excavations and surveys at Zincirli and neighboring sites help us to interpret these inscriptions, and vice versa.
An Old Assyrian Tablet (19th cent. BCE)
An Old Assyrian cuneiform tablet found at Kültepe, ancient Kanesh in central Anatolia, refers to Sam’al (Kt c/k 441). This text is dated to the nineteenth century BCE. It records payments made by an Assyrian merchant for various expenses related to what seems to have been an expedition to the Amanus Mountains to procure timber and wine. The expedition employed a person from Sam’al, which is likely the same place as Iron Age Sam’al (Zincirli), at the foot of the Amanus Mountains near the eastern outlet of a major pass used in all periods to ascend the forested slopes and cross over to the Cilician plain. The tablet was published by Khaled Nashef in his Rekonstruktion der Reiserouten zur Zeit der altassyrischen Handelsniederlassungen (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1987), pp. 18–20, text no. 7. See also Nashef’s Die Orts– und Gewässernamen der altassyrischen Zeit, pp. 95–96 (Répertoire Géographique des Textes Cunéiformes 4; Wiesbaden, 1991); and Michael Astour’s comments on this text in the Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (1989), p. 686, and in Eblaitica 4, p. 103 (ed. C. H. Gordon and G. A. Rendsburg; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2002).
Eleven shekels (92 grams) of tin to the employee from Sam’al (a-na ṣú-ḫa-ri-im ša sá-am-a-al). Five shekels (42 grams) of tin and a seal (made) of hematite to his partners. One mina and two shekels (517 grams) of tin from Ennum-bēlum to the investor. Five carnelian (gemstones) and two zigašarrums for the timber in Kunukam. Five dulbātums, a mulūḫum and sundry wares, (and) a half-pint (¼ SÌLA) of fine oil, (the value of which was) five-and-a-half shekels (46 grams) of tin, to the kaššum (a high official) of Kunukam. Two-and-a-quarter shekels (19 grams) of tin for wine. One-and-a-half shekels (12 grams) of tin to the wife of the kaššum. Six-and-a-half shekels (54 grams) of tin to the guide in the mountains.
Seven dulbātums, one mulūḫum and sundry wares, (the value of which was) five shekels (42 grams) of tin, to the wife of Adu (Haddu), prince of Šiḫwa. Five-sixths of a mina (417 grams) of tin to the palace of Šiḫwa. Two shekels (17 grams) of tin to the mayor. Three shekels (25 grams) of tin to the metal-smith. Three shekels (25 grams) of tin for wine. Fifteen shekels (125 grams) of tin to the kaššum of Šiḫwa. Half a mina and five shekels (292 grams) of tin to our escort. All of this I gave when I entered (the town).
Five dulbātums, two nigarašums and sundry wares, (the value of which was) one-third of a mina (167 grams) of copper, to the elders. Fifteen shekels (125 grams) of copper for divination. All of this in Tadḫul.
Three shekels (25 grams) of tin for wine in Šuḫru. One quart (1 SÌLA) of fine oil, ten dulbātums ZA-ma-ḫa-am, one mulūḫum and sundry wares of/for (the) children(?) to the palace. Four(?) shares to the (caravan) driver.
Four dulbātums and sundry wares, (the value of which was) two shekels (17 grams) of tin, to the priest. Three-and-a-half shekels (29 grams) of tin for wine. One-third of a shekel (3 grams) of tin also for wine. All of this I gave in ITI.KAM-im.
Notes: A mina is about 500 grams and a shekel is 1/60th of a mina (ca. 8.3 grams). Kunukam was probably a place in the mountains where the timber was cut.
Letter of Anum-Ḫirbi (early 18th cent. BCE)
A letter written in cuneiform in the Old Assyrian dialect was found on the upper mound of Kültepe, ancient Kanesh (Kt g/t 35). It was sent by Anum-Ḫirbi, ruler of Mamma, to the ruler of Kanesh. It is widely agreed that this Anum-Ḫirbi is the same person as the king mentioned in a text from Mari as the ruler of the city of Zalwar, west of the Euphrates River. And it now seems likely that Zalwar was located at Tilmen Höyük, just 8 kilometers south of Zincirli. Mamma, which was also part of Anum-Ḫirbi’s kingdom, was probably in or near the modern city of Kahramanmaraş, which is 55 kilometers north of Zincirli at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. If so, it would have controlled the southern outlet of the Göksun Pass, which provided a direct route of travel over the mountains from North Syria to Kanesh and the Anatolian plateau (see “Anum-Ḫirbi and His Kingdom,” by Jared L. Miller, in Altorientalische Forschungen 28 : 65–101; and A Historical Geography of Anatolia in the Old Assyrian Colony Period, by Gojko Barjamovic [Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, 2011], pp. 204–211). Thus, Sam’al was part of the sizable kingdom of Anum-Ḫirbi, which in the early part of the eighteenth century BCE controlled the east-west trade route from the Upper Euphrates River to the Amanus Mountains and the pass to Cilicia, and also controlled the north-south route that ran by Zincirli along the east side of the Amanus range, northward to the Taurus Mountains and the pass leading to Anatolia.
This text was published by Kemal Balkan in Letter of King Anum-Hirbi of Mama to King Warshama of Kanish (Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları vol. 7, no. 31a; Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1957). The following translation is by Gojko Barjamovic (ibid., pp. 205f.), and has been modified slightly:
Thus says Anum-Ḫirbi, king of Mamma, to Waršama, king of Kanesh: “You wrote to me, saying: ‘The Taišamean is my slave. I will personally take care of him, but will you then take care of the Sibuḫean, your slave?’ Since the Taišamean is your dog, then why is he negotiating with the other vassal princes? For he did consult other vassal princes! Is my dog, the Sibuḫean, negotiating with the other vassal princes? Is the prince of Taišama to turn into a third king with us (i.e., become our equal)? In truth, my enemy defeated me and the Taišamean fell upon my country and destroyed 12 of my towns. He took their cattle and their sheep away, saying: ‘The king is dead, so I have taken (out) my fowler’s trap.’ Instead of protecting my territory and encouraging me, he set fire to my country and made it reek of smoke. Did my land invade your land when your father Inar laid siege to the city of Ḫarsamna for nine years? Did my country fall upon your country and did it withhold a single ox or sheep? Now you wrote to me, saying: ‘Why do you not open the road for me? I will open the road from here.’ … and I will […] the city, and then […]. Let me […] a single road, and then I will open the road from here. … You wrote to me, saying: ‘Let us swear an oath. The former oath has become insufficient. Let your envoy come to me, and let my envoy come regularly to you.’ Tarikutana sealed stones as if they were silver and left them behind. Are such things pleasing to the gods?”
Annals of Ḫattušili I (mid- to late 17th cent. BCE)
Clay tablets excavated at the Hittite capital of Ḫattuša in central Anatolia (modern Boğazköy) contain an account of the deeds of Ḫattušili I, a Hittite king who reigned in the latter part of the seventeenth century BCE (according to the Mesopotamian Middle Chronology). His military exploits are described in a year-by-year format in both Hittite and Akkadian. In his first regnal year he destroyed the city of Zalpa (written Za-al-pa in Hittite and Za-al-ba-ar in Akkadian). This city was formerly equated by scholars with the city of Zalpa/Zalpuwa in Anatolia, located to the north of Ḫattuša near the Black Sea. But the Zalpa mentioned in the Annals of Ḫattušili I is now convincingly identified as Tilmen Höyük, in the Karasu River Valley south of the Taurus Mountains, which had a palace and temple that were violently destroyed near the end of the Middle Bronze Age II. This North Syrian Zalpa was called Zalwar in Old Babylonian texts.
The mound of Tilmen Höyük (ancient Zalpa/Zalwar) is just 8 kilometers south of Zincirli Höyük (ancient Sam’al), and our recent excavations have shown that Zincirli, too, was violently destroyed and burned at the same time as Tilmen, or close to it. The dating of both destructions, which is based on recent ceramic and radiocarbon evidence, corresponds well to the early part of Ḫattušili I’s reign, leading us to surmise that both places were destroyed in the campaign of his first year. Likewise, the city of Alalaḫ (modern Tell Atchana), located in the Plain of Antioch about 100 kilometers south of Zincirli, was violently destroyed in the Middle Bronze Age II, and this destruction is usually attributed to Ḫattušili I, who claims to have conquered Alalaḫ in the second year of his reign. Thus, the first two campaigns of this king were directed against kingdoms in North Syria, southeast of his capital at Ḫattuša, on the other side of the Taurus Mountains. In previous generations, before the rise of the Hittite Empire, there had been extensive political and trade interactions between the Hittite heartland and the kingdoms of North Syria, as shown by the Letter of Anum-Ḫirbi, which was sent to the king of Kanesh by an earlier ruler of the North Syrian Zalpa/Zalwar.
In his third year, having conquered the kingdoms to the southeast of Ḫatti as far as the Orontes River, Ḫattušili campaigned against Arzawa in western Anatolia. However, his earlier forays across the Taurus Mountains into Syria seem to have provoked a reaction, because during his absence in western Anatolia, the “Hurrian enemy” invaded his kingdom and instigated a rebellion against him. However, he managed to suppress the insurrection and he returned in vengeance to North Syria during his fourth year, when he attacked and defeated the wealthy cities of Ḫaššuwa and Ḫaḫḫa, to the east of the previously destroyed cities of Zalpa/Zalwar (Tilmen) and Sam’al (Zincirli). The Annals indicate that Ḫaššuwa was allied with the powerful city of Aleppo. The city of Ḫaššuwa (called Ḫaššum in other sources) is possibly to be identified with the prominent mound of Oylum Höyük, which is halfway between Aleppo and Gaziantep, just north of the modern Turkish-Syrian border, or else Tilbeşar southeast of Gaziantep. In any case, Ḫaššuwa controlled the territory east of the kingdom of Zalpa/Zalwar, i.e., the region from the Kurt Dağ mountains to the Euphrates River, and thus was the next target of Ḫattušili after he had secured the north-south corridor along the Amanus range as far south as Alalaḫ on the Orontes, because the conquest of Ḫaššuwa gave him control of the east-west trade corridor from the Amanus to the Euphrates. The city of Ḫaḫḫa (called Ḫaḫḫum in other sources), which Ḫattušili proceeded to conquer after defeating Ḫaššuwa, is thought by most scholars to be near Samsat and is probably to be identified with Lidar Höyük on the east (left) bank of the Upper Euphrates River.
The following translation of the Annals of Ḫattušili I (slightly modified here) is by Gary Beckman and is published in The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation, edited by Mark W. Chavalas (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 219–222:
§1 (A i 1–8) I, the Great King, the Tabarna, Ḫattušili, [king of the land of Ḫatti], ruler of (the city of) Kuššar, exercised kingship in Ḫatti. The brother’s son of Tawananna, I went to (the city of) Šanaḫuitta, but I did not destroy it; I destroyed its countryside. I left forces in two places as garrisons, and I gave whatever sheepfolds there were (in that vicinity) to the garrison troops.
§2 (A i 9–11) [Thereafter] I went to the (city of) Zalpa (Akkadian: Zalbar) and destroyed it. I took its deities and three palanquins and carried them off for the sun-goddess of (the city of) Arinna.
§3 (A i 12–14) I carried off one golden ox and one golden rhyton in the shape of a fist to the temple of the storm-god. I carried off the deities that remained to the temple of (the goddess) Mezzulla.
§4 (A i 15–21) In the following year I went to the (city of) Alalaḫ and destroyed it. Thereafter I went to (the city of) Waršuwa, and from Waršuwa I went to (the city of) Ikakali. From Ikakali I went to (the city of) Tašḫiniya. I destroyed these lands, but I took their(!) goods and filled my palace with goods.
§5 (A i 22–34) In the following year I went to the land of Arzawa and took away their cattle and sheep. But in my rear the Hurrian enemy entered the land, and all the countries became hostile to me; only the single city Ḫattuša remained. I am the Great King, the Tabarna, beloved of the sun-goddess of Arinna. She placed me on her lap, held me by the hand, and ran before me in battle. Then I went into battle to (the city of) Nenašša, and when the people of Nenašša saw me (coming), they opened up (their city).
§6 (A i 35–45) Thereafter I went in battle to the land of Ulma. The people of Ulma came against me twice in battle, and I defeated them both times. I destroyed Ulma and sowed [cress] on its territory. And I carried off seven deities to the temple of the sun-goddess of Arinna, (including) one golden ox, the goddess Katiti, and Mount Aranḫapilanni. I carried off the deities that remained to the temple of Mezzulla. But when I returned from the land of Ulma, I went to the land of Šalliaḫšuwa. Then the land of Šalliaḫšuwa delivered itself with fire, while those persons (its inhabitants) entered my service. Then I returned to my city Ḫattuša.
§7 (A i 46–52) In the following year I went in battle (to the city) of Šanaḫḫuitta, and I fought Šanaḫḫuitta for five months. [Then] I destroyed [it] in the sixth month. I, the Great King, was satisfied. The sun-god appeared in the midst of the lands. The manly deeds that [I …] I took to the sun-goddess of Arinna.
§8 (A i 53–ii 5) I defeated the chariotry of the land of Appaya, and I took away the cattle and sheep of (the city of) Takšanaya. I went to (the city of) Parmanna. Parmanna was the chief of those kings; it used to smooth out the paths before them.
§9 (A ii 6–10) And when they saw me coming, they opened up the city gates. The sun-god of Heaven took them by the hand in [that] matter. (The city of) Alḫa became hostile to me, and I destroyed Alḫa.
§10 (A ii 11–23) In the following year I went to the land of Zaruna, and I destroyed Zaruna. Then I went to (the city of) Ḫaššuwa. The people of Ḫaššuwa came against me in battle, and the troops of the land of Aleppo were with them as allies. They came to me [in battle] and I defeated them. And in a few days I crossed the Euphrates River. I scattered the land of Ḫaššuwa like a lion with its paws. When I attacked [it], I piled up dirt [on it]. I took all [of its goods] and I filled Ḫattuša (with them).
§11 (A ii 24–31) I [took(?) much] silver and gold. Furthermore, [I took] its deities: the storm-god, Lord of (Mount) Amaruk; the storm-god, Lord of Aleppo, Allatum, (Mount) Adalur, Lelluri, 2 oxen of gold, 13(!) statues of silver and gold, 2 model shrines, and a rear wall. And I plated it with silver and gold; and I plated the door with silver and gold.
§12 (A ii 32–40) One golden inlaid table, three silver tables, two golden(!) tables, one golden inlaid throne with arms, a … of gold, one palanquin of gold, two scepters(?) of stone, plated with gold—these I carried off from Ḫaššuwa to the sun-goddess of Arinna. The Young Woman, Allatum, Ḫebat, three statues of silver, and two statues of gold—these I carried off to the temple of Mezzulla.
§13 (A ii 41–44) One golden lance, [five(?)] golden maces, five silver maces, two double-axes of lapis-lazuli, one double-ax of gold—these I carried off to the temple of the storm-god.
§14 (A ii 45–53) In one year I conquered Ḫaššuwa. They threw away the spear of the city of Tawannaga. I, the Great King, cut off his/its head. I went to (the city of) Zippašna. Indeed, at night I went up to Zippašna, and I joined battle with them. I piled up dirt on them, and the storm-god appeared in the midst of the land.
§15 (A ii 54–iii 5) I, the Great King, the Tabarna, went to Zippašna. Like a lion, I frightened off (the city of) Ḫaḫḫa with menacing gestures, and I destroyed Zippašna. I took its deities and carried them off to the sun-goddess of Arinna.
§16 (A iii 6–12) Then I went to Ḫaḫḫa, and at Ḫaḫḫa I gave battle three times in the city gate. I destroyed Ḫaḫḫa. I took its goods and brought them to my city Ḫattuša (two pairs of wagons were loaded with silver):
§17 (A iii 13–24) one palanquin, one silver stag, one golden table, one silver table; these deities of Ḫaḫḫa: one silver bull, one boat with prow inlaid in gold, I, the Great King, the Tabarna, brought from Ḫaḫḫa and carried off to the sun-goddess of Arinna. I, the Great King, the Tabarna, removed the hands of its slave girls from the grinding stone. I removed the hands of its slaves from the sickle. I freed them from compulsory services, and I ungirded their loins. I turned them over to the sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady. And I made this golden statue of myself and set it up before the sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady. And I plated the wall above and below with silver.
§18 (A iii 25–28) The king of (the city of) Timana sent one chariot of silver to (me), the Great King, and I carried (it) off to the sun-goddess of Arinna. I (also) carried off two statues of alabaster to the sun-goddess of Arinna.
§19 (A iii 29–36) No one had crossed the Euphrates River, but I, the Great King, the Tabarna, crossed it on foot, and my army crossed it on foot behind me. Sargon (of Akkad also) crossed it. [He] fought the troops of Ḫaḫḫa, but [he] did not do anything to Ḫaḫḫa. He did not burn it down; smoke was not visible to the storm-god of Heaven.
§20 (A iii 37–42) But I, the Great King, the Tabarna, destroyed Ḫaššuwa and Ḫaḫḫa, and [burned] them down with fire. I showed smoke to the sun-god of Heaven and the storm-god. I hitched the king of Ḫaššuwa and the king of Ḫaḫḫa to a wagon.
[First] tablet, [incomplete(?)], of the manly deeds of Ḫattušili.
Annals of Shalmaneser III (857 and 853 BCE)
Sam’al and its king Ḥayyānu are mentioned in an Akkadian cuneiform inscription of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria, found at Fort Shalmaneser in northern Iraq and dated to 857 BCE. The following translation by A. Kirk Grayson (slightly modified here) was published in his Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. II (858–745 B.C.), vol. 3 in the series Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia—Assyrian Periods (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 7–11:
Shalmaneser, king of all people, prince, vice-regent of Aššur, strong king, king of Assyria, king of all the four quarters, sun(god) of all people, ruler of all lands, the king who is the desired object of the gods, chosen of the god Enlil, trustworthy appointee of Aššur, attentive prince, who gives income and offerings to the great gods, pious one, who ceaselessly provides for the Ekur, faithful shepherd who leads in peace the population of Assyria, exalted overseer who heeds the commands of the gods, the resplendent one who acts with the support of Aššur and Šamaš, the gods his allies, and at the beginning of his reign conquered the upper sea and the lower sea, who has no rival among the princes of the four quarters, who indeed has seen remote and rugged regions and trodden upon the mountain peaks in all the highlands; son of Ashurnasirpal (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Tukultī-Ninurta (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Adad-nārārī (II) who was also appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur:
When Aššur, the great lord, chose me in his steadfast heart and with his holy eyes and named me for the shepherdship of Assyria, he put in my grasp a strong weapon which fells the insubordinate, he crowned me with a lofty crown, and he sternly commanded me to exercise dominion over and to subdue all the lands insubmissive to Aššur. At that time, in my accession year and in my first regnal year, after I nobly ascended the royal throne, I mustered my chariots and troops. I entered the pass of the land Simesi and captured the city Aridu, the fortified city of Ninnu. I erected a tower of heads in front of the city. I burned ten cities in its environs. While I was residing in the same city Aridu, I received tribute of teams of horses from the people of the lands/mountains Ḫargu, Ḫarmasa, Sirišu, Ulmānu, and Simerra.
Moving on from the city Aridu, I smashed out with copper picks rough paths in mighty mountains which rose perpendicularly to the sky like the points of daggers and into which no one among the kings my fathers had ever passed. I moved my chariots and troops over those paths and approached the city Ḫubuškia. I burned the city Ḫubuškia and all the cities in its environs. Kakia, king of the city Ḫubuškia, and the remainder of his troops became frightened in the face of my weapons and they ascended mountains where they fortified themselves (lit. “they took as a fortress”). I climbed up the mountains after them. I waged mighty war in the mountains and defeated them. I brought back his chariots and troops from the mountains. Overwhelmed by fear of the radiance of Aššur, my lord, they came down and submitted to me. I imposed upon them tribute of teams of horses.
Moving on from the city Ḫubuškia, I approached the city Sugunia, the fortified city of Aramu of the land Urarṭu. I besieged the city, captured it, massacred many of its people, and carried off booty from them. I erected two towers of heads in front of his city. I burned fourteen cities in its environs.
Moving on from the city Sugunia, I went down to the sea of the land Nairi (prob. Lake Urmia). I washed my weapons in the sea and made sacrifices to my gods. At that time I made an image of myself and wrote thereon the praises of Aššur, the great lord, and the prowess of my power. I erected it by the sea. On my return from the sea I approached the city Gilzānu. I received tribute from Asû of the land Gilzānu: teams of horses and camels with two humps. I brought it to my city Aššur.
… In this first year (858 BCE) I took the path to the western sea (the Mediterranean), also called the sea of the land Amurru. On my way I conquered the city La’la’tu, which belonged to Aḫuni, the “son” of Adini (i.e., ruler of Bīt-Adini, a kingdom on the Euphrates River). I received the tribute of Ḫabini of the city Tīl-Abnī, of Ga’una of the city Sarug, and of Giri-Adad of the city Immerina: silver, gold, tin, bronze, cattle, sheep, and wine.
Moving on from the city […] I crossed the Euphrates River, which was in flood. […]
Moving on [from the city] Gurgum (modern Kahramanmaraş), I approached the city Lutibu (prob. modern Coba Höyük near Sakçagözu), the [fortified] city of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al. Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, Sapalulme of the land Patin (i.e., the plain of Antioch), [Aḫuni] the “son” of Adini, and Sangara of [the land Carchemish] put their trust in each other and prepared for war. They attacked me to do battle. With the exalted might of the divine standard which goes before me and with the fierce weapons [which] Aššur my lord gave to me, I fought and defeated them. I felled their fighting men with the sword, [rained down] upon them [destruction (lit. “flood”)] as the god Adad, piled up their (bodies) in ditches, [filled the extensive] plain with the corpses of their warriors, and with their blood I dyed the mountain red like red wool. I took from them (lit. “him”) numerous chariots and teams of horses. I erected a tower of heads in front of his city and [razed, destroyed, and] burned [his cities]. I made a colossal royal statue of myself and wrote [thereon] about my heroic deeds [and victorious actions. I erected (it)] before the source of the Saluara River (modern Karasu) at the foot of the [Amanus] range.
Moving on from the Amanus range, I crossed the Orontes River and approached the city Alimuš, the fortified city of Sapalulme of the land Patin. To save his life, Sapalulme of the land Patin received into his armed forces Aḫuni the “son” of Adini, Sangara of the land Carchemish, Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, Katê of the land Que (the Cilician plain), Piḫirim of the land Ḫiluka (Taurus Mountains), Bur-Anate of the land Yasbuq, and Adānu of the land Yaḫan. By the command of Aššur, my lord, I scattered their assembled forces. I besieged the city, captured it, and carried off valuable booty from them, namely, numerous chariots and teams of horses. I felled 700 of their fighting men with the sword. In the midst of this battle I captured Bur-Anate of the land Yasbuq. I captured the great cities of Patin. I overwhelmed the cities on the shore of the upper sea of the land Amurru, also called the western sea (the Mediterranean), so that they looked like ruin hills created by the deluge. I received tribute from the kings on the seashore. I marched about by right of victory in the extensive area of the seashore. I made an image of my lordship. […] I approached […] I received tribute from Arame the “son” of Agūsi (i.e., the ruler of Bīt-Agūsi): silver, gold, cattle, sheep, wine, and a gold-and-silver bed.
On the thirteenth day of the month Iyyar, in the eponymy of my own name, I moved out from Nineveh, crossed the Tigris River, traversed Mounts Ḫasamu and Diḫnunu, and approached the city Tīl-Barsip, the fortified city of Aḫuni the “son” of Adini. Trusting in the strength of his troops, Aḫuni the “son” of Adini attacked me. I defeated him and confined him to his city. Moving on from Tīl-Barsip, I crossed the Euphrates, […] I approached […], a city belonging to Aḫuni the “son” of Adini. […] I captured it. I massacred many of its people. […] the plain […] of royalty, his battle equipment, I carried off. […] Moving on from the city […]ra, I approached the city Dabigu. […], the fortified city of Aḫuni the “son” of Adini. I besieged and captured it. I massacred their people and carried off booty from them. I razed and destroyed the city and turned it into a devastated ruin hill.
While I was residing in the same city, Dabigu, I received the tribute of Qalparunda of the city Unqi, of Mutalli of the city Gurgum, of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, and of Aramu the “son” of Agūsi: silver, gold, tin, bronze, iron, bronze, red-purple wool, elephant ivory, garments with multicolored trim, linen garments, cattle, sheep, wine, and ducks.
Additional details concerning Sam’al and its king Ḥayyānu, who is called the “son” of Gabbār, are given in an Akkadian cuneiform inscription on the Kurkh Monolith of Shalmaneser III, which is dated to 853 BCE. The following translation of excerpts from this inscription is by A. Kirk Grayson (slightly modified) and is published in his Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. II (858–745 B.C.), vol. 3 in the series Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia—Assyrian Periods (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 15–18:
…Moving on from the city Burmar’ana, I crossed the Euphrates in rafts made of inflated goatskins. I received tribute from Qatazilu of the land Kummuḫ (Commagene): silver, gold, cattle, sheep, and wine. I then approached the city Paqarruḫbuni (and other) cities belonging to Aḫuni the “son” of Adini (i.e., the ruler of Bīt-Adini), which is on the opposite bank of the Euphrates. I defeated his land and laid waste his cities. I filled the wide plain with the corpses (lit. “defeat”) of his warriors by felling 1,300 of his combat troops with the sword. Moving on from the city Paqarruḫbuni, I approached the cities of Mutalli of the land Gurgum (modern Kahramanmaraş). I received tribute from Mutalli of the land Gurgum: silver, gold, cattle, sheep, wine, and his daughter with her rich dowry. Moving on from the city Gurgum, I approached the city Lutibu (prob. modern Coba Höyük near Sakçagözu), the fortified city of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al….
I ascended the Amanus range and cut down beams of cedar and juniper. I marched to Mount Atalur (prob. modern Kurt Dağ, a range of low mountains east of and parallel to the Amanus range), where the image of Anum-ḫirbe stands, and erected my image with his image….
All of the kings of the land Hatti became afraid in the face of the flash of my strong weapons and my stormy onslaught and submitted to me. I received from Qalparunda of the land Patin three talents of gold, 100 talents of silver, 300 talents of bronze, 300 talents of iron, 1,000 bronze casseroles, 1,000 linen garments with multicolored trim, his daughter with her rich dowry, 20 talents of red purple wool, 500 cattle, and 5,000 sheep. I imposed upon him as annual tribute one talent of silver, two talents of red purple wool, and 100 cedar beams, and I regularly receive it in my city, Aššur. I received from Ḥayyānu the “son” of Gabbār (i.e., ruler of Bīt-Gabbār), which is at the foot of the Amanus range, [N] talents of silver, 90 talents of bronze, 90 talents of iron, 300 linen garments with multicolored trim, 300 cattle, 3,000 sheep, 200 cedar beams, [N] + two homers of cedar resin, and his daughter with her rich dowry. I imposed upon him as tribute ten minas of silver, 100 cedar beams, and one homer of cedar resin, and I receive it annually in my city, Aššur….
Phoenician Inscription of Kulamuwa (ca. 830 BCE)
On the upper mound of Zincirli, the German expedition discovered an inscription by Kulamuwa, king of Sam’al, which is dated to ca. 830 BCE. Kulamuwa’s father Ḥayyā(nu) is mentioned in the Annals of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria, who defeated Ḥayyā’s army and conquered Sam’al in 858 BCE. Kulamuwa’s inscription was written in Phoenician and carved on a stone orthostat that also bears his portrait, showing him in Assyrian-style garb. Phoenician is a Canaanite dialect that was spoken along the Mediterranean coast of the Levant during the Iron Age. It was not the spoken language of the kingdom of Sam’al but it was widely used in the Iron Age II as a lingua franca because, beginning in the tenth century BCE, Phoenician travelers and merchants had disseminated their new alphabetic method of writing, ancestral to all alphabets in use today, far and wide among the Iron Age kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean. After Kulamuwa, the later royal inscriptions we possess from the kingdom of Sam’al were written in the local Sam’alian dialect using a Phoenician-derived alphabetic script, or, in the case of the latest known inscription by Barrākib (ca. 720 BCE), were written in the “official” dialect of Aramaic used as a lingua franca in the Neo-Assyrian Empire beginning in the late eighth century BCE. The following translation of the Kulamuwa inscription (slightly modified) is by K. Lawson Younger and is published in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 147–148:
I am Kulamuwa, the son of Ḥayyā. Gabbār ruled over Y’DY, but he achieved nothing. BNH also (ruled over Y’DY), but he achieved nothing. Then my father Ḥayyā, but he achieved nothing. And then my brother Ša’īl, but he achieved nothing. But I am Kulamuwa, son of TML—what I achieved, (my) predecessors had not achieved.
The house of my father was in the midst of mighty kings. Each one stretched forth his hand to fight. But I was in the hand of the kings like a fire consuming the beard and like a fire consuming the hand. The king of the Danunians (in the Cilician plain west of the Amanus Mountains) was more powerful than I, but I engaged against him the king of Assyria. A young woman was given for a sheep and a young man for a garment.
I am Kulamuwa, son of Ḥayyā. I sat upon the throne of my father. During the reigns of the former kings, the muškabīm were living like dogs. But I was to some a father; and to some I was a mother; and to some I was a brother. Whoever had never possessed a sheep, I made a lord of a flock. Whoever had never possessed an ox, I made owner of a herd and owner of silver and lord of gold. Whoever from his childhood had never seen linen, now in my days wore byssos. I took the muškabīm by the hand and they showed (me) affection like the affection of a fatherless child toward (its) mother.
Now, whoever of my descendants (lit. “sons”) sits in my place and damages this inscription—may the muškabīm not honor the ba‘rīrīm and may the ba‘rīrīm not honor the muškabīm. And whoever strikes out this inscription, may Baal Ṣemed, (the god) of Bamah, and Rākib-El, the lord of the dynasty (lit. “house”), strike his head.
Hadad Statue Inscription of Panamuwa I (ca. 750 BCE)
A mortuary inscription of Panamuwa I, king of Sam’al, was written in the local Sam’alian dialect and engraved on a colossal statue of the storm-god Hadad found by the German expedition at the site of Gercin, atop a rocky outcrop 7 kilometers north-northeast of Zincirli. There was a temple of Hadad on the highest part of Gercin, which was easily visible from the royal citadel of Sam’al. Panamuwa’s inscription indicates that there was a royal necropolis or memorial place for the Iron Age kings of Sam’al in or near the temple of Hadad. It is dates to ca. 750 BCE. The following translation (slightly modified) is by K. Lawson Younger and is published in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 156–158:
I am Panamuwa, son of Qarli, king of Y’DY, who have erected this statue for Hadad in my eternal abode (burial chamber). The gods Hadad and El and Rašap and Rākib-El and Šamaš supported me. Hadad and El and Rākib-El and Šamaš and Rašap gave the scepter of dominion into my hands. Rašap supported me. So whatever I grasped with my hand […] and whatever I asked from the gods, they granted to me. The devastation(?) they restored. […] a land of barley […] a land of wheat and a land of garlic and a land of […]. Then […]. And […]. They cultivated the land and the vineyard. They dwelt there […].
I, Panamuwa, reigned on the throne of my father. Hadad gave into my hands a scepter of dominion. I cut off war and slander from the house of my father, and in my days also Y’DY ate and drank. In my days it was commanded throughout all my land to reconstruct ṬYRT and to reconstruct ZRRY and to build the villages of the dominion. Each one took his friend(?). Hadad and El and Rākib-El and Šamaš and ’Arqû-Rašap gave abundance. Greatness was granted to me and a sure covenant was concluded with me. In the days when I gained dominion, a gift-offering(?) was given to the gods; they took the land from my hand. Whatever I asked from the gods of the land, they gave to me. The gods of the land delighted in me, the son of Qarli.
Then Hadad gave the land for my […]. He singled me out to build and during my dominion, Hadad […] gave me the land to build. So I have built the land. I have erected this statue of Hadad and have built the place of Panamuwa, son of Qarli, king of Y’DY, with the statue—a burial chamber. Whoever of my sons (descendants) seizes the scepter, and sits on my throne, and maintains power, and sacrifices to this Hadad, […] an oath(?) and sacrifices this […] sacrifices to Hadad. Or, on the other hand, […] then he says: “May the soul (NBŠ) of Panamuwa eat with you and may the soul of Panamuwa drink with you.” May he remember eternally the soul of Panamuwa with Hadad. May he give this his sacrifice to Hadad. May he (i.e., Hadad) look favorably upon it. May it be a tribute for Hadad and for El and for Rākib-El and Šamaš and Rašap.
I am Panamuwa […] a house for the gods of this city. I built it and I caused the gods to dwell in it. During my reign, I allotted the gods a resting place. And they gave to me a seed of the bosom. […] whoever of my sons (descendants) seizes the scepter, and sits on my throne, and reigns over Y’DY, and maintains his power, and sacrifices to this Hadad, and does not remember the name of Panamuwa—who does not say: “May the soul of Panamuwa eat with Hadad, and may the soul of Panamuwa drink with Hadad”; then […] his sacrifice. May he (i.e., Hadad) not look favorably upon it, and whatever he asks, may Hadad not grant him. As for Hadad, may his wrath be poured out on him and may he not give to him to eat because of his rage; and may he withhold sleep from him in the night; and may terror be given to him. And may he not […] my kinsmen or relatives.
Whoever of my house seizes the scepter in Y’DY and sits on my throne and reigns in my place, may he not stretch his hand with the sword against anyone(?) of my house, either out of anger or out of violence. May he not do murder, either out of wrath or out of […]. And may no one be put to death, either by his bow or by his word or by his command.
But should (the future king’s) kinsman plot the destruction of one of his kinsmen or one of his relatives or one of his kinswomen, or should any member of my house plot destruction, then may (the king) assemble his male relatives and may he stand (the accused plotter) in the middle. Indeed, (the aggrieved victim of the plot) will pronounce his oath: “Your brother has caused my destruction!” If (the accused) denies it and (the aggrieved) lifts up his hands to the god of his father and says on his oath: “If I have put these words in the mouth of a stranger, say that my eyes are fixed or fearful, or that I have put my words in the mouth of enemies!”—then if (the accused) is male, may his male relatives be assembled and may they pound him with stones; and if (the accused) is female, then may her kinswomen be assembled and may they pound her with stones.
But if indeed ruin has struck him (a royal kinsman?) himself, then should your (i.e., the future king’s) eyes be weary of him on account of his bow or his power or his words or his instigation, then you […] his right […]. But if you slay him in violence or in anger, or you issue a decree against him, or you incite a stranger to slay him, may the gods […] slay […]
Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III (737 and 729 BCE)
Sam’al and its king Panamuwa II are mentioned in an Akkadian cuneiform inscription of Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, on the Iran Stele III A, which is dated to 737 BCE. The following translation (slightly modified) is by Hayim Tadmor and is published in his The Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, King of Assyria: Critical Edition, with Introductions, Translation and Commentary (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994), pp. 107–109:
The kings of the land of Hatti, (and of) the Arameans of the western seashore, the Qedarites (and) the Arabs: Kuštašpi of Kummuh (Commagene), Rezin of Damascus, Menahem of Samaria, Tuba’il (Itto-ba‘al) of Tyre, Sibitba’il (Šipṭi-Ba‘al) of Byblos, Urik (Awariku) of Que (Cilicia), Sulumal of Melid (modern Malatya), Uassurme of Tabal, Ušhiti of Atuna, Urballa of Tuhana, Tuhame of Ištundi, Uirimi of Hubišna, Dadi-il of Kaska, Pisiris of Carchemish, Panammu (Panamuwa) of [Sa]m’al, Tarhularu of [Gur]gum (modern Kahramanmaraş), Zabibe, queen of the Arabs—tribute of silver, gold, tin, iron, elephant hide, ivory, blue-purple and red-purple garments, multicolored linen garments, dromedaries, she-camels I imposed on them. And as for Iranzu of Mannea, Dalta of Ellipi, the city rulers of Namri, of Singibutu (and) of all the eastern mountains—horses, mules, Bactrian camels, cattle (and) sheep I imposed upon them (as tribute) to be received annually in Assyria. I had a stele made in the vicinity of the mountain, (and) depicted on it (the symbols of) the great gods, my lords, (and) my own royal image I engraved upon it. The mighty deeds of Aššur, my lord, and [my] personal achievements, which were performed throughout all the lands, I w[rote] upon it; [at] the border, which is on […
Another inscription of Tiglath-pileser III dated to 729 BCE (Calah Summary No. 7 [reverse]) also mentions Panamuwa II and refers to the construction of a bīt-hilāni palace “modeled after a palace of the land of Hatti” (i.e., the Northern Levant). The site of Zincirli has produced some of the best examples of this type of palace, which had a pillared portico and made use of long timber beams obtained from the nearby Amanus Mountains. The following translation (slightly modified) is by Hayim Tadmor and is published in his The Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, King of Assyria: Critical Edition, with Introductions, Translation and Commentary (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994), pp. 169–175:
…] … I set on fire. [Samsi (or: and she) was startled by my mighty weapons; camels, she-camels with their young she brought to As]syria to my presence. [An inspector ov]er her I insta[lled and 10,000 soldiers…]
[The tribes of Mas]a, Tema, Saba, Hayappa, Badanu, [Hatte, Idiba’ilu, … who dwell on the border of the western lands,] of whom no one (of my ancestors) knew and whose place is far away, fame of my majesty [(and of) my heroic deeds they heard and made supplication to my lordship.] [Gold, silver,] camels, she-camels, all kinds of spices, their tribute as one [they brought] be[fore me and kissed my feet.] I appointed [Idi]bi’ilu as the “Gatekeeper” facing Egypt. In all the (foreign) lands that […
[The tribute of] Kuštašpi of Kummuh (Commagene), Urik (Awariku) of Que (Cilicia), Sibittibi’il (Šipṭi-Ba‘al) of [Byblos, Hiram of Tyre, Pisiris of Carchemish, Eni]-il of Hamath, Panammu (Panamuwa) of Sam’al, Tarhulara of Gurgum (modern Kahramanmaraş), Sulu[mal of Melid (modern Malatya), Dadi-ilu of Kaska, U]assurme of Tabal, Ušhitti of Tuna, Urballa of Tuhana, Tuham[mi of Ištunda, Urimmi of Hubišna, Ma]tanbi’il of Arvad, Sanipu of Ammon, Salamanu of Moab, [… … Mi]tinti of Ashkelon, Jehoahaz of Judah, Qaušmalak of Edom, Muṣ… […of … …] (and) Hanunu of Gaza: gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, multicolored garments, linen garments, the garments of the lands, wool (dyed) red-purple, [all kinds of] costly articles, produce of the sea (and) dry land, the commodities of their countries, royal treasures, horses (and) mules broken to the yo[ke … I received.]
Uassurme of Tabal acted as if he were the equal of Assyria and did not appear before me. A eunuch of mine, the Chief-[Eunuch, … I sent to Tabal … H]ulli, a commoner (lit. “son of nobody”), I placed on his throne. Ten talents of gold, 1,000 talents of silver, 2,000 horses, [… mules as his tribute I received.]
I sent a eunuch of mine, the Chief Eunuch, to Tyre. From Metenna of Tyre, 150 talents of gold (and) [2,000 talents of silver his tribute I received.]
With keen understanding and broad knowledge, which the prince Nudimmud, the most expert of the gods, bestowed upon me, a cedar palace [… for my royal residence] and a bīt-hilāni, modeled after a palace of the land of Hatti, I built for my pleasure in Calah. [To a length of x cubits and a wide of 6 cubits I expanded its size over and above (the palaces) of my ancestors (by filling up) the Tigris River […] I cleverly made plans with the help of all the skilled craftsmen […]. I piled up heavy limestone boulders like a mountain, to a depth of 20 cubits in the raging waters, and I [… arresting] the flood. I built the terraces, laid the foundations firmly and raised them high. To a height of 6 2/3 cubits, palaces of [… I] constructed, and I set up their gates facing north. With ivory, ebony, boxwood, sissoo wood, cypress wood, In[dian wood … and] juniper—the tribute of the kings of the land of Hatti and the Aramean and Chaldean princes, whom I subdued with mighty courage—[I decorated them] (and) filled (them) with splendor. To a height of 5 1/2 ninda (+) 4 cubits (= 70 cubits), from the riverbed to the cornice, I designed their structure, and I made them more resplendent than the palaces of (foreign) lands. With long beams of cedar, a product of the Am[anus], Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, which are as sweet to smell as the scent of hašurru wood, I roofed them, demonstrating appropriate care. To exhibit the splendor of […] I fashioned stones, expertly cut, and (thus) made the gate befitting (a royal palace). Double doors of cedar and pine, which bestow (great) pleasure on those who enter them (and) whose fragrance wafts into the heart, I overlaid with strips of shining silver alloy and <gold alloy> and set them up in the gateways. Lion colossi and bull colossi with very skillfully wrought features, clothed with splendor, I placed in the entrance and set up for display. At their feet I laid threshold-slabs of gypsum and alabaster, and so I brightened the exits. And I fashioned statues, the guardians of the great gods, creatures of the deep (i.e., fish-men), and placed them around the supporting wall, thus endowing (it) with splendor. To put the final touch on them (i.e., the new palaces), I studded them all around with knobbed pegs of gold, silver, and bronze, giving them a gleaming appearance. For my royal residence, I constructed (within it) a glittering chamber inlaid with precious stones. I named them: “(The) Palaces-of-Joy, Which-Bear-Abundance-Which-Bless-the-King, Who-Made-Their-Structure-Everlasting.” I named their gates: “Gates-of-Justice-Which-Give-the-Correct-Judgment-for-the-Rulers-of-the-Four-Quarters (i.e., the world), Which-Offer-the-Yield-of-the-Mountains-and-the-Seas, Which-Admit-the-Produce-of-Mankind-Before-the-King-Their-Master.”
Stele of Katumuwa, servant of Panamuwa II (ca. 735 BCE)
The inscribed mortuary stele of Katumuwa (KTMW), a royal official of Sam’al, was discovered in our excavations at Zincirli in July 2008. The inscription is written in the local Sam’alian dialect, which in this period had begun to show Aramaic influence. It is dated to ca. 735 BCE. The vocalization of KTMW, the name written on the stele, is uncertain. “Katumuwa” has been proposed by K. Lawson Younger (2011) as the most likely reading, based on Luwian parallels. The archaeological context and iconography of his stele indicate that the Panamuwa whom Katumuwa served was Panamuwa II son of Barṣūr, who was installed as king of Sam’al by Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria in ca. 740 BCE, and not the earlier king Panamuwa I, son of Qarli. According to an inscription of Barrākib, his son and successor, Panamuwa II died in battle at Damascus fighting alongside the Assyrians as a loyal client of Tiglath-pileser III. The Assyrian conquest of Damascus occurred in 733/32 BCE. The following translation of the Katumuwa Stele inscription (slightly modified) is by Dennis Pardee and is published in The Context of Scripture, vol. 4, Supplements, edited by K. Lawson Younger, pp. 95–96 (Leiden: Brill, 2017).
I am KTMW, servant of Panamuwa, who commissioned for myself (this) stele while still living. I placed it in my eternal chamber and established a feast (at) this chamber: a bull for Hadad Qarpatalli, a ram for NGD/R ṢWD/RN, a ram for Šamš, a ram for Hadad of the Vineyards, a ram for Kubaba, and a ram for my “soul” (NBŠ) that (will be) in this stele. Henceforth, whoever of my sons or of the sons of anybody (else) should come into possession of this chamber, let him take from the best (produce) of this vineyard (as) a (presentation)-offering year by year. He is also to perform the slaughter (prescribed above) in (proximity to) my “soul” and is to apportion for me a leg-cut.
Inscriptions of Barrākib (732 and ca. 720 BCE)
Barrākib, the last known king of Sam’al, erected a statue of his deceased father, Panamuwa II, on which was carved a memorial inscription. The lower part of this statue was found by the German expedition at Tahtali Pinar, a few kilometers north of Zincirli, on the way toward the temple of the storm-god at Gercin, where the inscribed Hadad statue of Panamuwa I had been found. The Panamuwa II statue inscription of Barrākib was written in the local Sam’alian dialect and can be dated to 732 BCE, soon after Panamuwa II died in battle at Damascus. The following translation (slightly modified) is by K. Lawson Younger and is published in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 158–160:
This statue Barrākib has set up for his father, for Panamuwa, the son of Barṣūr, the king of Y’DY, in the year [of his death(?)]. My father, Panamuwa—because of the loyalty of his father, the gods of Y’DY delivered him from the destruction which was in the house of his father. The god Hadad stood with him. […] his throne against […]. […] destroyed(?) […] in the house of his father. He (i.e., the destroyer) killed his (i.e., Panamuwa’s) father Barṣūr; and he killed seventy brothers (kinsmen) of his father. But my father (i.e., Panamuwa) mounted a chariot […] and […] lord […]. He pierced […] Panamuwa(?). And with the rest of it he indeed filled the prisons. He made ruined cities more numerous than inhabited cities. And it gave(?) Panamuwa, son of Qarli, (and he spoke): “If you cause bloodshed in my house, and you also kill one of my sons, then I also will make bloodshed in the land of Y’DY.” Then […] Panamuwa, son of Qarli […]. My father Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr, […] ewe and cow and wheat and barley. And a parīs stood at a shekel; and a STRB-(measure) of onions/wine at a shekel; and two-thirds of a mina of oil at a shekel.
Then my father, Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr, brought a gift to the king of Assyria, who made him king over the house of his father. He killed(?) the stone of destruction from the house of his father and […] away from the treasuries of houses of the land of Y’DY from […]. He opened the prisons and released the captives of Y’DY. So my father arose, and released the women in […]. […] the house of the women who had died, and he buried(?) them(?) in […]. He […] the house of his father and he made it better than before. It abounded with wheat and barley and ewe and cow in his days. And then the land ate and drank […]. The price was cheap.
In the days of my father Panamuwa, he truly appointed lords of villages and lords of chariots. My father Panamuwa was esteemed in the midst of mighty kings from the east to the west. […] my father surely possessed silver; and surely he possessed gold. On account of his wisdom and because of his loyalty, he seized the robe of his lord, the mighty king of Assyria. […] of Assyria. Then he lived and Y’DY also lived. His lord, the king of Assyria, placed him over powerful kings […]. He ran at the wheel of his lord, Tiglath-pileser (III), king of Assyria, in campaigns from the east to the west and from the north to the south, over the four quarters of the earth. The population of the east he brought to the west; and the population of the west he brought to the east. My father profited more than all other mighty kings. To his territory his lord Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, added cities from the territory of Gurgum and […]. My father Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr […]
My father, Panamuwa, died while following his lord, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, in the campaigns. Even his lord, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, wept for him; and his brother kings wept for him; and all of the camp of his lord, the king of Assyria, wept for him. His lord, the king of Assyria, took […] “may his soul eat and drink.” He set up for him a memorial in the way and he brought my father from Damascus to Assyria. In my days […]. And the whole house wept for him.
I am Barrākib, son of Panamuwa. Because of the loyalty of my father and because of my loyalty, my lord Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, has caused me to reign on the throne of my father, Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr. […]. […]. […] the king […]. And […] before the tomb of my father, Panamuwa. This memorial is it. Thus may Hadad and El and Rākib-El, the lord of the dynasty (lit. “house”), and Šamš and all the gods of Y’DY have favor on me, the son of Panamuwa. And may Rākib-El show favor to me before gods and before men.
Another inscription of Barrākib, also discovered by the German expedition, was carved on a stone monument found in the northwestern palace area on the upper mound of Zincirli. This inscription was written, not in Sam’alian, but in “official” Aramaic, a lingua franca of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It is dated to ca. 720 BCE, not long before the royal dynasty of Sam’al was deposed and the kingdom annexed as a directly governed province of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The following translation (slightly modified) is by K. Lawson Younger and is published in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 160–161:
I am Barrākib, son of Panamuwa, king of Sam’al, the servant of Tiglath-pileser (III), lord of the four quarters of the earth. On account of the loyalty of my father and on account of my loyalty, my lord, Rākib-El, and my lord, Tiglath-pileser, caused me to reign upon the throne of my father. The house (i.e., kingdom) of my father profited, more than all others. I ran at the wheel of my lord, the king of Assyria, in the midst of powerful kings, lords of silver and lords of gold. I took control of the house of my father. I made it better than the house of any powerful king. My brother kings were desirous for all that is the good of my house. But there was not a good palace (lit. “house”) for my fathers, the kings of Sam’al. They had the palace of Kulamuwa—it was a winter palace for them and it was a summer palace too. But I built this palace!
Stele of Esarhaddon (670 BCE)
An Akkadian cuneiform inscription of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, was carved on a large stone stele found at Zincirli by the German expedition. It had been broken into several pieces, which were found inside the Citadel Gate that gave access to the royal citadel, which is presumably where it had been erected during the Neo-Assyrian provincial period at Sam’al. It dates to 670 BCE and celebrates the Assyrian conquest of Egypt in 671 BCE. The following translation is by Erle V. Leichty and is published in his Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680–669 B.C.), vol. 4 in the series Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) edited by Grant Frame (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2011):
The god Aššur, father of the gods, who loves my temple service; the god Anu, powerful leader, who called my name; the god Enlil, lofty lord, who made firm my reign; the god Ea, wise one, knowing one, who decrees my fates; the god Sîn, shining moon, who makes my signs favorable; the god Šamaš, judge of heaven and earth, who provides my decisions; the god Adad, terrifying lord, who makes my troops prosper; the god Marduk, hero of the Igīgū gods and Anunnakū gods, who makes my kingship great; the goddess Ištar, lady of war and battle, who goes at my side; the Sebitti, valiant gods, who devastate my enemies; the great gods, all of them, who decree fate, who give to the king, their grace, victorious might. Esarhaddon, great king, mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of Babylonia, (king of) all of them, king of the kings of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and Kush, the one who re[veres the] great [gods], majestic [dra]gon, [beloved] of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, king of kings, the merciless, who curbs the insolent ones, clothed in splen[dor], fearless in battle, per[fect] warrior, merciless in combat, almighty prince, who holds the nose-rope of kings, raging lion, avenger of (his) father, his begetter, the king, who through the trust of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, the gods, his helpers, has acted correctly and attained his wish. He has broken all of his disobedient, unsubmissive princes like a reed in the swamp and trampled them underfoot. Provider of provisions for the great gods, who kn[ows] reverence for the gods and goddesses.
[…] says […] the temple of the god Aššur, who made perfect its ornaments, builder of Esagil and Babylon, restorer of the rites of the gods of the plundered lands which he returned to their place from the midst of the city Aššur. The king who loves to give his good offerings to the great gods and who carries out his temple service [in the tem]ples forever. Their merciless weapons they gave to his lordship as a gift. The king, [whom] the lord of lords, the god Marduk, made greater than the kings of the four quarters, made his lordship the greatest. The lands, all of them, they caused to bow down to his feet. They fixed tribute and gifts on them. The conqueror of his enemies, the destroyer of his foes. The king whose passage is the deluge and whose deeds are (those of) a raging lion. Before he (comes) it is a city, when he leaves a tell (from) the assault of his fierce battle. (He is) a blazing flame, a restless fire.
Son of Sennacherib, king of the universe, king of Assyria, descendant of Sargon (II), king of the universe, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, royal descendant of the eternal line of Bēl-bāni, son of Adasi, founder of the kingship of Assyria, who[se] origin was in Baltil (Aššur). By command of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, the great gods, lords[hip] fell to me. I am mighty, I am almighty, I am lordly, I am proud, I am strong, I am important, I am glorious. Among all of the kings, I have no equal. Favorite of the gods Aššur, Nabû, and Marduk, called by the god Sîn, graced by the god Anu, beloved of the queen, the goddess Ištar, goddess of everything; the merciless weapon which makes the enemy land tremble am I. A king, expert in battle and war, slayer of the peoples of his enemies, killer of his foes, who sweeps away his adversaries; the one who makes the unsubmissive bow down, who rules over all of the people of the universe.
The gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, my lofty lords, whose word cannot be changed, decreed as my fate an unrivaled kingship. The goddess Ištar, the lady who loves my temple service, made my hands grasp a strong bow (and) mighty arrow, the slayer of the disobedient. She enabled me to achieve my wish and she made all the unsubmissive kings bow down to my feet.
When the god Aššur, the great lord, revealed the glorious might of my deeds to the people, he made my name the most glorious and greatest over the kings of the four quarters. He caused my arms to bear a terrible staff to strike the enemy. He empowered me to loot and plunder greater Assyria’s border lands, which had committed sin, crime, or negligence against the god Aššur. Afterward the god Aššur and the great gods, my lords, ordered me to march far along remote roads, (through) rugged mountains and great sand dunes. In good spirits I marched safely through (this) region of thirst.
As for Tarqu, king of Egypt and Kush, accursed of their great divinity, from the city Išḫupri to Memphis, the royal city, a distance of fifteen days overland, I inflicted serious defeats on him daily without cessation, and he himself I afflicted with five arrow wounds from which there is no recovery.The city of Memphis, his royal city, I besieged and conquered within half a day by means of mines, breaches, and ladders. I demolished it (and) burned it in fire. His wife, his court ladies, Ušanaḫuru, his crown prince, and the rest of his sons and his daughters, his goods, his possessions, his horses, his oxen, his sheep and goats, without number I plundered (and brought) to Assyria. From Egypt I tore out the roots of Kush. I did not leave a single person there to (tell of) my glory. Over Egypt, all of it, I appointed kings, governors, commanders, customs officers, trustees (and) overseers again. I fixed sattukku (and) ginû offerings for the god Aššur and the great gods, my lords. I imposed tribute and gifts for my lordship on them, yearly without ceasing.
I had a stele made (with) my written name and I had inscribed upon it the renown (and) heroism of the god Aššur, my lord, the mighty deeds which I had done with the help of the god Aššur, my lord, and the victory (and) booty. I set it up for all time to astonish all the enemies.
Whoever takes away this stele from its place and erases my written name and writes his name, or covers (it) with dirt, or throws (it) in the water, or burns (it) in fire, or puts (it) in a place where it cannot be seen, may the goddess Ištar, lady of war and battle, change his manhood into a woman, and may she seat him, bound, beneath his enemy. May a future prince look upon my stele (with) my written name, may he read its surface, may he anoint it with oil, may he make a sacrifice, (and) may he praise the name of the god Aššur, my lord.