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date: 22 August 2019

Zincirlı [anc. Sam’al]locked

  • J. D. Hawkins

Extract

[anc. Sam’al]

Site of an ancient city in southern Turkey, which flourished in the 9th–7th centuries bc. It lay at the eastern end of the Amanus Gates pass and consisted of a central citadel mound and flat lower town in the plain, surrounded by a circular double wall pierced by three gates. Many sculptures and inscriptions, both native (in Aramaic and Phoenician alphabets) and Assyrian (in cuneiform), were recovered from the site. Uniquely, the native inscriptions are in relief rather than incised, doubtless in imitation of Hittite hieroglyphic inscriptions, and Hittite art also influenced the style of the sculptures. The site was excavated by F. von Luschan in five seasons between 1888 and 1902. The finds, especially sculpture, were shared between the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin and the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.

The South City Gate was badly destroyed but had some associated orthostats showing human and animal figures, including fabulous beasts. These were crudely executed in the earliest local style. Apart from this, sculpture was concentrated in the walled citadel. Particularly well preserved was the Outer Citadel Gate, with most of its 33 carved orthostats ...

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