Melid (Hittite: Malidiya[1] and possibly also Midduwa;[2] Akkadian: Meliddu;[3] Urartian: Melitea; Latin: Melitene) was an ancient city on the Tohma River, a tributary of the upper Euphrates rising in the Taurus Mountains. It has been identified with modern archaeological site Arslantepe near Malatya, Turkey.

Melid is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
RegionMalatya Province
Coordinates38°22′55″N 38°21′40″E / 38.38194°N 38.36111°ECoordinates: 38°22′55″N 38°21′40″E / 38.38194°N 38.36111°E
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins


Earliest habitation at the site dates back to the Chalcolithic period.[4] By the Uruk period development had grown to include a large temple/palace complex.[5] Around 3000 BCE, there was widespread burning and destruction, after which Kura-Araxes culture pottery appeared in the area. This was a mainly pastoralist culture connected with Caucasus mountains.[6]

Numerous similarities have been found between these early layers at Arslantepe, and the somewhat later site of Birecik (Birecik Dam Cemetery), also in Turkey, to the southwest of Melid.[7]

From the Bronze Age the site became an administrative center of a larger region in the kingdom of Isuwa. The city was heavily fortified, probably due to the Hittite threat from the west. The Hittites conquered the city in the fourteenth century BC. In the mid 14th century BC, Melid was the base of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I on his campaign to sack the Mitanni capital Wassukanni.

After the end of the Hittite empire, from the 12th to 7th century BC, the city became the center of an independent Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu. A palace was built and monumental stone sculptures of lions and the ruler erected.

The encounter with the Assyrian king of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 BC) resulted in the kingdom of Melid being forced to pay tribute to Assyria. Melid remained able to prosper until the Assyrian king Sargon II (722-705 BC) sacked the city in 712 BC.[8] At the same time, the Cimmerians and Scythians invaded Anatolia and the city declined.


Cilindro-sello trillo
Cylinder-seal from Arslantepe.

Arslantepe was first investigated by the French archaeologist Louis Delaporte from 1932 to 1939. [9] [10] [11] From 1946 to 1951 Claude F.A. Schaeffer carried out some soundings. The first Italian excavations at the site of Arslantepe started in 1961, and were conducted under the direction of Professors Piero Meriggi and Salvatore M. Puglisi until 1968. [12] [13] [14] The choice of the site was initially due to their desire of investigating the Neo-Hittite phases of occupation at the site, period in which Malatya was the capital of one of the most important reigns born after the destruction of the Hittite Empire in its most eastern borders. Majestic remains of this period were known from Arslantepe since the 30s, brought to light by a French expedition. The Hittitologist Meriggi only took part of the first few campaigns and later left the direction to Puglisi, a palaeoethnologist, who expanded and regularly conducted yearly investigations under regular permit from the Turkish government. Alba Palmieri took over the supervision of the excavation during the 1970s. [15] [16] Today the archaeological investigation is led by Marcella Frangipane.[17]

Early swords

The first swords known in the Early Bronze Age (c. 33rd to 31st centuries) are based on finds at Arslantepe by Marcella Frangipane of Rome University.[18][19][20] A cache of nine swords and daggers was found; they are composed of arsenic-copper alloy. Among them, three swords were beautifully inlaid with silver.

These weapons have a total length of 45 to 60 cm which suggests their description as either short swords or long daggers.

These discoveries were made back in the 1980s. They belong to the local phase VI A. Also, 12 spearheads were found.

Phase VI A at Arslantepe ended in destruction--the city was burned. Later on, some new occupants also left some bronze weapons, including swords. They were found in the rich tomb of "Signori Arslantepe" or "Signor Arslantepe", as he was called by archaeologists. He was about 40 years old, and the tomb is radiocarbon dated to 3081-2897 (95% probabiity).[21]


  1. ^ "Melid." Reallexikon der Assyriologie. Accessed 12 Dec 2010.
  2. ^ KBo V 8 IV 18. Op. cit. Puhvel, Jaan. Trends in Linguistics: Hittite Etymological Dictionary: Vol. 6: Words Beginning with M. Walter de Gruyter, 2004. Accessed 12 Dec 2010.
  3. ^ Hawkins, John D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Vol. 1: Inscriptions of the Iron Age. Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
  4. ^ Frangipane Marcella. The Late Chalcolithic IEB I sequence at Arslantepe. Chronological and cultural remarks from a frontier site. In: Chronologies des pays du Caucase et de l’Euphrate aux IVe-IIIe millénaires. From the Euphrates to the Caucasus: Chronologies for the 4th-3rd millennium B.C. Vom Euphrat in den Kaukasus: Vergleichende Chronologie des 4. und 3. Jahrtausends v. Chr. Actes du Colloque d’Istanbul, 16-19 décembre 1998. Istanbul : Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes-Georges Dumézil, pp. 439-471, 2000
  5. ^ Frangipane Marcella. A 4th-millennium temple/palace complex at Arslantepe-Malatya. North-South relations and the formation of early state societies in the Northern regions of Greater Mesopotamia.. In: Paléorient, vol. 23, no. 1. pp. 45-73, 1997
  6. ^ Frangipane, Marcella (2015). "Different types of multiethnic societies and different patterns of development and change in the prehistoric Near East". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (30): 9182–9189. doi:10.1073/pnas.1419883112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4522825. PMID 26015583.
  7. ^ Schmidt-Schultz Tyedje, Schultz Michael, Sadori Laura, Palmieri A., Morbidelli Paola, Hauptmann Andreas, Di Nocera Gian Maria, Frangipane Marcella, New Symbols of a New Power in a "Royal" Tomb from 3 000 BC Arslantepe, Malatya (Turkey). Paléorient, 2001, vol. 27, n°2. pp. 105-139
  8. ^ J. D. Hawkins, Assyrians and Hittites, Iraq, vol. 36, no. 1/2, pp. 67-83, 1974
  9. ^ Louis De Laporte, Malatya. La Ville et le Pays de Malatya, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 119-254, 1933
  10. ^ Louis De Laporte, Malatya - Céramique du Hittite Recent, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 2, no. 15, pp. 257-285, 1934
  11. ^ Louis De Laporte, La Troisième Campagne de Fouille è Malatya, Review Hittites et Asian, vol. 5, no. 34, pp. 43-56, 1939
  12. ^ S.M. Puglisi and P. Meriggi, Malatya I: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1961 e 1962, Orientis Antiqui Collectio, vol. 7, 1964
  13. ^ E. Equini Schneider, Malatya II: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1963-1968. Il Livello Romano Bizantino e le Testimonianze Islamiche, Orientis Antiqui Collectio, vol. 10, 1970
  14. ^ P.E. Pecorella, Malatya III: Rapporto preliminare delle Campagne 1963-1968. Il Livello Eteo Imperiale e quelli Neoetei, Orientis Antiqui Collecti, vol. 12, 1975
  15. ^ A. Palmieri, Excavations at Arslantepe (Malatya), Anatolian Studies, vol. 31, pp. 101-119, 1981
  16. ^ Alba Palmieri, "Arslantepe Excavations,1982," Kazi Sonuçlari Toplantisi, vol. 5, pp. 97-101, 1983
  17. ^ [1] Historical Dictionary of the Hittites, pp 185-186
  18. ^ Oldest Swords Found in Turkey
  19. ^ Frangipane, M. 2010: The collapse of the 4th millennium centralised system at Arslantepe and the far-reaching changes in 3rd millennium societies. ORIGINI XXXIV, 2012: 237-260.
  20. ^ Frangipane, "The 2002 Exploration Campaign at Arslantepe/Malatya" (2004)
  21. ^ The Sword, chapter I: Birth of the Swordsman

See also


  • Burney, Charles Allen (2004). Historical Dictionary of the Hittites. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4936-4.
  • Louis De Laporte, La porte des lions, 1940

External links

Bit Adini

Bit Adini, a city or region of Syria, called sometimes Bit Adini in Assyrian sources, was an Aramaean state that existed as an independent kingdom during the 10th and 9th centuries BC, with its capital at Til Barsib (now Tell Ahmar). The city is considered one of the two chief states of the Aramean-held territories in the Euphrates along with Carchemish.It is considered an Early Iron Age Aramaean settlement between the Balih and the Euphrates rivers and extended northwards into northern Syria. It is usually thought to have been in the bend of the Euphrates River, south of Carchemish.

Bit Agusi

Bit Agusi or Bit Agushi (also written Bet Agus) was an ancient Aramaean Syro-Hittite state, established by Gusi of Yakhan at the beginning of the 9th century BC. It had included the cities of Arpad, Nampigi (Nampigu) and later on Aleppo. Arpad was the capital of the state-kingdom. Bit Agusi stretched from the A'zaz area in the north to Hamath in the south.

Bit Bahiani

Bit Baḫiani was an independent Aramean city-state kingdom (c. 1200 – 808 BC) with its capital at Guzana (modern day Tell Halaf). Bit Baḫiani was ruled by King Kapara. There were at least five kings and four governors of Bit Baḫiani before losing its name in usage.


Esarhaddon (Akkadian: 𒀭𒊹𒋀𒋧𒈾 Aššur-aḫa-iddina "Ashur has given a brother"; Hebrew: אֵסַרְחַדֹּן, Modern: ’ēsárḥadón, Tiberian: ’esārḥādon; Ancient Greek: Ασαρχαδδων; Latin: Asor Haddan) was a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the West Semitic queen Naqi'a (Zakitu), Sennacherib's second wife.


Gurgum was a Neo-Hittite state in Anatolia, known from the 10th to the 7th century BC. Its name is given as Gurgum in Assyrian sources, while its native name seems to have been Kurkuma for the reason that the capital of Gurgum—Marqas in Assyrian sources (today Maraş)—was named "the Kurkumaean city" (ku+ra/i-ku-ma-wa/i-ni-i-sà(URBS)) in local Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions.


Hilakku was one of the Neo-Hittite states during the Iron Age in southern Anatolia during the 1st millennium BC.Hilakku was north of the Neo-Hittite state of Tabal, west of Que, and north of the Mediterranean sea. It covered the land of Cilicia Tracheia, (Latin Aspera) of the Classical age, otherwise known as 'Rough Cilicia'. It was also within the south-eastern frontiers of the Hittite appanage domain of Tarhuntassa.


Kammanu was a Luwian speaking Neo-Hittite state in a plateau (Malatya Plain) to the north of the Taurus Mountains and to the west of Euphrates river in the late 2nd millennium BC, formed from part of Kizzuwatna after the collapse of the Hittite Empire. Its principal city was Melid.


Not to be confused with Karatepe, Termez, Uzbekistan, where a Buddhist mural from 3rd century was found, nor Kara Tepe Refugee Camp in Greece.

Karatepe (Turkish for "Black Hill"; Hittite: Azatiwataya) is a late Hittite fortress and open-air museum in Osmaniye Province in southern Turkey lying at a distance of about 23 km from the district center of Kadirli. It is sited in the Taurus Mountains, on the right bank of the Ceyhan River. The site is contained within Karatepe-Aslantaş National Park.


Kummuh was an Iron Age Neo-Hittite kingdom located on the west bank of the Upper Euphrates within the eastern loop of the river between Melid and Carchemish. Assyrian sources refer to both the land and its capital city by the same name. The city is identified with the classical-period Samosata (modern-day Samsat Höyük), which has now been flooded under the waters of a newly built dam. Urartian sources refer to it as Qumaha. The name is also attested in at least one local royal inscription dating to the 8th century BCE. Other places that are mentioned in historical sources as lying within Kummuh are lands of Kištan and Halpi, and cities of Wita, Halpa, Parala, Sukiti and Sarita(?). Kummuh bordered the kingdoms of Melid to the north, Gurgum to the west and Carchemish to the south, while to the east it faced Assyria and later Urartu.

Several indigenous rock inscriptions have been found in the region, all written in hieroglyphic Luwian, attesting to the continuity of Hittite traditions. In his annals, the Assyrian king Sargon II referred to the Kummuh ruler as 'Hittite', and several rulers of Kummuh bore the same names as famous Hittite kings of the 2nd millennium BCE: Hattušili(?), Šuppiluliuma, and Muwattalli (in Assyrian sources Qatazilu, Ušpilulume, and Muttallu, respectively).


Kuzi-Teshub (also read as Kunzi-Teshub) was a Neo-Hittite King of Carchemish, reigning in the early to mid-12th century BC., likely in 1180 - 1150 BC. He was the son of Talmi-Teshub, who was both the last viceroy of the Hittite Empire at Carchemish under Suppiluliuma II and a direct descendant of Suppiluliuma I. Kuzi-Teshub reigned in Carchemish as well as in the later Neo-Hittite Melid/Malatya.

In Carchemish, Kuzi-Teshub succeeded his father in office, probably first as viceroy, according to royal seal impressions found at Lidar Höyük in 1985 on the east bank of the Euphrates river. Kuzi-Teshub then styled himself as "Great King" of Carchemish, suggesting that the central Hittite dynasty at Hattusa had collapsed by this time and that he viewed himself as the legitimate heir of the line of Suppiluliuma I. More accurately, Kuzi-Teshub is styled as Great King in later inscriptions from Melid. The next known Great King of Carchemish was Ir-Teshub.Kuzi-Teshub is not proved to have ruled directly as King of Melid. On one hand, it is possible that he ruled directly in Melid, but on the other hand he may have installed his son PUGNUS-mili I as the local ruler in Melid. Both Kuzi-Teshub and PUGNUS-mili I are only known from inscriptions left by the autonomous kings of Melid, Runtiya and Arnuwanti I, who were sons of PUGNUS-mili I and grandsons of Kuzi-Teshub. The references to Kuzi-Teshub in his grandsons' inscriptions may indicate that Melid had peacefully separated from Carchemish.

List of Neo-Hittite kings

The Neo-Hittite states are sorted according to their geographical position.

All annual details are BC.

The contemporary sources name the language they are written in. Those can be:

Luwian (always using Luwian hieroglyphs)







Hebrew (from Old Testament)Also post-Neo-Hittite rulers and the Hittite viceroys of Carchemish are listed for completeness. Post-Neo-Hittite rulers are named as such.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

Luwian religion

Luwian religion refers to the religious and mythological practices of the Luwians, an Indo-European people of Asia Minor which is detectable from the Bronze Age until the early Roman empire. It was strongly affected by foreign influence in all periods and it is not possible to clearly separate it from neighbouring cultures, particularly Syrian and Hurrian religion. The Indo-European element in the Luwian religion was stronger than in the neighbouring Hittite religion.


The Luwians were a group of Anatolian peoples who lived in central, western, and southern Asia Minor as well as the northern part of western Levant in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. They spoke the Luwian language, an Indo-European language of the Anatolian sub-family, which was written in cuneiform imported from Mesopotamia, and a unique native hieroglyphic script, which was sometimes used by the linguistically related Hittites also.

Malatya Museum

Malatya Museum is a museum in Malatya, Turkey

The museum faces Kernek square in Malatya at 38°20′36″N 38°19′26″E

Although a smaller museum was established in 1971, the present museum building was opened in 1979.

Majority of the items in the museum are from various excavations like Arslantepe (Melid), Pirot, Caferhöyük, Köşkerbaba, İmamoğlu and Değirmentepe. There are also some items which are found during the construction of Karakaya Dam. These are from neolithic, chalcolithic, bronze Age, Hittites, Urartu, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Anatolian Seljuks, Anatolian Beyliks and the Ottoman Empire eras.

Some of the more important items in the museum are the following:

Neolithic sculptures (dated to B.C. 8000) from Caferhöyük excavations

Early Bronze Age swords (dated to B.C. 3200-3800) from Arslantepe excavations

Human tomb (dated to B.C. 4000) from Arslantepe excavations

Nimrud Tablet K.3751

The Nimrud Tablet K.3751, also known as Kalhu Palace Summary Inscription 7 is an inscription on a clay tablet dated c.733 BC from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III (745 to 727 BC), discovered by George Smith in 1873 in Nimrud. The tablet describes the first 17 years of Tiglath-Pileser III's reign, and was likely composed in or shortly after his 17th year. It contains the first known archeological reference to Judah (Yaudaya or KUR.ia-ú-da-a-a).The text consists of 50 and 35 lines of inscription on the two main pieces. It is the most detailed of Tiglath-Pileser III’s summary inscriptions, and contains the only known complete building account of Tiglath-Pileser III from Nimrud.Though it has the identification code K 3751, where K stands for Kouyunjik (usually the Library of Ashurbanipal), it was most probably actually discovered at Nimrud since it was inscribed by the excavators with "S.E. Palace Nimroud".The most well known excerpt of the text, including the reference to king Ahaz (written in the inscription as Jeho-ahaz, his longer name) of Judah, as translated by the University of Pennsylvania's RINAP project (The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period), is as below:

"In all of the (foreign) lands that ... [... I received the paymen]t of Kuštašpi of the land Kummuḫu, Urik(ki) of the land Que, Sibitti-biʾil of the city [Byblos, Hiram of the land Tyre, Pisīris of the city Carchemish, Ēnī]-il of the land Hamath, Panammû of the city Samʾal, Tarḫulara of the city Gurgum, Sulu[mal of the land Melid, Dadīlu of the city Kaska, U]assurme of the land Tabal, Ušḫitti of the city Tuna, Urballâ of the city Tuḫana, Tuḫam[mi of the city Ištunda, Urimmi of the city Ḫubišna, (rev. 10´) Ma]ttan-biʾil (Mattan-Baʾal) of the city Arvad, Sanīpu of the land Bīt-Ammon, Salāmānu of the land Moab, ...[... of ..., ... of ..., Mi]tinti of the land Ashkelon, Jehoahaz of the land Judah, Qauš-malaka of the land Edom, Muṣ...[... of ..., ... of ..., (and) Ḫa]nūnu of the city Gaza: gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, multi-colored garments, linen garments, the garments of their lands, red-purple wool, [..., all kinds of] costly articles, produce of the sea (and) dry land, commodities of their lands, royal treasures, horses (and) mules broken to the yo[ke, ...]."


Palistin (or Walistin), was an early Syro-Hittite kingdom located in what is now northwestern Syria and the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay. Its existence was confirmed by the discovery of several inscriptions mentioning Taita, king of Palistin.

Syro-Hittite states

The states that are called Neo-Hittite or, more recently, Syro-Hittite were Luwian-, Aramaic- and Phoenician-speaking political entities of the Iron Age in northern Syria and southern Anatolia that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire in around 1180 BC and lasted until roughly 700 BC. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwian-speaking principalities, like Milid and Carchemish. However, in a wider sense the broader cultural term "Syro-Hittite" is now applied to all the entities that arose in south-central Anatolia following the Hittite collapse, such as Tabal and Quwê, as well as those of northern and coastal Syria.


Tunna, also Dunna or Atuna, was an ancient Anatolian city. In classical antiquity Tunna was known as Tynna. Today it is known as Porsuk Hüyük or Zeyve Höyük.

Syro-Hittite states and cities
Luwian states
Aramaean states
Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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