Black Crest

Black Crest Near the ancient Pryamus river, the present Ceyhan between Adana and Maras, a late-period Hittite fortress had once guarded the Amman Gates and the Bahce Pass on the road to Halap (Aleppo in Syria). Excavations on the hill began in 1949 under the supervision of Professor H.T. Bossert, a guest lecturer at the University of Istanbul. The discovery of a bilingual monument, inscribed in hieroglyphic Hittite and Phoenician, was an outstanding contributor to the understanding of the Hittite language. Today, all but the most archaic inscriptions are understood by experts.

A perfectly preserved relief from Karatepe depicts musicians and a dancer, probably perticipating in a religious ceremony.

The citadel, with a fine view of the river, had once been the summer residence of the Neo-Hittite kings, among them Asitawada, whose name is inscribed on the local orthostats. One of these show the king taking his meal; his right hand reaches for the bread, while in his left he is holding a meat putty.

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