Stele of Zakkur

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Stele of Zakkur
Zakkur Stele 0154.jpg
The surviving part of the Stele of Zakkur with the inscription
Height62 centimetres (24 in)
Width13 centimetres (5.1 in)
WritingAramaic inscription
Createdc. 805 – c. 775
PlaceTell Afis, Syria
Present locationMusée du Louvre, Paris
IdentificationAO 8185

The Stele of Zakkur (or Zakir) is a royal stele of King Zakkur of Hamath and Luhuti (or Lu'aš) in the province Nuhašše of Syria, who ruled around 785 BC.

The Stele was discovered in 1903 at Tell Afis (mentioned in the Stele as Hazrach),[1] 45 km southeast of Aleppo, in the territory of the ancient kingdom of Hamath.[2] It was published in 1907.[3] The inscription is known as KAI 202; it reads:

I am Zakkur, king of Hamath and Luash . . . Bar-Hadad, son of Hazael, king of Aram, united against me seventeen kings . . .all these kings laid siege to Hazrach . . . Baalshamayn said to me, "Do not be afraid! . . .I will save you from all [these kings who] have besieged you"[4]

'Bar-Hadad' mentioned in the inscription may have been Bar-Hadad III, son of Hazael.[1]

Two gods are mentioned in the inscription, Baalshamin and Iluwer. Iluwer was the personal god of king Zakkur, while Baalshamin was the god of the city. It is believed that Iluwer represents the earlier god Mer or Wer going back to 3rd millennium BC.

This inscription represents the earliest Aramaean evidence of the god Baalshamin/Ba'alsamayin.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Scott B. Noegel, The Zakkur Inscription. In: Mark W. Chavalas, ed. The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation. London: Blackwell (2006), 307–311.
  2. ^ Yildiz, Efrem "The Aramaic Language and Its Classification" Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies [1]
  3. ^ Gibson J.C.L., Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions II, Oxford 1975, num. 5.
  4. ^ As translated in Poobalan, Ivor "The Period of Jeroboam II with Special Reference to Amos" [2]
  5. ^ Herbert Niehr (ed), The Aramaeans in Ancient Syria. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East. BRILL, 2014 ISBN 978-90-04-22943-3


  • Pognon, H., Inscriptions sémitiques de la Syrie, de la Mésopotamie, et de la région de Mossoul. . Paris: Imprimerie nationale/Gabalda, 1907
  • Driver, S.R., "An Aramaic Inscription from Syria." Expositor 7/5 (1908): 481–90.
  • Ronzevalle, S., "An Aramaic inscription of Zakir, ruler of Hamath and Laˁš." Al-Mashriq 11 (1908): 302–10
  • Halévy, J., "Inscription de Zakir, roi de Hamat, découverte par M. H. Pognon." RevSém 16 (1908a): 243–46
  • Nöldeke, Theodor, "Aramäische Inschriften." ZA 21 (1908a): 375–88
  • Montgomery, James A., "Some Gleanings from Pognon's ZKR Inscription." JBL 28 (1909): 57–70

External links[edit]