"The stone slab is in almost perfect condition and shows a unique combination of text and picture elements, " says David Schloen. "It is an important addition to our knowledge of ancient languages and cultures." The tomb clearly shows that in ancient Samal, Semitic and Indo-European cultures were simultaneously alive. Thus, the names Kuttamuwa and Panamuwa are of Indo-European origin, while the epitaph is written in a Western Semitic dialect.
The inscription expresses the belief that the soul of the deceased is immortal and lives on in the stone stele, which bears the name and image of the deceased. By contrast, in traditional Semitic belief, the soul dwells in the bones of the dead.
The excavation site Zincirli was already examined by German archaeologists around 1890, whereby massive city walls, gates and palaces were discovered. Some royal inscriptions were found on stone slabs. However, the tomb slab of Kuttamuwa is the first of its kind found intact in its original location. In future expeditions, Schloen and his team want to dig up large areas of the ancient site to better understand the social and economic structure of the city and its culture. displayDavid Schloen (University of Boston, USA) et al .: SBL Annual Meeting ddp / science.de? Christine Amrhein