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Seal of Tarkasnawa, King of Mira
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Seal of Tarkasnawa, King of Mira

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Luwian hieroglyphs surround a figure in royal dress. The inscription, repeated in cuneiform around the rim, gives the seal owner's name: Tarkasnawa, king of Mira. The name of the ruler was previously transliterated into English as Tarkondemos and Tarkummuwa. Other inscriptions naming Tarkasnawa of Mira are known, including seals found at Hattusa (the capital of the Hittite Empire) and the Karabel rock relief carving near Izmir, Turkey. Located in west-central Anatolia, Mira was a vassal state of the Hittite Empire. This seal, originally published in the 1860s, was purchased in Izmir by its first known modern owner, A. Jovanoff. Its famous bilingual inscription provided the first clues for deciphering Luwian hieroglyphs, which were previously called Hittite hieroglyphs.
Date Description Narrative
10/02/1974Treatmentcleaned; coated
12/20/1977Examinationx-ray fluorescence
  • The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Forgotten Realms. Heirs of the Hittite Empire. Musée du Louvre, Paris. 2019.
Provenance [Purchased at Smyrna (Izmir), ca. 1850]; A. Iovanoff, Constantinople (Istanbul), by 1861; Joseph Brummer, New York and Paris, 1925, by purchase [Brummer inv. no. P2348]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Translation] In Luwian hieroglyphs and cuneiform: Tarkasnawa, King of Mira
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925

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late 13th century BCE (Hittite Empire)
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
H: 3/8 x Diam: 1 5/8 in. (1 x 4.2 cm)
Location Within Museum
Out On Exhibition Loan

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