Saturday Oct 15, 2022

Primary Source VIII: The Sargon Stele

The Sargon Stele 722–705 BCE , also known as the Kition Stele, is the only of its kind discovered in Cyprus, written entirely Akkadian using the cuneiform script. It was erected by King Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian Empire near Kition (modern Larnaca) and describes his conquests and the voluntary submission of the Seven Kings of the Land of Ia (which has been identified as Cyprus) and Iatnana meaning the Islands of the Danaans, i.e., Greece. Likely this act of submission provided the Cypriot kings a trade network and a source of stable markets for the exportation of copper and other trade goods. The stele, found in modern day Larnaca, references its deposition near "Mount Ba'al-harri" (quite possibly Stavrovouni). You'll hear Professor Maria Iacovou reference King Sargon II in my next interview where she discusses the history of archaeology on Cyprus and the importance of the new concept of "Cypro-centricity!" Look out for that on November 2nd!

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