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The archaeologists are digging in what was once a Neo-Hittite city. The sculptures are from the inside of a gate complex that provided access to the upper citadel of Kunulua, the capital of a small kingdom called Patina between 1000 B.C. and 738 B.C.
The sculpture, which is intricately detailed, is of a king named Suppiluliuma who reigned in the ninth century B.C. On the back of the statue, Dr. Harrison said, is an autobiographical statement written in the Hieroglyphic Luwian language.
In the inscription, the king discusses how he successfully expanded the borders of his kingdom and erected a monument honoring his father.
Dr. Harrison said the statue was probably damaged and buried during an Assyrian invasion of Suppiluliuma’s kingdom in 858 B.C. He says he hopes that over time, the full statue can be restored.