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Near East: Hittite rock inscription to be 'taken under protection'
A 2,800-year-old Hittite inscription, which is on a rock in the Bolkar Mountain in the Central Anatolian province of Nigde and claimed to be the world’s oldest mining license, will be taken under protection.

Hittite rock inscription to be 'taken under protection'
The inscription, discovered in Bolkar Mountains, is claimed to be the world’s oldest
 mining license. Works have been initiated to take it under protection [Credit: AA]

Nigde Culture and Tourism Director Tansel Tokmak said the 108-centimeter high and 186-centimeter wide inscription was from the late Hittite period, adding, “This region is rich in terms of the abundance of mineral. The inscription, which is estimated to have been written in the 8th century, is known as the first mining license in history. The first scientific work on the inscription was made by Professor Mustafa Kalac in 1973. He said measures should be taken to protect it. In 2013, museum archaeologists examined the piece and said 8 percent of the inscription had been damaged.”

Tokmak said they had initiated worked to take the necessary measures for the protection of the inscription. “It will be taken under protection. In the next level, the inscription will be copied and exhibited at the Nigde Museum as the ‘Bolkar Mine Inscription,’” he said.

Nigde Museum Directorate archaeologist Mustafa Eryaman said mining activities in the region dated back to 2,800 years ago, and continued in the Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican eras.

“The inscription, translated by Kalac, writes that King Warpalavas gave the administration of the Bolkar Mountains to Prince Tarhunzas and wishes for the mountain to be productive,” said Tokmak.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 25, 2014]