classical city located on the southeastern Anatolian plateau, and its surrounding region, the Tyanitis, on the north side of the Toros-Bolkar Mountains and to the west of the Ala Mountains. Tyana controlled the north end of the Cilician Gates, which open the way between these mountains down into Cilicia. The ancient city was located beneath the modern town of Kemerhisar, some 20 km (12 mi.) southwest of Niğde, following the discovery of classical inscriptions on the höyük, or city mound. The area was surveyed by a Turkish archaeological team in the 1980s but has not been excavated. The Roman aqueducts that led to the site are still visible. Iron Age sites (principally Zeyve Höyük and Tepebağlari, and Göllüdağ) probably belonging to the kingdom have been excavated but are poorly reported.

An earlier form of the name Tyana is identified in that of the city of Tuwanuwa, attested in the cuneiform Hittite texts of the Ḫattuša archives (c. 1650–1200 BCE). A bridge between the two names is provided by a stela with a hieroglyphic Luwian inscription found at Bor, near Kemerhisar, that names Warpalawa (c. 740–705 BCE), a local king of the city Tuwana, in the Neo-Hittite period (see below).

The cuneiform Hittite references show that the city of Tuwanuwa was incorporated into the Hittite kingdom at its inception (Edict of Telipinu, 4; Keilschrifttexte aus Boğazköy [KBo] vol. 3, text 1, col. 1, l. 10; Kielschrift urkunden aus Boğazköy [KUB], vol. 11, text 1, col. 1, l. 9; KBo, vol. 3, text 67, col. 1, l. 9), but that it frequently fell into enemy hands (Decree concerning hekur Pirwa, KBo, vol. 6, text 28 obverse 1. 9; Deeds of Šuppiluliuma, KBo, vol. 14, text 3, col. 4, ll. 21, 40, 42, and KUB, vol. 19, text 18, col. 1, ll. 16, 17; see Hans Güterbock, Journal of Cuneiform Studies 10 (1956), 76 ff.). Some towns of Tuwanuwa were included in the Sahurunuwa Donation (KUB, vol. 26, text 43 obverse 1. 38). The town and its gods remained important in the Hittite cult: they are mentioned in the Muršili Plague Prayer (KUB, vol. 6, text 45, col. 2, 1. 18 ff.; text 46, col. 2, 1. 58 ff.); the KI.LAM festival (KBo, vol. 10, text 24, col. 5, 11. 1, 8); the nuntariyasha festival (KUB, vol. 10, text 48, col. 2, l. 7); and on the AGRIG list (KUB, vol. 26, text 2, reverse l. 4).

In the Iron Age, the kingdom is known only through attestations of its king, Warpalawa, who is referred to in inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, to whom he paid tribute in about 740, 738, and 732 BCE (Hawkins and Postgate, 1988: 31–40 as Urballa the Tuhanean (i.e., Tu'anean). His father's name was Muwaharani (I) (IVRIZ 4 inscription) and clearly controlled the sites of Ivriz, Zeyve Höyük (alias Porsuk), and Bulgarmaden, as may be seen from the inscriptions of IVRIZ 1 and BULGARMADEN. Göllüdag may also have belonged to his kingdom. He was still on the throne as late as 710 to 709 BCE, when he is attested in a letter of Sargon II that identifies his kingdom as squeezed between that of Mita of Muški (Midas of Phrygia) and that of the Assyrian governor of Cilicia (see Parpola, 1987, no. 1). The Old Phrygian inscriptions found at Kemerhisar are connected with Mǔski/Midas and doubtless belong to this period. Warpalawa was succeeded by his son Muwaharani II, whose stela was found at Niǧde (NIǧDE 2).

In the classical period, the fortified mound of Tyana (at Kemerhisar) was attributed by Strabo to Semiramis (Geog. 12.537). The occasional Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine historical references to Tyana are supplemented by inscriptions found in the province.

[See also Hittites.]


  • Del Monte, Giuseppe F., and Johann Tischler. Die Orts- und Gewässernamen der hethitischen Texte. Répertoire Geographique des Textes Cunéiformes, vol. 6. Wiesbaden, 1978.
    Geographical index of the cuneiform archives of Ḫattuša, giving all references.
  • Hawkins, J. D., and J. N. Postgate. “Tribute from Tabal.” Bulletin of the State Archives of Assyria 2.1 (1988).
  • Hawkins, J. D. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. [X.39–47 Tabal, Southern (Tyana) group.] Berlin and New York, forthcoming.
    Translations of all the hieroglyphic inscriptions of Tyana, with historical and philological commentary.
  • Mellink, Machteld J. “Archaeology in Asia Minor.” American Journal of Archaeology 74 (1970): 157–178; 75 (1971): 161–181; 76 (1972): 165–188; 77 (1973): 169–193.
    Annual reports on Anatolian archaeology, summarizing excavations at Porsuk, Göllüdağ, and (Niğde-) Tepebağlarğ, with bibliography.
  • Mellink, Machteld J. “Midas in Tyana.” In Florilegium Anatolicum: Mélanges offerts à Emmanuel Laroche, pp. 249–257. Paris, 1979.
    Examination of archaeological evidence for the presence of Phrygians in Neo-Hittite Tyana
  • Parpola, Simo, ed. The Correspondence of Sargon II: Letters from Assyria and the West. State Archives of Assyria, 1 Helsinki, 1987.
  • Ruge, W. “Tyana.” In Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 8.2, pp. 1630–1642. Stuttgart, 1948.
    Comprehensive encyclopedia entry for classical sources.

J. D. Hawkins