J. David Hawkins (Photo by Takayuki Oshima, courtesy of the Middle East Cultural Centre of Japan)

Hawkins’ signary

British Academy member J. David Hawkins, a linguist and Professor of Ancient Anatolian Languages, passed away recently. He was one of the world’s leading scholars of the languages of ancient Turkey. He spent years analyzing each inscription he researched in its own context and created a comprehensive collection of his research, including hand-drawn materials. His Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions has established a robust epigraphic foundation for others to study the Anatolian Hieroglyphic inscriptions and to develop scientific interpretations. This work has made a significant contribution to the understanding and decipherment of the signs in Anatolian Hieroglyphic inscriptions. It has played an important role in enhancing the value of the works that preceded it by proposing corrections and suggesting new interpretations.

Modifications for Laroche’s sign system

This visual summary presents a brief overview of Hawkins’ remarks on how to address the complex “sign” problems he points out between the lines in his works. Hawkins formulated all this in his book with Laroche catalogue numbers. The characters in these tables have been visualized to make clear what is stated about them. Some of these entries confirm the points made in our previous article.

1. Unrecognized Variants

These are the signs which were unrecognized variants of others. Hawkins argued that the 28 signs in LHH were incorrectly included in the list because they were somehow “unrecognizable variants of other signs”. He suggested that signs should be deleted along with their heading numbers and transferred under “well-formed headings”. Examples are as follows:

  • Hawkins A487-A001
  • Hawkins A444-A009
  • Hawkins A465-A191
  • Hawkins A467-A191
  • Hawkins A063-A069
  • Hawkins A064-A069
  • Hawkins A167-A107
  • Hawkins A168-A329
  • Hawkins A169-A382
  • Hawkins A170-A073

2. Duplicate Signs

Hawkins proposes that at least 26 pairs of signs would have to be merged, in which case they would normally be grouped under the heading of the first one as a single heading rather than two. Some of these pairs are as follows:

  • Hawkins A212-A213
  • Hawkins A221-A222
  • Hawkins A059-A060
  • Hawkins A062-A068
  • Hawkins A088-A089
  • Hawkins A255-A256
  • Hawkins A257-A260
  • Hawkins A275-A276
  • Hawkins A474-A473
  • Hawkins A477-A479

3. Glyptic Works

Hawkins points out that 70 of the signs in today’s repertoire are found only on seals, are not part of the sign system of monumental inscriptions, and are of low recognizability due to their varying forms, indicating that they may only have glyptic works value.

The glyphs found on seals

He notes that several signs belonging to this group, previously found on seals, have been found in newly discovered monumental inscriptions. For example, 177 and 416 in Yalburt and 122 in Boğazköy-Südburg.