Historical map of the Neo-Hittite states, ca. 800 BC, showing location of Tabal.

Tabal (Bib. Tubal, Gk. Τιβαρηνοί Tibarenoi, Lat. Tibareni, Thobeles in Josephus) was a Luwian speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom of South Central Anatolia, forming after the collapse of the Hittite Empire and surviving into Roman times.

Some scholars associate them with the Meshechs (Meshekhs/Mosokhs, Moschoi in Greek). According to the archaeologist Kurt Bittel, Tabal first appears after the collapse of the Hittite Empire.[1] The Assyrian king Shalmaneser III records that he received gifts from their 24 kings in 837 BC and the following year. A century later, their king Burutash is mentioned in an inscription of king Tiglath-Pileser III. They have left a number of inscriptions from the 9th-8th centuries BC in hieroglyphic-Luwian in the Turkish villages of Çalapverdi and Alişar.

The Georgian historian Ivane Javakhishvili considered Tabal, Tubal, Jabal and Jubal to be ancient Georgian tribal designations, and argued that they spoke a non-Indo-European language.

They and other related tribes, the Chalybes (Khalib/Khaldi) and the Mossynoeci (Mossynoikoi in Greek), are sometimes considered the founders of metallurgy. These three tribes still neighbored each other, along the Black Sea coast of Anatolia (ancient Pontus), as late as in Roman times (the tribes were known in Latin as Tibareni, Chalybes, and Mossynoeci/Mosynoeci).

On the evidence of Hecataeus, Herodotus, Xenophon, Strabo and others, the tribe of the Tibareni (Tibarenoi in Greek) lived in the north of the territory of Tabal.

The known later rulers of Tabal are:[2]

  • Ambaris (until ca. 713)
  • Hidi (ca. 690)
  • Mugallu (ca. 670)
  • x-ussi (ca. 650)


  • Ivane Javakhishvili. Historical-Ethnological problems of Georgia, the Caucasus and the Near East. Tbilisi, 1950, pp. 130–135 (in Georgian)
  • Simon Janashia. Works, vol. III. Tbilisi, 1959, pp. 2–74 (in Georgian)
  • Nana Khazaradze. The Ethnopolitical entities of Eastern Asia Minor in the first half of the 1st millennium BC. Tbilisi, 1978, pp. 3–139 (in Georgian, Russian and English)


  1. Kurt Bittel, Hattusha: The Kingdom of the Hittites, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. p.133
  2. Tübinger Bibelatlas / Tübingen Bible Atlas. Siegfried Mittmann, Götz Schmitt (eds.), Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2001, Map B IV 13.

See also

External Links

  • Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Tabal. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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