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Transliteration: hes·ṭulanu·aleker·akve
Original script: E sV sK3 sA14 spunctuation7 sR sE sK2 sE sL3 sA14 spunctuation7 sNU sA14 sL3 sU5 sT2 spunctuation7 sS2 sE sH4 s
Variant Reading: ?esitulanu·aleker·akve
E sV sK3 sA14 spunctuation7 sR sE sK2 sE sL3 sA14 spunctuation7 sNU sA14 sL3 sU5 sT2 sI sS2 sE s

Object: ST rock (stone)
(Inscriptions: ST-1, ST-2, ST-3, ST-4, ST-5, ST-6, ST-7, ST-8, ST-9)
Position: left-hand side"left-hand side" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property.
Orientation: 270°
Script: North Italic script
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 5.55.5 cm <br /> – 10 cm
Number of letters: 18 – 20
Number of characters: 21 – 22
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: engraved
Current condition: damaged
Archaeological culture: La Tène
Date of inscription: 5th–1st centuries BC
Date derived from:

Language: Raetic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: IR 110
TM 218562
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 192, 228 ff.



First published in Vetter 1957.

Images in Vetter 1957: Taf. VII (photo = Mayr 1960: Abb. 4), Prosdocimi 1971: 36 (drawing = Schumacher 1992: Taf. 8,4), Joppich 1971: 43 (photo of the cast and drawings), Zavaroni 2004: Fig. 7 (photo/drawing), Schumacher 2004: Taf. 20 (drawing) and Mandl 2011: Abb. 132 (photo). Numerous casts have been made of the Steinberg inscriptions; positives of the most recent one, made by the Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Innsbruck in 1993, can be seen at the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum and the Archäologische Staatssammlung München. Drawings of the arrangement of the inscriptions in Vetter 1957: 386, Prosdocimi 1971: 30, Zavaroni 2004: Fig. 15 and Schumacher 2002: 1276 (= Schumacher 2004: Taf 8,1); photos of the wall in Sydow 1989: Abb. 6, Gleirscher 1991: Abb. 3 and Mandl 2011: Abb. 133.

Length about 73 cm, running vertically and slightly to the right towards the top at the back of the crevice, today starting at about 1.5 m from the ground. Being situated in the most unfavourable part of the rock wall, the inscription is almost free from distracting recent graffiti. Its position and orientation preclude its having been written by someone standing on the left, who would have seen the letters upright. (See Mandl 2011: 28, 48, 53 about the geological constraints in where to apply a petroglyph.) This circumstance has led Prosdocimi (p. 31) to assume that the inscription was executed from a sample by a person who could not read it and therefore applied it upside-down. This theory, while not in itself implausible, does not help to explain its orthographical peculiarities.

The first letter, disturbed by a more recent line, consists of a vertical scratch with two dots, the second one higher than the other, on either side. This might be younger Venetic h (see Script), not impossible in the context of the Venetoid script of the North Tyrol inscriptions. Prosdocimi (p. 36 f.) suggests that his illiterate writer added a final H4 s to the beginning of the inscription, where he also saw E s, due to lack of space at the top. This would mean an original ending H4 sE s -e.i. typical for Venetic, but, as Prosdocimi himself observes, the punctuation in the rest of the inscription is not at all in line with the Venetic system. The fourth character, a shortish vertical scratch after S2 s, could be read as I s or as a punctuation mark punctuation7 s. Two of the latter occur in the inscription unambiguously, but the scratch in question is not quite as short as those marks. The identification of the letter following it is somewhat doubtful: In addition to the pronounced bar crossing the hasta at about a third of its height, two more bars extend in writing direction above it, forming E s. The perfectly appropriate alignment of the bars conflicts with their being very faint in comparison; the part of the pronounced bar which extends to the right of the letter, though rather long, clearly belongs with it and cannot be ascribed to the dubious vertical (see above) before it. Cp. ST-6 with T2 s with a bar rather low on the hasta. It might be speculated that the writer made a mistake when sketching the letter, then carved the correct one; the inscription may also have been tampered with at a later date. Further on, the reading of L3 s as l is based on the identification of the following sequence as the common suffix group -nu-ale – so far, this character variant occurs only in this inscription (but see ST-6 with a more current non-rounded version). The group NU s has been identified by Zavaroni (pp. 49, 56 ff.) as a ligature nu, with N2 d turned upside-down and against writing direction to share the straight hasta of U5 s (see also Prosdocimi 1971: 37 f.).

A sequence ending in the morpheme syntagma -nu-ale marking a patronymic in the pertinentive, also encountered in the other Steinberg inscriptions (except ST-8), can now be isolated. For the separation of the suffixes with a punctuation mark compare ST-4 and ST-6. This patronymic may be expected to be preceded by an individual name in the same case, probably bearing the suffix -si, which might be found if the fourth character is read i. This would yield an unusually short individual name H(?)e-; there are no traces of possible letters before H4 s. Despite Lambda, cp. maybe the esθuale-group, esp. the problematic element v vs. l in MA-11. Although the last of the punctuation marks cannot securely be expected to separate words, the separation of the sequences ker and akve is made probable by the fact that the sequence ker, isolated between an individual name and a verb, occurs in MA-10. For comparison with the inscription ST-6 see there.

Further references: Mayr 1958b, Mayr 1960: 309 f., Pisani 1964: 137 bis, Prosdocimi 1971: 36 ff., 45 f. incl. Joppich 1971: 43, Schürr 1975: 607, Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 232, Sydow 1989: 70 ff., Schürr 2001: 216 f., Schumacher 2002: 1276 ff.


Gleirscher 1991 Paul Gleirscher, Die Räter, Chur: Rätisches Museum 1991.
IR Alberto Mancini, "Iscrizioni retiche", Studi Etruschi 43 (1975), 249–306.
Joppich 1971 Julius Joppich, "Anhang. Tonabdruck und Korrektur zur Lesung der Felsinschriften nach Emil Vetter", in: Wolfgang Meid, Hermann M. Ölberg, Hans Schmeja (Eds), Studien zur Namenkunde und Sprachgeographie. Festschrift für Karl Finsterwalder zum 70. Geburtstag [= Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft 16], Innsbruck: 1971, 41–44.
LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)
Mandl 2011 Franz Mandl, Felsbilder. Österreich – Bayern: Nördliche Kalkalpen [= Anisa – Verein für alpine Forschung 4], Haus im Ennstal: 2011.
Mayr 1958b Karl M. Mayr, "-", review of: Emil Vetter, "Die vorrömischen Felsinschriften von Steinberg in Nordtirol", Anzeiger der phil.-hist. Klasse der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Jg. 1957, Nr. 24 (1957), 384–398, Der Schlern 32 (1958), 303–304.