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Transliteration: sạ?al·̣esta·nu·aleφakaḷẹ
Original script: S2 dA3 d?A14 dL4 dpunctuation8 dE dS2 dT2 dA14 dpunctuation7 dNU dpunctuation7 dA14 dL4 dE dΦ4 dA14 dK3 dA14 dL4 dE d

Object: ST rock (stone)
(Inscriptions: ST-1, ST-2, ST-3, ST-4, ST-5, ST-6, ST-7, ST-8, ST-9)
Position: right-hand side"right-hand side" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property., upper area"upper area" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property.
Orientation: 90°
Frame: Frame left: straightFrame middle: top and bottomFrame middle: top and bottomFrame right: straight   (straight, top and bottom, straight)
Script: North Italic script
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Letter height: 55 cm <br /> – 8 cm
Number of letters: 19
Number of characters: 20 – 21
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 111
TM 218563
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 192, 231 f.



First published in Vetter 1957.

Images in Vetter 1957: Taf. VI (photo = Mayr 1960: Abb. 3), Joppich 1971: 43 (photo of the cast and drawing), Zavaroni 2004: Fig. 8 and 9 (photos/drawings), Schumacher 2004: Taf. 21 (drawing) and Mandl 2011: Abb. 1 (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 68 cm, running vertically upwards from the beginning of ST-3. Being situated rather high up on the rock wall, the inscription is almost free of distracting recent graffiti. Applying the inscription must have been a difficult undertaking: The writer must have stood on a ladder or similar implement; this may be the reason for the letters getting ever smaller towards the top. (So, however, does the cartouche, which leads to the question of whether the lines enclosing many of the rock inscriptions were drawn first as reference lines, or added afterwards for decoration.) Vetter assumed that the inscription was applied after ST-3 and was written dextroversely so as to avoid a possible collision. (See Mandl 2011: 28, 48, 53 about the geological constraints in where to apply a petroglyph.) A line has been added to separate the two inscriptions. In any case, ST-6 does not belong with the group ST-1 through ST-3 in either form or content.

After S2 d, the remains of what is probably A3 d, though two bars seem to be crossing inside the chevron (Vetter suggested a writer's mistake due to the ususual writing direction) and the latter is not rounded. Then a lacuna, in which Vetter saw an angle line v 10 sline d 10 s in the upper area and read k; while the traces referred to can be identified, they are too faint to warrant any conclusion. After the lacuna, only minimally damaged, another A14 d, then a letter which has been read T2 d by Vetter, but must be L4 d: There is neither room for nor trace of a prolongation of the bar to the hasta's left. Above the bar after this letter, a small scratch which may be read as a separator punctuation8 d, but may be unintentional. If intentional, it was probably added as an afterthought, as L4 d and E d stand closely together, and the other separators in the inscription are drawn in the centre of the line. E dS2 dT2 dA14 dpunctuation7 dNUd spunctuation7 dA14 dL4 dE d seems quite clear. The group NUd s between the separators has been identified by Zavaroni (pp. 49, 56 ff.) as a ligature nu, with N2 s turned upside-down and against writing direction to share the straight hasta of U5 d (see also Prosdocimi 1971: 37 f.). The reading of L4 d as l is based on the identification of the sequence as the common suffix group -nu-ale. This character variant occurs in a handful of Northern Venetic inscriptions from the province Belluno (Cadore and the Monte Pore).

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-5. ST-5 and ST-6 share some orthographical characteristics: four-stroke S2 d with angles opening in writing direction, T2 d with the bar rather low on the hasta, K3 d with the bars not converging, anomalous shape of the letter for l (though the ST-5-version L3 s sports a longer and rounded bar), the ligature, and the separation of the suffixes with small central scratches punctuation7 d. Both inscriptions have been applied in difficult places, and the letters are of equivalent height. (ST-5, however, lacks a cartouche.) Also, the structure of the texts is roughly similar: The patronymic appears in the middle, with a sequence (incl. potential separator) which does not seem to encode an individual name before it, and followed by another sequence of comparable length. This suggest that the two inscriptions were written by either the same person or two persons with a common writing tradition, maybe travelling together. Compare AK-1.11.

Further references: Mayr 1958b, Mayr 1960: 309 f., Pisani 1964: 137 bis, Prosdocimi 1971: 38 incl. Joppich 1971: 43, Schürr 1975: 607, Sydow 1989: 70 ff., Schürr 2001: 215 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.