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Urartu a fost un regat din Epoca Fierului, cunoscut și cu varianta modernă a endonimului său, Regatul Vanului, constituit în jurul lacului Van din Podișul Armeniei (Anatolia de Est din prezent). Regatul a devenit o putere la mijlocul secolului al IX-lea î.Hr., dar a decăzut treptat și a fost în cele din urmă cucerit de mezi în secolul al VI-lea î.Hr. Ώ] Această regiune geopolitică va reemerge în scurt timp cu numele Armenia. Urartienii sunt strămoșii cel mai ușor de identificat ai armenilor. ΐ] Α] Β] Γ]

Ancient Ruins Discovered Under Lake in Turkey

Video shows the remains of an ancient fortress sitting hidden beneath the lake's surface.

Underwater Fortress Discovered Under Turkish Lake

From the surface, Turkey's Lake Van looks like any other large body of water. Turkey's largest, the lake sits in the far eastern region of the country, near Iran. The lake has a striking blue color and is a tourist attraction, benefiting towns around its rim. But below the surface lurks another town, which had hardly been seen in thousands of years.

During a recent dive to explore the lake, archaeologists from Van Yüzüncü Yil University and a team of independent divers found an underwater fortress.

In an interview with Turkey's newswire service Andalou Agency, head of the diving team Tahsin Ceylan recounted that other archaeologists familiar with the region told them they would find little in the water.

But the team proceeded with their research anyway, based on local rumors that ancient ruins were stashed beneath the water. (Was Noah's Ark found in Turkey?)

Speaking to local press, Ceylan said the archaeological site spans roughly a kilometer. The visible sections of the fortress's walls range in size from 10 to 13 feet.

Video shot by Ceylan shows the underwater archaeologists swimming through the turquoise blue lake. Large stones stacked together like a brick wall puncture the lake's waters. The fortress's remaining structures range from loose piles of stones to smooth square walls.

Based on visual assessments, the team estimates the remains are roughly 3,000 years old, meaning they may have been constructed during the region's Iron Age Urartian period.

Urartu was an ancient nation that spanned modern day Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. According to the Met's Department of Near Eastern Art, Lake Van was a hub for the ancient society. A rock inscription, the oldest documented Urartian record, can be found in Van.

The archaeologists believe rising lake levels slowly submerged parts of the city over time. Large village ruins from this period can also still be found around the lake's edges, above the current water level.

Archaeologists and divers plan to continue exploring the lake to learn more about the ancient remains.

Urartu - History

In the very first season Banants won the Armenian Cup, and took the 3rd place in the championship.

Since 1995, "Banants" did not take part in the championship of Armenia, but was revived in April 2001.

In 2007, Banants for the second time in its history, won the Armenian Cup, winning the final match against FC Ararat, 3-1.

"Banants" won the first title of champion of Armenia in 2013/14 season. Banants earned 50 points in 28 rounds and was ahead of his rivals by 3 points.

In the seasons 1992, 2007 and 2015/16 years "Banants" became the owner of the Armenian Cup, and in 2014 won the Super Cup after Hakob Tonoyan.

Banants has represented Armenia in the European Cup and had a lot of players in the national team of Armenia.

"Banants" in the championships of Armenia.

Armenia's champion in 2013/14,

Silver medalist in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017/18 respectively.

Bronze medalist in the 1992, 1993, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2018/19 respectively.

The club takes part in the championship of Major League of the Republic of Armenia since 1992 with the exception of 1995-2000.
Victoriest with the biggest score:


The distinctive artifacts associated with the kingdom of Urartu are normally assumed to constitute the material assemblage of a homogeneous culture. This article reviews the characteristics of these artifacts class by class, and argues that for the most part they are deliberate creations of an imperial government, not a broad spectrum of the east Anatolian population. Archaeological research on Urartu has focused on excavating fortresses, which are essentially state enclaves, rather than settlement sites. The model of Inca imperialism is invoked as an alternative to the presumption of cultural uniformity. The extent to which it applies and the issue of provincialism within the Urartian state can only be addressed by shifting the emphasis of Urartian archaeological studies toward the governed.


The Bible’s account of Noah, the ark, and the Genesis flood states that the ark came to rest on the “mountains of rrt” where “rrt” has been translated “Urartu” or later “Ararat” during Armenian times (there are no vowels in the original Hebrew text of “rrt”). From Assyrian texts, Urartu is known to have existed from about the late 13th century BC to the 9th century BC , and thus near the traditional Mount Ararat (Agri Dagh) . The conservative view of Moses’ writing Genesis around 1400 BC is close to the 13th century BC Assyrian king’s writing about the Uruatri or Uratri. The inhabitants of Urartu called themselves Biainili while modern literature typically calls them “Urartu” or “Kingdom of Van.” as a loose federation of tribes near Lake Van and the Araxes river

The Boundaries of Urartu/Ararat White Paper (click to read)

The Urartian language is similar to the Hurrian langage, which is shown in proper names of residents in northern Mesopotamia during the third millenium. Dr. Paul Zimansky discusses the origins of Urartu in Ancient Ararat: A Handbook of Urartian Studies, “Inasmuch as Hurrian became increasingly common there as time went on, it is assumed that the number of its speakers was continually being reinforced by migrants from eastern Anatolia, which was then beyond the frontiers of literacy. Since the earliest text in the Hurrian language show features similiar to Urartian which are absent in later Hurrian, the prevailing view is that the two diverged from a common source not long before the time these were written. In recent years, Russsian scholars also suggest that Urartian and Hurrian should be regarded as members of a Northeast Caucasian langage family that also includes several relatively obscure tongues still spoken in the Caucasus. This thesis, which is not universally accepted, would reinforce the notion that Urartian never strayed far from its Transcaucasian birthplace.” Russian scholars have also suggested that Urartian has Hurrian and Hittite roots (Diakonoff) although the Hittite comparisons are not overwhelming. Most consider that early Hittite language had a large influence on Hurrian, which in turn had an influence on Urartian.

Dr. Paul Zimansky noted, “Urartian art styles and craftsmanship are distinctive and some authorities have seen their influence, transmitted either directly or through west Anatolian and Syrian intermediaries, as far afield as Greece and Etruria.” The Urartian texts are in cuneiform borrowed from Assyria, although it is a different language than the Assyrian language. As Zimansky continues, “The textual record, however, like the findings of archaeological research, is approachable only through a thicket of modern languages Armenian, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Turkish are all commonly employed in scholarship in this field… The history of the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, for example, cannot be written without reference to Urartu… For most of the Twentieth Century, Russian scholars took an interest in Urartu because it was the first state-organized society to emerge on Soviet soil.” Zimansky continues: “After it crystalized, the kingdom expanded throughout eastern Anatolia and Transcaucasia with such astonishing rapidity that one suspects the path was cleared for conquest by pre-existing unitites of some sort. Few geographical factors encourage unity in Urartian territory. The fold lines of the Pontic, Taurus, Caucasus, and Zagros Mountains intersect here in such a way as to block potential arteries of communication there is no central location positioned to tie all of the oases of cultivation together. Urartu’s rivers belong to no less than five different watersheds, flowing into the Black Sea, Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Lake Urmia and Lake Van, respectively. Several prominent volcanoes, including the Sahend, Bingol Dag, Suphan Dag, and Ararat add to the geographical complexity of the area, and bear witness to the tectonic instability that still plagues it. Although the Taurus Mountains form a substantial barrier between the lowlands of Assyria and the Anatolian Plateau, for the most part there is no fixed natural boundaries around the perimeter of the state. Climate is another factor that appears to militate against the unification that Urartu so clearly effected. Winters begin early and snow cover is apt to last from October to May.”

Along with the language similarities to the Hurrians, Urartu also borrowed their spiritual world from the Hittites, Hurrians, and Assyrians, with changes that were definitely Urartian. The most important inscription to understand the Urartian gods is carved in a rock on one flank of Zimzim Dagh at Mhere Kapisi west of Toprakkale. Eighty gods and goddesses are listed in order of importance with Haldi at the head and Teisheba and Siuni as the storm god and sun god, respectively. The Urartian period marks the end of the line for most of these Hurrian gods. Some of the goddesses are also the names of mountains so the Urartians shared that Bronze Age Hittite practice. Provincial leaders were also interred in a lavish manner with rock chamber tombs like at Van cliff as shown at Werachram.

The boundaries of the Urartian kingdom include the Mount Ararat area. However, some alternative locations for the landing place of the ark were proposed many centuries later and are outside Urartu’s boundaries.

The Urartian Kingdom expanded until it covered a wide geographic area from the 9th century BC until the 6th century BC when it was destroyed by the Medes and vanished from history, only to be rediscovered in the archaeology of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thus, post-Mosaic writers may have misinterpreted the location of the Ararat site for the Ark’s landfall based on this much larger Urartian Kingdom which was closer in time to them, more well-defined by cuneiform texts, and more familiar than the earliest Urartu confederation of tribes. Please note that the later and largest Urartu Kingdom includes Mt Cudi, just barely.

Brief Ancient Archaeological Overview of the Mount Ararat Region

Even before Urartu, the Mount Ararat region along with the Araxes river valley constitutes a possible starting location for the archaeology of the Early Transcaucasian culture with its distinctive red-black burnished ware. There are a number of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age archaeological sites around Mount Ararat in Turkey, Armenia, and Nakchivan. Archaeologists would like to research this area more but the border region is difficult to get permission to research and the borders break up the research area into separate nations.

However, ArcImaging was able to secure permission in 2001 for the first archaeological survey of Mount Ararat since the 1980s. The Mount Ararat Archaeological Survey co-authored by Ataturk University Archaeology Professors in Erzurum, Turkey and Rex Geissler of ArcImaging was published in the Summer 2008 Edition of Bible and Spade by Associates for Biblical Research (ABR).

Earliest Historical Reference to Noah’s Ark being on Mount Ararat

The earliest obvious historical reference to the geography surrounding Noah’s Ark landing on Mount Ararat is by the early church historian Philostorgius’s account around A.D. 425. The 2007 translation of Philostorgius was edited by Philip R. Amidon, originally from Joseph Bidez, except for the extracts from the Syriac chronicles. Amidon emphasizes how Philostorgius made great use of the immense library resources of Constantinople in his writings, which should give us more confidence in his geography.

How is it that Philostorgius even knows that the Ark landed on the Armenian Mount Ararat in ca. 425 AD if supposedly (as Bailey et al. contend) no one came up with that idea until medieval times and no one ever made such an identification until then? Amidon states the following in the introduction about Philostorgius:

“The learned and fervently Eunomian layman Philostorgius, born in Cappadocia around 368, heartily detested such historiography as may be imagined [this reference is to the Council of Nicaea’s Nicene Creed supporters like Rufinus who translated and extended/massaged Eusebius of Caesarea writings into Latin to show support for Nicene Christianity]. The remnants of his writing show a lively intellectual curiosity encouraged by his sectarian creed, whose God is not the hidden deity of Gnosticism but one whose very substance can be known by human reason directed aright. He obviously drank deeply from the libraries, museums, and archives of Constantinople, his Dissimilarian spectacles bringing into focus a picture of the century preceding that was very unlike the one painted by Rufinus, with whom his own narrative, when he came to write it, was indeed in frequent argument… It appeared sometime between 425 and 433, in twelve books bound in two volumes, its proper period the years from 320 to 425… Philostorgius in fact groups into one ‘homoousian’ party all those Christians who opposed Eunomianism (in the same way as those of Nicene sympathies like to call ‘Arian’ anyone who rejected the term ‘consubstantial’ as used in the Creed of Nicaea)… Such is the central dram of our author’s history: the enduring contest between the true monotheistic faith of God’s people and the pagan forces arrayed against it. Gnosticism is always the silent partner in the debates between Nicene and Eunomian Christians, the real foe against whom Aetius fought the battle that nearly led to his death. And there is some evidence that this view comes from Eunomius himself. This being the tenor of Philostorgius’s history, it is not surprising that the government that championed the Nicene faith would seek to suppress it, seeing that it had previously ordered the burning of the works of Eunomius, one of the great heroes of his tale… He followed Herodotus’s lead in historiography, embroidering his narrative with learned excursions into geography and natural history and in general cultivating style that would recommend him to his readers. The style was no empty show. His immersion in the scholarly resources offered by Constantinople has preserved for us, even in the abridgement of its original work, traditions that are otherwise unknown or that add perspective to matters related elsewhere.”

Philostorgius stated the following about Noah’s Ark and Mount Ararat in Book 3 as epitomized by Photius who according to Amidon “is usually a careful, if hostile, epitomizer, and his editorial glosses can usually be detected”:

“The Persian Gulf, which is formed by the ocean as it enters there, is huge and is encircled by many nations. The Tigris is one fo the enormous rivers that empty their streams into it at its mouth. The Tigris seems to have its source in the east, south of the Caspian Sea in Corduena, and it flows past Syria, but when it arrives in the region of Susa, the Euphrates joins its current to it, and so it boils onward, swollen now to a great size. Hence they say it is called “Tigris” after the animal. But before it descends to the sea, it divides into two great rivers, and then it empties into the Persian Gulf from these two mouths at its end, which are divided from each other. It thus cuts off a considerable area of ground in between, making of it an island that is both of the river and of the sea it is inhabited by a people called the Mesenes. As for the Euphrates River, it appears to take its rise in Armenia, where Mount Ararat is. The mountain is still called by that name by the Armenians. It is where, according to scripture, the ark came to rest, and they say that considerable remnants of its wood and nails are still preserved there. From there the Euphrates starts as a small stream at first, growing ever larger as it advances and sharing its name with the many rivers that empty into it. It makes its way through Greater and Lesser Armenian and then proceeds on, dividing first the Syria that is properly called Euphratensis and then also the rest of Syria. Having passed through this region, and the remaining part [of Syria], and having broken up the lands through which it passes into a series of convolutions of every sort with its crooked course, it draws near to Arabia. There its way takes it in a circle opposite the Red Sea as it loops around a wide region, after which it turns toward the Caecias wind, midway between north and east. It then heads toward the Tigris River, although it cannot join its whole self to it, but wasting part of itself on the way, it empties the remained of itself into the Tigris quite near Susa, this remainder being a mighty stream quite capable of carrying ships. There it also abandons its name and flows with the Tigris down to the Persian Gulf. The land between these two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, is called Mesopotamia.”

The best way to get a comprehensive overview about the search for Noah’s Ark is to:

7) Read the classic Noah’s Ark search book with hundreds of photos, The Explorers of Ararat: And the Search for Noah’s Ark. The 2nd Edition was available in a printed version from 1998 to 2010 and the 3rd Edition is published for free online. The Explorers of Ararat: And the Search for Noah’s Ark was initiated by B.J. Corbin, authored by numerous expedition leaders, contains thousands of photos, a great historical reference section with both pros and cons of alleged eyewitnesses, and published by Great Commission Illustrated (GCI) Books .

Though there have been many claims of a discovery of Noah’s Ark in ancient documents and recent books/films, there is no scientific proof, public photograph, or evidence of the survival or existence of Noah’s Ark.

However, there are hundreds of cultures around the world that make reference to the flood and Noah’s Ark, but most researchers focus the search within the biblical mountains of Ararat/Urartu as stated in the Genesis account. Within this region there are four primary areas of interest, Mount Ararat, Mount Cudi, Durupinar, and Iran.

Biblical Account of Noah – Genesis 6:5-8:22 (NIV Translation)

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.”

So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

Drevna Mezopotamija
Eufrat – Tigris
Gradovi / kraljevstva
Sumer: Uruk – Ur – Eridu
Kish – Lagaš – Nippur
Akadsko Carstvo: Akkad
Babilon – Isin – Susa
Asirija: Assur – Niniva
Dur-Sharrukin – Nimrud
Sumerski kraljevi
Asirski kraljevi
Babilonski kraljevi
Klinasto pismo
Sumerski – Akadski
Elamski – Hurijski
Enûma Elish
Gilgameš – Marduk

Ime Urartu dolazi od izvora sa aramejskog jezika, koji je bio dijalekt akadskog. Izvorno ime kraljevine je bilo Biainili. Istraživači veruju da je "Urartu" akadska varijaija od "Ararata" iz Starog zaveta. Planina Ararat se stvarno nalazila na teritoriji Urartu, oko 120 kilometara severno od prestonice. Ararat se u Starom zavetu spominje kao planina, ali i kao antička kraljevina severno od Mesopotamije. Rane jermenske hronike (oko 5. do 7 veka) tvrde da je originalno ime Jermenije "zemlja Ararada". Varijacije verovatno potiču od jermenskog "Ajrarat", što bi značilo "zemlja hrabrih" i "zemlja Jermenaca". [2]

Neki naučnici (Karl Fridrih Leman-Haupt) (1910) veruju da je narod Urartua sebe zvao Kaldini, prema njihovom bogu Kaldiju. Jedan narod područja Van, narod Nairi ponekad se smatra povezanim ili istim.

Urartu se često nazivao "Kraljevina Ararat" u mnogim antičkim manuskriptima i svetim pismima različitih nacija. Razlog za neizvesnost imena (Urartu ili Ararat) je zbog varijacija u izvorima. Pisani jezici toga vremena nisu koristili vokale, nego samo konsonante. Reč je naprimer u antičkom izvoru bila zapisana kao "RRT" a to je mogli biti i Ararat i Urartu. Antički izvori su koristili "Jermenija" i "Urartu" naizmenično i to je bio naziv za istu zemlju. Naprimer trojezično Behistunsko pismo, koje je napisano 520. pne. po nalogu persijskog cara Darija Velikog spominje "Arminiju" na staro-persijskom, a prevod na elamitski je "Harminuja", a na akadski je "Urartu".

Kraljevina je bila poznata Grcima kao Jermenija, a kasnije i Rimljanima. U kasnom 7. veku pre Hr. i ranom 6. veku pre Hr. kraljevina Urartu je zamenjena kraljvinom Jermenijom, pod vođstvom jermenske dinastije Orontida.

Carstvo Urartu zauzimalo je oko 200.000 kvadratnih milja, od reke Kure na jugu do vrhova Taurusa na severu, te od Eufrata na zapadu, do Kaspijskog jezera na istoku. [3] Urartu se protezao od severne Mesopotamije do južnog Kavkaza, uključujući današnju Jermeniju sve do reke Kure. Urartu tvrđave su bile Erebuni (današnji Jerevan), Van, Armavir, Anzaf, Kavustepe i druge.

Fridrih Eduard Šulc je 1827. u ime francuskog orijentalnog društva putovao u područje Jezera Van. bio je inspirisan pričama o kraljici Šamiram jermenskog istoričara iz 5. veka Mozesa od Korene. Šulc je otkrio ruševine grada i brojne napise, većinom na asirskom, a delom na tada nepoznatom jeziku. Šulc je otkrio Kelišin, koji je bio na asirskom i urartu, a nalazio se na Kelišin prelazu na iračko-iranskoj granici. Kurdi su 1829. ubili Šulca i delovi njegovih beleški su izgubljeni. Britanski asirolog Henri Kresvik Rolinson pokušao je da kopira napis na steli, ali nije uspeo. Nemački istraživač Roš je nekoliko godina kasnije ubijen. Osten Henri Lajard je kasnih 1840tih opisivao grobove Van-Kelesi i Argišti. Od 1870ih lokalno stanovništvo je počelo da krade sa Toprakala ruševina i da prodaje nađeno evropskim naučnicima.

Poreklo (13. -9. vek pre Hrista Uredi

Asirski izvori Šalmanasara I (oko 1270. pre Hr) pominju Urartu kao jednu od država naroda Nairi, labavu konfederaciju malih kraljevina i plemenskih saveza na jermenskoj visoravni u 13. - 11. veku pre Hrista. Uruartri su bili oko Jezera Van. Nairi države su bile više puta osvajane od strane Asirije, posebno u doba Tukulti Ninurte I (oko 1240. pre Hr), Tiglat Pilesara I (oko 1100. pre Hr), Ašurbelkala (oko 1070. pre Hr), Adadnirarija II (oko 900. pre Hr), Tukulti Ninurte II (oko 890. pre Hr) i i Asurnasirpala II (883.- 859. pre Hr). Prema asirskim izvorima Urartu je predstavljao moćnog severnog rivala. Nairi države i plemena ujedinile su se u jedinstvenu kraljevinu pod kraljem Aramuom (oko 860.-843. pre Hr). Glavni grad kraljevine Arzaškun osvojio je asirski kralj Šalmanasar III.

Uspon Urartua (9. vek - 714. pre Hr) Uredi

Sardur I (oko 832.-820. pre Hr) je premestio prestolnicu u antički grad Tušpa (danas Van) na obali Jezera Van. Prestonicu je zaštitio utvrdama. NJegov sin Ispuini je anektirao susednu državu Musasir. NJegov naslednik Menua (oko 800. -785.) isto tako je dosta teritorijalno povećao kraljevinu i ostavio je na mnogo mesta zapise. Urartu je desegla vrhunac vojne moći za vreme Menuinog sina Argištija I (oko. 785-760 pre Hr) i postala je jedna od najmoćnijih kraljevona Bliskog Istoka. Argišti I je osvojio teritorije duž reke Araks i jezera Sevan. Asirski kralj je vodio Šalmanasar IV vodio je protiv njega neuspešnu kampanju. U jednom trenutku vojska Urartua je došla do Vavilona, zauzimajući grad. Argišti I je osnovao nekoliko novih gradova, a tu se posebno ističe Erebuni (Jerevan), koga je osnovao 782. pre Hr.

Na svom vrhuncu Urartu se protezao severno iza reke Araks i jezera Sevan i obuhvatao je današnju Jermeniju, južni deo Gruzije gotovo do obala Crnog mora. Zapadno se protezao do izvora Eufrata, a istočno do Tabriza, a južno do izvora Tigrisa.

Nazadovanje i oporavak (714 - 640 pre Hr) Uredi

Tokom 714. pre Hrista Urartu se našlo na udaru Kimerijanaca , a zatim i asirskog kralja Sargona II. Sargon je pobedio kralja Urartua Rusa I na jezeru Urmia. Glavni hram Urartua u Mušaširu bio je opljačkan. Međutim Rusin sin Argišti II (714.-685. pre Hr) uspeo je da povrati mođ Urartua u isto vreme održavajući mir sa Asirijom. Dug period mira omogućio je dug period razvoja i prosperiteta, a to se nastavilo i tokom vlasti kralja Rusa II (685-645 pre Hr). Posle Ruse II, Urartu je postao slab i ovisan o Asiriji, pa je sin Ruse II kralj Sardur III (645-635 pre Hr) nazivao asirskog kralja "otac".

Kasniji period (640-580ih pre Hr) Uredi

Prema klinastom pismu Urartua posle Sardurija III usledila su tri kralja Erimena (635.-820. pre Hr) , njegov sin Rusa III (620-609 pre Hr) i posle Rusa IV (609-590 pre Hr). Poznato je da je kasnih 600tih pre Hr (za vreme kralja Sardura III ) Urartu napali Siki i njihovi saveznici Međani. Medijski kralj Kiaksar je 612. pre Hr osvojio Asiriju. Brojne ruševine iz tog vremena u Urartuu pokazuju da su bile uništene paležom. To daje mogućnost dva moguća scenarija:

  • ili je Medija zauzela Urartu
  • ili je Urartu zadržao nezavisnost, a dogodila se samo promenu dinastije, tj lokalna dinastija Orontidi zbacila je tada vladajuću dinastiju uz pomoć medijske vojske

Antički izvori podupiru drugi scenario:

    na primer tvrdi da Jermenija, kojom su vladali Orontidi nije bila pokorena sve do vlasti međanskog kralja Astijaga (585-550 pre Hr), što je bilo mnogo nakon međanske invazije u 7. veku pre Hrista [4] . je napisao da je u antička vremena Velika Jermenija vladala celom Azijom, nakon što je slomila carstvo Sirijaca, a da je kasnije u doba Astijaga izgubila [5] .
  • Prema Starom Zavetu prorok Jeremija je oko 593. pre Hr pozivao kraljevinu Ararat i medijske saveznike da sruše Vavilon
  • rane jermenske hronike uzimaju hebrejske i grčke izvore, a po njima jermenski knez je uz pomoć međanskog kralja Kiaksara osvojio Asiriju [6]

Tako različiti izvori podupiru pretpostavku da je nakon kralja Sardura III došlo do promene dinastije. Jermenska dinastija Orontida zamenila je dinastiju Aramu uz pomoć Međana, a kao kontrauslugu pomogli su Međanima da zauzmu Asiriju. Sve to indicira da su kraljevi Erimena, Rusa III i Rusa IV zapravo urartu imena za najranije Orontidske kraljeve Urartua(Jermenije). U vreme ranih Orontida Urartu je ostao moćna nezavisna kraljevina, koju su različiti izvori zvali Urartu, Ararat ili Jermenija.

Kraj Urartua je bio nasilan, jer su spaljene mnoge tvrđave. Do kraja šestog veka Jermeni su zamenili Urartuance [7]

Većina stanovništva se bavila poljoprivredom. Bili su stručnjaci za arhitekturu pomoću kamena. Bili su i stručnjaci za metal, tako da su izvozili metalne ćupove u Frigiju i Etruriju. Iskopavanjima se došlo do kuđa sa dva sprata sa unutrašnjim ukrasima po zidovima, prozorima i balkonima. Gradovi su imali dobro razvijeno snabdevanje vodom, koja se dovodila iz poprilično velikih daljina. Postojala je i razvijena kanalizacija.

NJihov kralj je bio i glavni sveštenik ili izaslanik boga Kaldija, njihovog glavnog božanstva. Neki hramovi Kaldija bili su delovi kompleksa kraljevskih palata, dok su drugi predstavljali nezavisne strukture. Drugi bogovi su bili bog nebesa Tejšeba (Tešub od Hurijana i Hurita) i bog Sunca Šivini.

Urartu jezik nije pripadao ni semitskim jezicima ni indoevropskim jezicima. Pripadao je huritsko-urartskoj familiji jezika. Preživeo je na mnogim natpisima u kraljevini Urartu, koja su pisana asirskim klinastim pismom. Narod Urartua je imao i hijeroglifsko pismo, ali kasnije se koristilo samo za računovodstvo i religiozne svrhe. [8]

Urartu natpisi su bili na dva pisma:

Urartsko klinasto pismo deli se dalje na dve grupe:

  • manjina je pisala akadskim jezikom, službenim jezikom Asirije
  • većina natpisa je bila na urartu jeziku, haldejskom ili neo-huritskom, koji je povezan sa huritskim u huritsko-urartu grupi jezika

Ima velike sličnosti sa kavkaskim jezicima. Do danas je nađeno oko 500 natpisa na klinastom pismu na urartuu. Sadrže oko 350 do 400 reči, većina je sa urartua, iako ima posuđenih sa drugih jezika. Najveći broj posuđenih je sa jermenskog, oko 70 reči-korena. [9] U početku su u Urartuu koristili lokalne hijeroglife, koje su kasnije prilagodili asirijskom klinastom pismu. Posle 8. veka pre Hrista hijeroglifsko pismo je ograničeno samo na ralunoivodstvene i religiozne svrhe. uzorci urartu pisanog jezika preživeli su na mnogim natpisima u području Urartua. Za razliku od klinastog pisma hijeroglifski tekstovi nisu uspešno deširfovani. Zbog toga se naučnici ne slažu koji su jezik koristili u tekstovima.

Debata o pisanom jeziku Uredi

Lingvistika i etnički sastav Urartua je predmet debata među naučnicima. Većina veruje da je kraljevska i vladajuća elita govorila urartu i da je vladala multietničkim društvom [10] , a u kanijim razdobljima Urartu države većina stanovništva je govorila jermenski. Po toj teoriji stanovništvo, koje je govorilo jermenski bilo je potomak proto-Jermena, koji su se preselili sa jermenske visoravni u 7. veku pre hrista i pomešali se sa huritskim stanovništvom (frigijska teorija po Herodotu ).

Manjina naučnika (među njima su uglavnom službeni istoriografi Jermenije) veruje da je urartu bio samo formalni pisani jezik, dok je stanovništvo, uključujući i kraljevski dvor govorilo jermenski. [11] . Teorija se zasniva na jako ograničenom vokabularu u urartu klinastom pismu. Dalje primetili su da nakon 250 godina korištenja nije bilo razvoja, što je indikator da je to bio mrtvi jezik.

S lingvističke tačke gledišta većina naučnika veruje da su stanovnici Urartua povezani sa Huritima. [12] . Manjina smatra da su Jermeni naselili Urartu [13] .

Jermeni se nasledili državu Urartu u 6. veku pre Hrista , [14] i po mišljenju većine bili su prisutni u Anadoliji od 1200. pre Hrista, a tokom nekoliko vekova raširili su se do Jermenske visoravni [15] . Po tom scenariju jermeni su se između 1200. i 700 pre hrista naselili u svoju domovinu u istočnoj Maloj Aziji. Bili su potisnuti iz frigije invazijom Kimerijana 696. pre Hrista. [16]

Po suprotnoj teoriji ili tzv jermenskoj hipotezi proto-indoevropska domovina je na jermenskoj visoravni i Jermeni su tu tokom celog postojanja države Urartu. Nakomn nestanka Urartua Jermeni su dominirali visočjem i apsorbovali su delove prijašnje Urartu kulture. [17]

Mysterious 3,000-year-old castle found at the bottom of a Turkish lake

Lurking at the bottom of Turkey's Lake Van, a newly-discovered Iron Age fortress sits Credit: Getty

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A long-forgotten fortress dating back 3,000 years has been discovered in Turkey's Lake Van - a find that has been described by researchers as nothing short of a "miracle".

The ancient structure was located by divers during an excavation conducted by the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University this week, and is thought to have belonged to the Urartu civilisation during the Iron Age.

Footage has emerged of divers exploring the remarkably preserved ruins, which consist of walls that still reach up to 13 feet high and stonework that spans a kilometre.

"It is a miracle to find this castle underwater," Chief diver Tahsin Ceylan told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that archaeologists would be descending to the site in order to further assess its history.

According to National Geographic, the water level of Lake Van - a soda lake which stretches across 1449 square miles, the biggest in Turkey - was hundreds of metres lower during the Urartian occupation, which would explain its drowned state today.

Experts had already been investigating Lake Van for nearly a decade in search of its hidden treasures before stumbling across the fortress.

Last year they discovered a 2km stretch of stalagmites rising from the depths which they dubbed the “underwater fairy chimneys".

Underwater Fairy Chimneys in Van lake. Van Gölü’nde Su Altı Peri Bacaları Bulundu - https://t.co/8X07IRkYWf pic.twitter.com/BuMl6hRPm5

&mdash Sedef Piker (@SedefsCorner) July 27, 2016

What was the Kingdom of Urartu?

Lake Van was once the capital - known then as "Tushpa" - of this ancient kingdom, located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, a region now divided between Turkey, Armenia and Iran.

The earliest mentions of Urartu date back to Assyrians in the early 13th Century BC, and by the 9th Century BC the nation was thriving, occupying a 200,000 square mile portion of the Middle East.

After a gradual decline in power that stemmed from a number of lost battles, Urartu was conquered by the Medes in the 6th Century BC, later to be succeeded by the Armenians.

Urartian remnants were first rediscovered by French scholars in the late 1820s, and excavations have been ongoing on and off since then.

Scatters of Urartian ruins can be visited in the surrounding areas of Lake Van in Turkey, as well as Armenia and Iran to this day.

13 other fascinating sunken metropolises around the world

1. Curon Venosta, Italy

This mountain town in Trentino-Alto Adige was razed in 1950 to make way for a hydroelectric plant that required the merging of two large lakes. The only clue to its existence is the church belltower poking out of the water, which can sometimes be visited in winter when the lake freezes over.

2. Villa Epecuén, Argentina

Epecuén, in the farmlands southwest of Buenos Aires, was once a bustling little lakeside resort, where 1,500 people served 20-thousand tourists a season.

During the town's golden age, the same trains that carried grain to the outside world brought visitors from the capital to relax in Epecuen's saltwater baths and spas.

A particularly heavy rainstorm followed a series of wet winters, and the lake overflowed its banks on November 10, 1985. For 25 years, the town remained trapped under water but then in 2007, following several years of dry weather, the floods began to recede.

The town hasn't been rebuilt, but it has become a tourist destination again for people willing to drive at least six hours from Buenos Aires, along 340 miles of narrow country roads, to visit it.

3. Vilarinho das Furnas, Portugal

This 2,000-year-old Portuguese village on the banks of the River Homemn in northern Portugal was also submerged by the building of a reservoir, which was completed in the early Seventies.

Remnants of the walls, windows and doors of homes in the village can be seen during the dry season when the water levels recede.

4. Potosi, Venezuela

For decades, the only sign of the Venezuelan drowned town of Potosi has been a church spire sticking up in a lake.

But last year, the town on the South American country's eastern edge began to re-emerge inch by inch.

Today, cows graze in the muddy grass below the 85 foot (26 metre)-high facade of the stone church, and tourists and former residents are returning to see what is left of the village.

The cause of the strange phenomenon? A severe drought that has dried out most of Venezuela. The mountain town was flooded in 1984 thanks to a dam project.

5. Geamana, Romania

When copper was discovered in the hills above the village of Geamana in the 1970s, its residents probably didn’t think it would mean the destruction of their pretty valley. But, with the engineers needing somewhere to dump waste water from the new copper mine, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ordered that Geamana’s 400 families be resettled and the village flooded.

6. Port Royal, Jamaica

This historic fishing village, dating back to 1518, was once the shipping and trade centre of the New World and a key British naval base in the 17th century. It was the largest city in the Caribbean before it was destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake accompanied by a tsunami back in 1692, followed by subsequent hurricanes through the 20th century.

Preserved in situ, five buildings remain and thousands of artefacts have been recovered, including preserved food. Special permission is required from the government to dive the site, but many items can be seen at the National Museum at the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston.

Back in 2012, the Jamaican government launched a campaign to secure Unesco World Heritage status for the sunken city.

7. Shi Cheng, China

Quiandao Lake, a vast expanse of sapphire-blue water, boasts over 1,000 forest-topped islands – but it hasn’t always been so. The lake was formed in 1959, when the valley was flooded to create a reservoir and hydroelectric power station. When the waters flowed in, they also flooded Shi Cheng, a 1,400-year-old settlement thought to be the size of 60 football fields.

Only a handful of dive operators run trips to the region, and visibility can be volatile. But if you’re patient (and well practiced), you’ll be rewarded with up-close encounters with some of China’s most fascinating ancient treasures – including ornate carvings, towering archways and incredible sculptures of lions and dragons.

8. Kekova, Turkey

Off the coast of the Turkish city of Antalya lies the small uninhabited island of Kekova. It’s a beautiful and tranquil place, with water a jewelled shade of blue. It’s also fragrant, as the name “Kekova”, which derives from the Turkish word for thyme, suggests.

But the island is perhaps best known for its curious attraction: the remains of a sunken ancient city visible below the waves. These are the ruins of a trading post, Simena, destroyed by earthquakes in the second century.

While it is possible boat or kayak around the area, and dive nearby, under-water exploration has been banned since 1986 as part of a series of measures to protect the lost city’s heritage. It declared the region a Specially Protected Area in 1990, and in 2000 submitted Kekova to Unesco for consideration as a World Heritage Site. It currently sits on the organisation’s Tentative List.

9. Pavlopetri, Greece

Discovered in 1967 by Dr Nicholas Flemming, this is the world’s oldest submerged settlement, founded 5,000 years ago. Off Laconia in the Peloponnese, it is unique in having a complete grid of streets, buildings and tombs 10-12ft underwater. Snorkelling is permitted.

10. Nora, Sardinia

The ruins of this ancient Roman city are found both above and below the surface. Above ground, there's a near-intact theatre, baths, and the Temple of Aesculapuis - but follow the the Roman road that extends west from the ruins and you'll be suprised to see it plunge into the Tyrrhenian Sea. It leads to a vast underwater Nora that divers, with permission, can explore.

11. Cleopatra's Palace, Egypt

Buried in the harbour mud of Alexandria, Cleopatra’s royal quarters remained a secret until 1968 when divers located the ruins. Surveys revealed 2,500 pieces of stonework, including columns, statues and a quartzite block engraved with the outline of a pharaoh, all toppled by an earthquake. After mapping, some artifacts were removed but many remain. The site, at 15-25 feet deep, can be dived but visibility is poor.

12. Derwent, Derbyshire

Closer to home, the villages of Derwent and Ashapton were flooded in 1944, when the Ladybower Reservoir was created. The church spire was originally left as a memorial to the village but was demolished in 1947. One of the most important surviving markers of the former Derwent Village is its packhorse bridge – a designated monument of national importance which was transported and rebuilt at the Howden Reservoir at Slippery Stones.

13. Hampton-on-Sea, Kent

Hampton-on-Sea was a historic fishing hamlet dating back to 1864 in Herne Bay, Kent, which was destroyed by coastal flooding and erosion in 1921. The abandoned village sat in what is now the Hampton area of Herne Bay and all that remains of its former life is a portion of the original pier and an arc of its coastal defence, which is only visible at low tide.

Urartu, Assyria's northern archenemy

The political history of the 8th century BC was shaped by Assyria's prolonged conflict with Urartu, a kingdom encompassing the mountainous area between and around the three lakes of Van (in eastern Turkey), Urmiya (in north-western Iran) and Sevan (in Armenia) and the valley of the Murat Su up to its confluence with the main branch of the Euphrates.

Two battles at Arpad, 754 and 743 BC

In 743 BC, just after Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC) had taken the Assyrian throne by force, he defeated the Urartian army in a battle in the northern Syrian kingdom of Arpad and pursued it back to Turušpa via Kummuhi (Commagene), where another battle took place. This was the first, and remained the only, time that Assyrian troops ever reached that Urartian capital. Turušpa, situated on a rock high above Lake Van, proved impregnable but the siege had high symbolic significance and marked a change in the balance of power, heralding Assyria's renewed supremacy over the Middle East.

In the preceding decades, Assyria had steadily lost its former influence in northern Syria and southern Anatolia to Urartu, culminating in a direct battle between the Assyrian and Urartian armies in the territory of the kingdom of Arpad in 754 BC. As his royal inscriptions proudly proclaim, the Urartian king, Sarduri son of Argišti, defeated the forces of Aššur-nerari V (754-745 BC), striking a hard blow against Assyria's political standing in a region which had formerly accepted the Assyrian king as overlord and arbiter in all border conflicts. After Tiglath-pileser's victory in 743 BC on the very same battlefield, the old status quo was not re-established as the former vassals were now clearly considered untrustworthy. Instead, they were turned into Assyrian provinces, one after another, and the local rulers replaced with loyal officials appointed directly by the Assyrian king. This first wave of expansion beyond Assyria's traditional boundaries marks the beginning of Assyria's Empire period.

The birth of the Assyrian Empire

In the years following the second battle of Arpad, the northern Syrian kingdoms of Arpad  PGP  , Hamat  PGP  and Unqu, now without Urartian support to assist them, were invaded and annexed as Assyrian provinces. Sometime after the Urartian campaign, one of Tiglath-pileser's officials urged his king to re-attempt the capture of Turušpa in order to achieve immortal fame but the ruler did not follow this hawkish suggestion and seems instead to have avoided any direct confrontation with Urartu for the remainder of his rule.

In the light of ongoing Assyrian expansion in the west, the surviving kingdoms in the region, such as Que  PGP  (Cilicia), are known to have sought Urartu's protection. However, these attempts seem to have been unsuccessful and, in some cases, the diplomatic delegations never even reached their destination. Some were detained as diplomatic bargaining chips until they could be put to good purpose. Hence, years after the annexation of Que as an Assyrian province just prior to or at the very beginning of the reign of Sargon II (721-705 BC), the province's Assyrian governor was able to report to his king that "A messenger of Mita of Muški (i.e. Midas the Phrygian) has come to me, bringing me fourteen men of Que whom (their king) Warikas had sent to Urartu as an embassy", to which the king replies, "This is extremely good! My gods Aššur, Šamaš, Bel and Nabû have now taken action, and without a battle or anything, the man of Muški has given us his word and become our ally!" (SAA 1 1).

Wars by proxy

But while Urartu was keeping quiet on the western front, it now concentrated its military presence in north-western Iran and attempted to supplant Assyria as the overlord of its regional vassal kingdoms, such as Mannea and Zikirtu  PGP  . This resulted in a sustained war from 719 to 714 BC, which was again fought neither on Assyrian nor on Urartian territory but instead by proxy in Mannea, Zikirtu and Muṣaṣir  PGP  , resulting in the looting of that city's ancient temple in 714 BC. While Assyria was able to gain the upper hand in this conflict, it resulted only in a shift of the theatre of war back to the Turkish-Syrian border.

There, Muwatalli, king of Kummuhi (Commagene), had stopped paying tribute to the Assyrians and had instead chosen to become an Urartian vassal after his country had been a loyal Assyrian vassal for at least a century. In the light of the Assyrian annexation of the neighbouring kingdoms of Carchemish  PGP  (in 717 BC) and Marqasa  PGP  (in 711 BC), this may have seemed the only way to preserve his country's independence but, instead, it proved its death warrant: Kummuhi was conquered in 709 BC and integrated into Assyria, which for the first time shared a direct border with Urartu. Because of this sensitive geopolitical position, the new province was not placed under the authority of an ordinary governor but was handed over to one of the highest military officials in the Assyrian Empire, the Commander-in-Chief of the Left (turtānu šumēlu), resurrecting a practice employed under Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) who had appointed the highest military commanders over Assyria's border regions in areas where major conflict was to be expected and major troop availability was necessary.

The Cimmerian threat

We may assume that Urartu sent at least some troops south of its border with Kummuhi during the war of 709 BC, but the sources are silent in this regard. It was at this time that Urartu's northern border, hitherto seemingly out of harm's way, was seriously threatened by the incursions of Cimmerian  PGP  horse nomads who had entered Anatolia from the Caucasus region, as Assyrian intelligence reports relay to the king. A generation later, the Cimmerians had established a permanent presence in Iran and, shortly after, they are also found to be active in western Anatolia, indicating that Urartu's attempts to halt their progress had ultimately failed.

However, the Urartian pre-occupation with the Cimmerians in the north of the kingdom may be a key factor in explaining why the years of active military conflict between Assyria and Urartu came to an end in the late 8th century BC, without any formal peace treaty being concluded as far as we know.

Further reading:

Deller, 'Ausgewählte neuassyrische Briefe betreffend Urarṭu', 1984.
Dubovský, 'Conquest and reconquest of Muṣaṣir', 2006.
Lanfranchi, 'A happy son of the king of Assyria', 2009.
Radner, 'Provinz: Assyrien', 2006.
Radner, 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place', 2012.

Urartu (Armenia) - 1100 BC-610 BC

People first settled what is now Armenia in about 6000 B.C. The first major state in the region was the kingdom of Urartu, which appeared around Lake Van in the thirteenth century B.C. and reached its peak in the ninth century BC. Shortly after the fall of Urartu to the Assyrians, the Indo-European-speaking proto-Armenians migrated, probably from the west, onto the Armenian Plateau and mingled with the local people of the Hurrian civilization, which at that time extended into Anatolia (presentday Asian Turkey) from its center in Mesopotamia.

Urartu of the Assyrian inscriptions was the Ararat of the Bible. It seems originally to have been one of the countries of Nairi, and gradually gained superiority over the others. It extended northward from Lake Van, between the Upper Euphrates and Media. The Assyrians began their assaults on Urartu at the time of Tiglathpileser I (ca. 1100 B.C.). Asshurnazirpal marched through its southern districts, but made no attempt to annex it to his dominions.

In the ninth century Shalmaneser II, when he advanced on Armenia, and, starting from the Nairi country, which had been subjugated by Ashurbanipal, marched towards the north, struck the territory of King Arame of Urartu, whose dominion comprised mainly the district north of Lake Van. He was attacked by Assyria on the west and south-east of the lake, on the southern frontier of his country, somewhere on the Arsanias in the year 857 BC.

For some time very little is heard of Urartu, until, in 883 BC, towards the end of Shalmaneser's reign, a new expedition to that country is mentioned, in which Siduri, king of Urartu, after crossing the Arsanias, is said to have been defeated. Two inscriptions of this Siduri have been found at the foot of the fortress Of Van which record the erection of buildings by him. He styles himself in them Sarduri, son of Lutipri, king of Nairi. The inscriptions are composed in Assyrian, and even the titles of the king are copied from the contemporary Assyrian formulae.

Neither he nor any one of his successors styles himself king of Urartu - that was perhaps merely the designation adopted by the Assyrians from the name of the mother country. At this stage of things the sovereignty of this Sarduri (I.) followed a revolution in Urartu. Since the royal title is not given to his father, and, on the other hand, another king is recorded to have preceded him in Urartu, his reign may imply the rise of a new tribe among the large number of newly immigrated peoples which were still living in Urartu under their tribal constitution. Sarduri is the ancestor of the royal family, under which an important empire was developed, the most recent of all the empires of Hittite origin In it for the last time Hittites opposed the Assyrian empire with success.

The seat of this empire of Urartu was the district along Lake Van. With the exception of the southern shore, it stretched in an easterly direction as far as Musasir, the small state south-west of Lake Urumiya, and in a north-easterly direction right up to Lake Gok-cha, and was therefore watered by the Araxes. It can be traced from Sarduri onward the succession of its kings, chiefly from their own inscriptions, up to the Aryan immigration. Urartu, the natural opponent of Assyria, thus came into contact with Babylonian culture. Assyrian influence is evident at once in the character in which the kings of Urartu had their inscriptions written. While Sarduri I. had them written in Assyrian, his successors employed the vernacular, but in an alphabet which had been adapted, not from the Babylonian, but from the Assyrian form o< writing.

They were imitators of the Assyrians even in their titles. Little is known of the new royal family or of its place of origin. Tuspa, or Turuspa, in the district of Biaina, the modern Van, was the capital of the empire. It does not appear to have been the original home of the royal family. The empire was formed by the subjugation of separate chiefs and princes, and that the kings were supported in the process by a strong dynastic, central power. By the annexation of the district of Biaina they came into possession of Tuspa. This district cannot have been subdued for the first time by Ispuinis. Sarduri I. had already built at Van.

The successor of Sarduri was Ispuinis, a contemporary of Shamshi-Adad, whose general, Mutarris-Ashur, encountered him on an expedition to Nairi. Thence the new empire was extended further towards the south-that is, into the regions which the Assyrians had traversed or seized. Ispuinis adopted his son Menuas as coregent. Owing to this fact, most of the inscriptions of this time bear the names of both these rulers. As an example we may cite the inscription in the pass of Kelishin, a sort of boundary stone set up in the district taken from Assyria, recording " the acquisition of the Biaina district and Tuspa, which henceforth served as the capital.

The successor of Menuas was Argistis I, who did most for the extension of the empire. He was contemporary with Shalmaneser III and Ashur-dan in Assyria, and the numerous campaigns against Urartu under the former, in combination with the condition of the country at a later time, show that Assyria was obliged to act on the defensive against the attacks of Argistis. Records of victories by Argistis were recorded in eight large panels upon the rocks of the fortress at Van. They contain a report of successes against Assyria, and of a conquest ot those regions which the Assyrians designated as the Nairi country.

During the period anterior to Tiglath-pileser IV, Sarduri II, the son of Argistis, who encroached further towards Syria, was the support of all the states in the east and west which attempted to revolt from Assyria. While he extended his influence as far as Arpad, he drove Urartu out of Syria and finally attacked that country itself. Even if this denotes an actual decline of the political power of Urartu and of all the kindred nations which leant upon it, yet, regarded from an ethnological standpoint, the result of the Urartean advance must be noted as an expansion of the kindred tribes and a retrogression of the Semitic population in the countries farthest to the north. The districts between the Upper Tigris and the Euphrates, which Shalmaneser I had occupied with Assyrian colonists, were once more lost, and their Assyrian population was dispersed, until under Esarhaddon a final attempt was made to reoccupy them with Assyrians.

The rising kingdom of Urartu was steadily encroaching upon Assyria all along the northern border as far as the Mediterranean, and the kings were being forced into a defensive attitude in spite of all their efforts. Thus Assyrian military pride was wounded, and mercantile prestige was crippled. A total eclipse of the sun occurring on June 15, 763 BC, was thought the favorable moment for raising the standard of rebellion in the city of Assur. A line drawn across the limu list at this year suggests the setting up of a rival king in that city. The revolt spread to Arbakha in the east, and Gozan in the west, but was finally subdued in 746 BC.

Tiglathpileser III ascended the Assyrian throne toward the last of April 745 BC. Nearly all of the eighteen years of the king's reign (745-727 B. c.) were marked by campaigns on the various borders of the realm. These expeditions were characterized, even more clearly than those of his predecessors, by imperial purposes. The world of Western Asia, in expanding its horizon, had become at the same time more simple in its political problems, owing to the disappearance of the multitudinous petty communities before the three or four greater racial or political unities that had come face to face with one another. In the south the Kaldi were becoming more eager to lay hold on Babylon. In the north Urartu was spreading out on every side to absorb the tribes that occupied the mountain valleys, and even to reach over into northern Syria.

The boundaries of Urartu were gradually narrowed to their original limits by the Assyrian conqueror about 735 BC. The capital, Turuspa (Van), was besieged, but not taken the spirit of Urartu was now completely broken. Rusas I [Urea or Russia] succeeded Sarduris. Sargon II, of Assyria, had many conflicts with him. In Sargon's reign, Rusas I attempted a new attempt on Assyria, where the revolution and the change of kings in 722 BC seemed to furnish him with a favorable opportunity. But he, too, failed, and in despair he committed suicide in 714 BC. The power of Urartu was broken by his overthrow. When his son, Argiatis II, came to the throne, he had only a small territory around Lake Van left to rule over. Tigranea I was the contemporary of Cyrus.

At the same time, under Argistis II, an attack was made from the north by Aryans. The reports of Assyrian governors of the northern frontier in the period between 710 and 705 BC announce that heavy defeats were inflicted on Urartu by the Aryan tribes. These wild incomers lived for a time on the borders of Urartu and within its territory until, pushed forward by their neighbours on the east, the Ashkuza, and by other tribes which were pressing on, they moved further westward and overran the whole of Asia Minor. This took place between 670 and 660 BC, under one of the successors of Argistis II that is to say, under Rusas II, Erimenas, or Rusas III.

Only one episode in the period of Rusas III, the contemporary of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, is recorded in detail. In the year 674 BC Esarhaddon records an expedition which he undertook against the country of Shupria in order to subdue a chief, without doubt of Urartean stock. The latter, calculating already on the confusion caused by the advance of the Cimmerians, had attempted in the universal disorder to found an independent state of his own. He was aided by fugitives both from Assyria and Urartu, whom he assiduously attracted to his country. All the demands of Esarhaddon and of Rusas that he should surrender their subjects were - rejected, so that Esarhaddon finally found himself compelled to take measures against him. Once more the fortresses of the country were occupied by Assyrian colonists, in order to form an Assyrian province.

These colonists at Urart no longer formed an actual population, but rather as consisted of foreigners who were transs-planted thither from other conquered districts. A very few years afterwards, in 668 or 667 BC, the same chief - or another ot the same country - in conjunction with the Cimmerians, attempted a sudden attack on the new province, but was killed in doing so. It is noteworthy throughout the whole affair how Assyria and Urartu were for once brought together by a common peril.

The last king of Urartu was probably Sarduri III [King of Urartu, son of RUSA II (640-610)], who voluntarily submitted to Ashurbanipal in order to obtain assistance from him against the Aryan tribes. It is not known whether before this an Aryan chief had raised himself to the throne of the Urartean empire, or whether the empire was only ended by the Medes.

After the fall of Assyria, Armenia became a portion of the Persian empire. Alexander the Great conquered it with the defeat of King Vahi, but the Macedonian yoke was thrown off in 317 B.C. Ardvatea was chosen king, but at his death the Seleucidte again gained possession. When Antiochus the Great was defeated by the Romans, Artaxlaa, the governor of Greater Armenia, made himself independent. It was with this prince that the exiled Hannibal found refuge. Zadriadea, in Lesser Armenia, followed the example of Artaxias, and his descendants maintained their position until the time of Tigranes II, when this country was annexed to Greater Armenia. About 150 B.C. the Parthians stepped in, and Mithridates I established his brother Valarsaoes in Armenia. Thus a new branch of the Arsacid dynasty was founded.

Tigranea II gave promise of making a great empire, but his father-in-law, Mithridates of Pontus, brought him in collision with the Romans. Pompey allowed him to keep Armenia, and made a new kingdom of Sophene and Gordyene, but another son, Artavaadea, tried to free himself from Rome, and Mark Antony carried him prisoner to Alexandria, where he was beheaded by Cleopatra (30 BC).

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